My grandparents on the country side of the family did a lot of traveling, especially during their retirement years. For the most part they confined their travels to the lower 48 states. Both often remarked that folks seemed “mean as hell” (as my grandfather put it) in Central New York.

I think that man was right.

I don’t know if it’s because the folks in Central New York have up to six months of snowy weather to look forward to each year or if the sun doesn’t shine enough or what, but whenever Earl and I travel elsewhere in the U.S. we always remark that people seem friendlier than they do at home. We are finding this to be very true here in the Houston area.

I just went for a walk around downtown because quite frankly, the confines of the hotel fitness center intimidates me a little bit. As I walked around at a brisk pace, about 80% of the folks nodded or said hello in my direction. People were smiling. People seemed relaxed. It feels like a friendly place here. I have to remember to let my guard down just a little bit so that I reciprocate the friendly gesture. It feels good to smile. I need to remember to do it more.

I think my country grandparents were right with their assessment of the friendliness of folks outside of our home territory. Perhaps I’ll bring some of the good nature home with me and try spreading around a bit and see if it makes a difference.