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Small Town Kindnesses

I am a walker. I walk to exercise myself, to exercise my guide dog, to breath fresh air, to clear my mind and to have an uninterrupted 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours to listen to music (one earbud only - the other ear is to listen to traffic. And yes, I have an off/on switch on the earphones to turn the tunes off at intersections, railway tracks and obstacles). I woke up this morning to the sound of a soft rain falling outside the window. Normally rain does not deter me - I don’t think I will melt. Rain does, however, deter my dog. Hope is a bit of a princess in the rain. She does not work as well when she gets wet and she abhors puddles. She will skirt around a puddle, taking me right through the centre. If that’s not possible she has actually hopped over a puddle, giving me a bit of a surprise. I think she needs a tiara to wear in rainy weather! Fortunately, we found a break in the rain and were able to get out and do our errands. All was well, until 2 blocks from home and I heard an engine noise growing in intensity. Hope slowed and finally stopped. I can’t hear any traffic over the engine noise, I know the noise is coming from the street side of the sidewalk but I have no idea what it is. The engine noise is overwhelming. For those of us who use sound - you understand what I am describing. The sound envelopes everything. What do I do? Do I turn around and find an alternate route back home? Do I wait and hope I can hear when a pedestrian comes by? Do I try to find the closest business and ask someone to help me?

Once again, thank goodness for small town kindnesses. I immediately had 3 people come running up to tell me that tree trimmers were at work. The tree trimmers ran up, explained what they were doing, turned off the machines, lifted the barricades and escorted us through the intersection.

Thank goodness for small town kindnesses. Small towns do remove all anonymity ..... everyone in my small town knows who the blind lady with the guide dog is and I am often surprised to learn that people know where I have been and when I have been there. However, when I run into obstacles like the tree trimmers, my small town neighbours make sure I can pass through safely. Friends call me to tell me when construction blocks the routes I might take and when that same construction is completed. Friends in this small town make sure Hope and I are safe


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