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Noticing change in a brave new world

By Jan Penton Miller

On this gorgeous spring morning I trekked through my neighborhood with my furry friend leading the way. Because Missy, my mighty dachshund, has short legs I let her set the pace. She stops frequently to sniff a flower or notice a scent some other animal has left behind. A few days ago she was on top of a snake before either of us knew what to think! Luckily a car had squashed it flat, but she jumped at the sight of it, and I did too!
Our walks have always been enjoyable, but lately I’ve noticed a change. Over the past several weeks people driving in my neighborhood are slowing down. They are smiling and waving instead of speeding by at breakneck speed. Sometimes they yell a “hello” or “stay safe” as they pass on their way. Other neighbors have also noticed this phenomenon, and the trend seems to be growing.
Not only are the motorists slowing down and showing respect for pedestrians, but more and more neighbors are lacing up their own tennies and taking to the streets.
The common situation we find ourselves in has presented us with options. We can make the best of things, and for the most part I see that taking place all around me.
One other positive that I am so excited about is the number of shelter animals that have been adopted lately. Adopting a pet is a great thing to do at any time, but the downtime that most families are experiencing has given many the extra push to take this important step. I know from a lifetime of pet ownership that our animal friends can bring many happy hours to their owners, and before long they feel like a member of the family.
Many people that I know are also getting serious about purchasing American made products for a variety of reasons. I hope that by buying products made in the U.S.A. I will be helping my fellow citizens who work in manufacturing. I have been making a conscious effort to buy American for the last little while, and local when I can. I have to tell you that it is harder than it may sound, and some products that say packaged in the U.S. are products of other countries.
I have been shocked to find that on some products I almost need a magnifying glass to find the information I need, and on others I get the feeling they are actually trying to trick the consumer into thinking their product is made in America. My quest for American made products hasn’t been easy, but the wonderful thing is I’m so not alone in this. Many, many people are ready to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and pay more for American made products. These are only a few of the positive changes I see taking place in our brave, new world.