December 29, 2011

people riches

I feel rich, today.  People rich.

(family)  This morning while Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice painted plaster dogs and cats from Christmas, their cousins dropped in on their way out to Pittsburgh to give final hugs and good-byes.

(community)   As I ran errands later in the morning, I stopped by a nursery/farm stand where the Amish owner knows my husband.  I wanted some sauerkraut for that New Year's Day meal of mysterious origin (anyone?), and we were low on honey, too.  I asked how their homemade soaps work in crazyhard water - and he gave me one to try, gratis, along with his personal testimony to how nice it feels!  (I'll have to let you know).

Next stop was an organic farm where we had bought raw milk for over a year before we discovered a more convenient source.  Despite my lack of loyalty, I was greeted warmly and asked about my Christmas holiday.

At the grocery store I got smiles returned from cashiers, baggers, a worker in the produce dept, and the butcher, all of whom recognize me after more than 10 years of shopping there.

It is nice to be known, nice to do business with folks who know how many children you have.

(friends)  Today, it was a friend of my Farmer's who I'd heard much of but never met.  He came over to help work on a home improvement project, and brought his two daughters, the same ages as Sugar and Spice.  After awkward parent-facilitated name exchanges, the four girls disappeared outside to be seen running to and fro in companionable little pairs (and threesomes, once Nice joined them).  By suppertime they were exchanging confidences and using nicknames.

There is a wealth in personal interchange - eye contact, laughter, a live-spoken comment and response, a relaxed pose or an active stride - for which there is no technological substitute.

My day was full of people whose lives touched mine, and I am richer for it.

In the end, facebook is only a partial disclosure of who I am.  Blogging is only an electronic journal to be indulged in as time allows.  Even the telephone lacks the dimension of sight - posture, eye contact.  Communication can only ever be complete in person.  Anything less cheats us of being known, and knowing.

(and on a lighter note, maybe you can communicate to me - technologically or otherwise - why we eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day.  Is that a local custom?  Who started it?)

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