“Mom stop talking to people” stated 15.
“It’s what I do. I talk to people,” replied Mom.

I talk to people. I say hello and good morning and ask “how are you today”….. then I wait for and listen to the response. Often times people ignore me or just nod but sometimes, every once in a while,  I have conversations with some amazing and interesting people. 
On our most recent road trip, I met some of these amazing and interesting folks. 
Pete-he works at the hotel front desk and loves to help people. He is calm and patient and can recommend the best places to eat! He has a knack for calming even the most irritable customer. 
Alice– oh my. This woman will always have a special place in my heart. She is on the housekeeping staff at a hotel. It is one of several jobs she has. She showed us several rooms from which we could choose telling us the pros and cons of each. She warned us about hiking and bears. She asked about where we were from and said she’d never been to Chicago…. big cities scare her. Once we were settled in our room, Alice appeared again with a pair of wine glasses and a lovely note welcoming us to the hotel. “Wanted you to feel at home and have something to recall your visit so y’all come back…” I saw her again the second day and she once again asked about our day and listen to the responses. She has a sharp wit and keen sense of humor that I found so endearing. She stopped by our room again later in the evening to see if we were in need of anything and to say goodbye as we would be leaving in the morning. She made an offhand remark about feeling like she mattered to us and said we mattered to her. Oh Alice.  You DO matter! You are such an amazing woman!
Marilyn– she works in food service at a hotel. I watched as people looked right through her as she restocked breakfast items. They didn’t bother to say good morning when they asked her for more eggs or gravy. As I waited for my waffle to cook, she refilled napkins and I thanked her.  We got to talking. She told me this was one of her 2 jobs but what she was most proud of was the fact that in 3 short weeks she would be a college graduate. She was working 2 jobs, going to school online and raising 4 children. “I’m gonna have my bachelor’s degree! First one in the family to graduate college! I want my kids to be proud of me.”
She went on to tell me that at age 49 she wants to be a firefighter once she graduates. “My kids think I’m crazy but ya only live once. I’m gonna make it a good life…”
The pride in her posture and on her face as she told me again and again about the college degree in 3 weeks was something to behold. I hope everyone that gets a degree feels that proud. 
Diana and her young daughter– while driving back to Gatlinburg from Newfound Gap, and against the wishes of my kids, I crossed over the median to stop at an overlook and take a photo. Drivers aren’t really supposed to do this but sometimes I’m a rule breaker. And I looked like I was not alone. There was a truck with a family of 3 pulled over too. As it turns out they were stranded. The national park has little to no cell service and not lot of law enforcement traffic on the roads. We tried to jump their truck to no avail and with none of us having cell service, calling a wrecker was out of the question. So Diana piled in the backseat while, once again, we broke a rule as her daughter climbed onto her lap so I could drive us all to Gatlinburg. The closer we got, cell service returned and she was able to call the Insurance company. I took her to a service station whose employee was not very kind and said they could not help her that day. I asked for the number of someone that could and the employee very curtly told us to “have a credit card ready cuz you’ll have to pay upfront. We don’t work for free up here….”
Diana and her family were visiting from Maryland and were staying at an RV Park. What impressed me was that this woman never got upset of flustered. She took everything In stride, telling her daughter, “we’ll get it all worked out. Just adds to the adventure of our vacation….”
I saw them again in town later and she thanked me again. Later that evening I got a text from her thanking me again for being “a blessing …”
Mavis- Mavis works on a housekeeping staff at a hotel in Nashville. When I said good morning to her, she about jumped out of her skin. I apologized for startling her and she said, “it’s alright…. you are such a breath of fresh air. Most people either say nuthin’ or are so grouchy in the morning from too much nighttime fun…so ya surprised me…”
We talked about the weather and the city of Nashville a bit and I told her to have a nice day. “Well it certainly is off to a blessed beginnin’ thanks to you.” And It was a wonderful rest of my day thanks to Mavis!
Officer M of the Kentucky State Police- Officer M took it upon himself to pull me over on the Interstate to ask for my drivers license. He wished to remind me to change Into “shoes not made of lead”, doing him the “favor of slowing down so y’all get home safely.” Apparently after we stopped to get get lunch, the fast food had all gone to my foot and I was a little heavy on the accelerator! I thanked him for the reminder and promised to slow it down. 
I am a firm believer that what you put out into the world, comes back to you. I believe that people matter. I believe that we all crave human connection. I believe that if you talk to people, make eye contact, say hello and wait for a response, you can make some amazing connections and get to know some really interesting people. You can make people feel as though they matter. And will feel as though you matter too. 
Peace – 

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