I live in a small town in southeast Texas. Today was a 5K run through town celebrating Christmas. It is called the Jingle Bell Run. Our house was on the path of the runners. The city employees put out traffic cones marking the path. It was a balmy 74 degrees outside and I worked in the garden. My 89 year old mother who lives with us sat outside on a bench with our Aussie, Polly. City workers rode by on Kawasaki Mules donated for the day by my DH's boss. As they passed by, they waved and called out my name. Mom and I cheered the runners as they huffed and puffed by, and Polly just wanted to chase them. I picked turnip greens, thinned them and weeded. Mom's doctor ran past with a big grin and called out "Nice garden!" It was a beautiful afternoon. We also have our town characters. Elvis is alive and well and he lives in my town. He will tell you he is with the CIA and space aliens run the government. (I think he may be right on that one) Elvis dyes his hair black, combs it back, wears western shirts, (the same one for a couple of weeks) and wanders around town. He can be seen at the local doughnut shop, resting on the porch, visiting with all who come by. He is waaaaay off his rocker. Elvis is a sandwich shy of a full picnic, a brick short of a load, and just plain crazy as a bessie bug. But it doesn't matter. Elvis is accepted by the town. He leans against a highway sign close by the Burger King and waves the peace sign at passing cars. The townspeople respond by honking and waving at him. I love my little town because it OK to be Elvis. Going to the grocery store or to Walmart always takes twice as long because of the people I run into that I know. We have to stop, blocking the aisle, and visit a few minutes. Nobody cares because they just blocked the next aisle over themselves. People are friendly, even those I don't know, and we speak to each other. I know the checker's name, and they know mine. If I check out with a checker I don't know, I always greet her or him and inquire about their day. I try to let them know that someone values them and what they do. The local police know when we get a new car, because they are watching over us.The sheriff's deputy that pulled me over for an inspection sticker that was expired for THREE years, laughed at me and let me go. From the inside it read 9-12, but the outside read 12-9.........oops. The garbage men always wave and greet me. The phone company is very small, very local and we bundled our phone, TV and internet with them. If there is a problem at night or on the weekend, well, we just have to wait until Monday-Friday 8 AM - 5 PM to report it. There is no 800 number directing us to a troubleshooter in India who will solve our problems over the phone. Nope, but the phone office, ya' know-the main coporate office (the ONLY office) is just a block up and a block over from our house. And when we call them, a local man shows up who knows us and we know him. The old dogcatcher knew our Labrador by name, knew where he lived and would leave us a note on our door when Danny was in doggy jail. We would call Butch and tell him the check for the fine was on the door and he would return Danny and put him in the back yard while we were at work. Butch retired and Danny died last Christmas. I miss them both. My little town is not perfect, just read the arrest records in the bi-weekly local paper. (Yes, they publish what you did and who you are) But this is my little town. It is home.