To The Man From Arizona...

...from the woman from Verona...

It's the little things in life that surprise you.  Little things that make your day.  Little things that make you feel good.

Let me tell you about my walk on Friday, July 20th.

It was a typical walk day.  I was up in my "walking clothes" (aka t shirt, shorts and baseball cap to cover up the bedhead) by 4:40.  It may just be a month past the longest day of the year, but I'm already noticing how it's staying darker longer so I've got the dayglo safety vest back on.  (Yes, I look like a dork, but hopefully it helps people see me).  I was out the door with my earbuds on by 4:45 (I'm NOT liking earbuds much.  My ears feel raw after using them for 90 minutes which is approximately how long I walk.  Suggestions?  Cheap suggestions?)

I walked, trying to keep a "brisk" pace.  Some days I'm brisker than others.  I'll never be able to do better than 16 minutes and 30 seconds per mile.  (And that's on a "flat" surface.)  I try to vary my route so as not to get bored. (Last year I walked every road in my town: The one problem, as I've said before is that no matter which way I walk, I always end my walk going UP HILL.

This Friday, I decided to make my way down to the middle school track and do a couple of laps there.  (Flat surface = equals faster pace.)  After 4-1/2 laps I headed back towards home.  Uphill.  Sweaty.

I see people walking when I walk.  I wave.  I say hi.  But usually that's it for the conversation. This particular Friday, as I was walking uphill on the main drag, I said hello to a man.  He asked me something, so I pulled out my earbuds.

He was looking for the nearest place to get coffee.  Now we are less than a block downhill from a coffee shop, but it doesn't open until later in the morning.  It's only around 6.  He's headed downhill towards the center of town and I'm quickly thinking what might be open.

The two options that immediately come to mind are uphill and probably just a little less than 1/2 mile away. So I tell him that there are two options, but they are uphill a bit.  So we started walking in that direction together.  He told me he didn't want to slow me down, but at this point, I was wrapping up my walk, going up hill and I short so my stride is generally shorter.  His pace was just fine for me.

During our brief walk, I found out that he was in town visiting his sister from Arizona.  He had gotten up before everyone else and wanted coffee.  His sister DID have a coffee maker, but he wasn't sure how to work it and didn't want to wake any one else up trying to do so.  We had a lovely 5 or so minute chat until we arrived at the first option.  I told him that if he didn't like what he found, he could head across the street to the 7-11 or even further up (another 1/4 mile or so) and find a Dunkin' Donuts.  He thanked me.  He went in and I went on.

So a few minutes with a total stranger looking for coffee just made my morning.  And it made me realize how the little things in life CAN really make a difference.  How the unexpected can make you smile and bring you peace.

I'll never run into the man from Arizona again.  Even if I did, I'm not sure I'd recognize him and I HOPE he wouldn't recognize me (if I looked like my "normal" self as opposed to the sweaty mess that I am in the early morning).  I hope his coffee was good.  I hope the hike that he was going to take with his brother was memory making.  I hope he had a great visit to my little town.  And I hope he enjoyed his morning coffee as much as I enjoyed our few minutes together.


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