in community

Yesterday was an exciting day for us!  We officially (and finally) became members of our local food co-op!  I've been consistantly shopping there for almost a year now, so it was exciting to finally take the leap.  

One of the things that I love about shopping at the co-op, and our other small local shops, is that people know me there.  Now, being the introvert that I am and having an extremely extroverted, outgoing, and woo-like husband, that says a lot!  You see...we frequent a lot of local shops and restaurants and in most of them, people know my husband.  He's the kind of person that everyone knows and everyone remembers.  When we're together, they also know me!  I'm Dan's wife!  However, when I walk into those same places by myself, I'm just a another customer.  After a few confusing interactions, I've learned to just laugh about it.

There are a few shops, though, that I usually go to by myself.  The co-op and the local garden shop are two of those.  I've made a point in both of those places to start to get to know the people that work there and I must say, it's such a better shopping experience when you're greeted by a "hey, how are ya?!" that's accompanied by a smile that says, I know you!

I grew up in a smallish town, right outside of the suburbs.  We shopped in the suburbs and went out to eat in the suburbs.  So, while living in a small town, I enjoyed very few of the perks of small town life.  One of the things that I've learned to love about the city is that I've realized how easy it can be to have a small town experience within a large metropolis!  And through that I've realized how lovely it is to start to live and thrive within that community!  

We see the same people at restaurants, shops, art/music events, and bars.  Not only do we know the people who work in those places, but in many of them we know the owners as well.  Those relationships make our little corner of the city stronger and more connected, and it creates a beautiful community.  

I'm starting to see the benefits of living locally and being invested in the community around us. And each time I get more involved, the desire to be involved grows even more.  

How about you?  What does living locally look like for you?