I have vivid memories of my friend Maria talking about “that hometown feeling” while living in Ohio. We lived in a small town, and there seemed to be a core group of people who were involved with just about every activity in town. From events at the school, to summer rec athletics to the local community Pumpkin Show you could count on seeing the same faces. That hometown feeling as Maria called it was a sense of community, a sense of pride that can come from living in a small tight knit community.
Maria died of cancer a few years ago, a great loss to the community. She truly was the spirit of that small town in many ways. I felt very honored to call her my friend, and even now, I know she is with me as one of my guardian angels.
One would think that living in a big community like the Dallas metroplex, that it would be hard to have those types of hometown feelings. I know when I was back in the cornfields, I would have thought, big city, that sort of hometown feeling just isn’t possible in a community so large. A country mouse like me would more than likely get lost in the shuffle with the big city living. I was wrong…
Yesterday I met with some members of the Dallas Random Acts of Kindness group to bake cookies to be handed out by the Salvation Army on Christmas Day. My group consisted of 3 women, and two teenage boys and after 4 hours we managed to have rolled out, cut out, baked, iced and decorated over 200 cookies. We were one of the many small groups meeting in kitchens around the metroplex to take on this special task.
As we listened to Christmas tunes, laughed and talked I felt like I was back in Ohio, it was that hometown feeling. The only difference is that my *hometown* is much bigger now, and the need to help is probably even greater here.
Maybe it’s PollyAnna of me to think that on Christmas Day when those eating at the Salvation Army, instead of being surrounded by family, will feel a little special that someone took the time to bake them special cookies for the holiday. Maybe those homemade cookies will take them back to happier Christmases in their past. I’m ok, if just one person has that reaction, my time will have been well spent.
I can’t count the number of cookies I have baked for the holidays, have baked in the past year…it’s in the thousands, but those cookies yesterday gave me a special feeling, that holiday spirit, that warm and fuzzy feeling of making a difference.
…tis the season…share the love.