Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cheers & Brownies!!!

During my end of day evaluation last night, I realized that I had a really good day yesterday, and I simply must share.

I grew up as a pretty big fish in a small pond. I hope none of you at home are offended by that...actually a LOT of us were big fish in that little pond. One of my favorite things about that was the fact that everybody knew my name for reasons like my high school sports career, or maybe because they caught me throwing rocks in their pool when I was ten. Either way, I can rarely go anywhere back home without seeing a face I know...literally a place where "everybody knows your name."

My home town of Palmyra, PA has a population of 7,000 people. Nashville, TN (where I live now) is about one Palmyra, PA short of 600,000 people. That makes Nashville just over 85 times the size of Palmyra, which, in comparison, makes Nashville a "big pond." Quite often, I find myself really missing that small town vibe.

I realized something yesterday though:
-My first stop of the morning was to the best coffee shop in Nashville: Créma (It IS the best - argument is futile). The first thing that happened was Rachel, Créma's co-owner w/ her husband, greeted me by my name. This isn't abnormal - I'd consider she & Ben friends of mine.
-My second stop of the morning was my favorite bank in all Nashville...the USBank on Fessler's Lane...home of the sweetest bank teller women/ladies/girls you'll ever meet. It happened again. I was greeted by my first name. I still didn't think much of it, but it made me smile just the same.
-My third stop of the morning was Kroger, and wouldn't you know, it happened a third time at the self-checkout of all places. I do frequent Kroger, and almost always go through self-checkout, so I've had quite a few conversations with the woman there as well.
-Later in the day, I went to take care of a few things for a church in Green Hills, and was kindly and personally welcomed by the church staff as I always am...once again by my name.

Dale Carnegie, author of "How to Win Friends & Influence People" once said this:
"If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance."

So simple and true, and so easily forgotten. (This is a fantastic book if you ever get the chance to read it. I read it in 8th grade and it changed the way I think about relationships entirely).

After work yesterday, I found a package on my back porch - I never get packages unless I order them from Amazon. I was excited to see that it came from my cousins the Kimberlys who live close to Cleveland, OH. My cousin Mary attended Vanderbilt University here in Nashville last year, and it afforded me an opportunity to spend some (non family reunion) time with these only-slightly-less-immediate family members - an opportunity for which I'm quite thankful.

Naturally, like any grown-up, I dropped everything and tore into the box only to find another package wrapped in Christmas paper with a note from my cousin Hannah, the "baby" of the Kimberly family. Now Hannah & I have had a special relationship since the beginning. I distinctly remember being her own personal jungle gym at a family reunion maybe 8-10 years ago...I'm a little over 12 years older than she is. After not having seen her for some time, I was shocked to see her this summer, a blossoming teen with every ounce of sassy sarcasm that goes with teen-hood. Well, don't get to be her jungle gym anymore, but now she makes me laugh with the wit that only high schoolers are capable of.

After I read the note a few times, I carefully took the paper off and found a whole box full of brownies. And they weren't just brownies, but FUDGY chocolate brownies with powdered sugar on top. Oh man...those won't last a minute in this house. Isn't it funny how something so simple as brownies, if sent to the right person, can mean so VERY much?

Anyway, after a great run with my Wednesday night running group and some dinner w/ good friends at Calypso Cafe, I headed home and found the day's retrospect an absolute joy.

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