Worth Noting: I'm Almost Local

Dear friends,

Really, I doubted it would happen again.  So it is with great joy in my heart that I announce the following: I am feeling almost local.  Fourteen and a half months into living in our new town, I can say with a bit of gusto that I feel like I belong here.  And, maybe I even like this town.

Here's how I know that I've just teetered over the edge of Localness:

Step One: Run into someone I know at a large store.  CHECK!  I ran into a new friend at Target.  Before you think that's not too impressive, let me tell you that people from 15 different cities shop at this Target (it is therefore huge and nigh impossible to locate your car in the lot, much less an acquaintance in the store). And, this is only the second time I've been out shopping and run into someone I know in the months we've lived here.

Step Two: Have face recognition at a bank or post office.  WOOT WOOT!  When I asked a question about cashing a check, Larisa at the bank said, "Honey, I know you.  I am glad to see you today!" Oh, boy.  Feeling local, indeed.

Step Three: Recognize friends' cars around town.  This has happened off and on over the past few months, but it's starting to become a little more frequent.  I see the friends with the sedan, the mid-size SUV, the big SUV, the van ... and they wave!  They WAVE!  Huzzah!

Step Four: Have favorites.  We do!  We have our favorite bakery, favorite diner, favorite pizza, favorite Saturday activity, favorite ice cream, favorite walking route, favorite driving route, favorite farmer's market vendors, favorite season, and favorite park.  There are a few more sprinkled in there, but I'm distracted thinking about my favorite pizza and favorite ice cream.
Our Favorite Bakery
Step Five: Connect with the neighbors.  I have found that every time I move somewhere I gain a deeper sense of place and belonging once I start to connect with the people who live near me.  It happened our first summer in Virginia, not long after we got our dog - that was a big turn-around experience for me to begin putting a real face and personality with the house I had seen so often.  And it has just recently happened here in our new state - over the past months, we've met some of the families around us and have enjoyed new connections.  Literally, enjoyed ... look what the family across the street shared with us: 

So, there you have it.  It happened.  Yay!

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