Isn't that what we all want ?
When you live in the same place for some time, you get to know your surroundings and it gets to know you. It doesn't matter if it is in a big city or a small town.
Apart from friends and family, don't we all get some feeling of belonging, when we walk into a store, and the assistant knows you and more importantly, knows you by name. Or going to your Hair Salon, Doctor or favourite Restaurant and being recognized and acknowledged. In some way, even though it seems insignificant, those little signs mean we belong ! On the other hand, those are one of the many things we give up, when we move town, country or continent.
Just a few days ago, Bob and I did some shopping in OBI ( hardware shop in our nearest town, 25 kilometers away ). Walking through its many isles, the assistants automatically greet all customers, but I am sure that we got a ' Gruess Gott ' that was meant for us.
We were recognized and given the sign of belonging...a personal heartfelt ' Gruess Gott '. For a second, I wondered, if they recognized me, the woman, and thus remembered. But alas, the next second, I realized that they are all in their twenties and most likely only remembered us ( me ) from our frequent shopping excursions into their domain.
That sense of being acknowledged is priceless. Of course in our case, it might not be that priceless, as we spent many hours plus plenty of Euros in their store...The next person who comes to visit us, can get a personalized tour through a Hardware store, with the tour guide, yours truly, knowing where each individual packet of nails hangs ...
Being asked to help with the wine harvesting also is a gives a great sense of Belonging to the area !