A couple of days ago, wandering on the highways and by-ways of online Social Media, I fell across a graphic that puckishly summed up a lot of places each of us may have frequented. It seemed at the time I came across it to capture a less than happy aspect of so many of our Norwich Neighbors.
As someone who is accused at times of being a "cheerleader," a label I wear as a badge of honor, by the way, I shared it to a Facebook page I created so long ago there were only three Fast & Furious movies, Celebrating Norwich Connecticut, and started listing points of interest and businesses I've found on my hikes to and from various places here in The Rose of New England.
I could have included the infamous (in my house at that time) 'bit off more than he could chew' walk to and from the Occum Playground for an event that was over by the time I got there.
I did mention my more recent miscalculation that our daughter had to endure when she accompanied me after I had decided on a Sunday to 'walk to Poppy & Rye' in Taftville, from our house on Lincoln Avenue. The rye bread and the pastries were worth the hike, trust me on that.
But I missed the biggest thing: us. We who live here. Brighten yourself up tonight, or any night in the next two weeks or so and walk (okay, drive if you must) around a neighborhood, any neighborhood and check out the lights on houses and shops, and without getting too creepy about it, the living rooms with trees groaning with garland and dazzling with decorations.
Or, as I did over the weekend at a local grocery, casually watch the number of other shoppers bringing bags of donated canned goods and other items to the community volunteers collecting out in front or who added a box of pasta or dry cereal to a belt full of grocery purchases but dropped off an item or two (or three) at the collection point at the front of the store.
It happens all over our city every year at this season, and throughout the rest of the year whenever anyone asks for help. I keep reading "the recession' ended quite some time ago, so I'm confused a lot by what so many of us here are struggling with now.
I don't know what it's called but I've heard names my mom would be surprised I know (come to think of it, how does Mom know 'em?). But no matter how tight times are, or we feel they are, we are always here for one another.
When I worry and wonder about finding our better angels, I have a good idea about the first zip code in which to look.