First, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

All of you know I love our town of Middleburg and I think for both Tom and me, we are more grateful than ever to live in a small village where everyone cares about each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, it can also get annoying. Sometimes people are nosy and at times you don’t want to share all your business with everyone. Even we dogs needs some space. Tom used to complain about how hard it used to be to get thru shopping for groceries, because he would talk to people, or be asked things. What should have been a ten-minute shopping excursion took an hour. And all he wanted to was broccoli and dog treats. Well, that is not at all how Tom feels anymore. Since the Pandemic he and I both love seeing people and talking to people. We both missed people greatly. But being a part of a town where we know each other gives you a sense of community and connection and I think that is more important than ever, especially during these last two hard years. 

Two neighbors that we care about had major life events happen to them within the last month. It is wonderful to watch all of you humans in town come together for a purpose. First, I will be honest. I have been very sad because one of my favorite humans left town. Antwon, who worked at the Post office counter moved onto a new job in Florida. Much warmer than here. He was always so nice. In fact, one of the kindest and most consistent humans I had ever met. That is truly how dogs learn to trust. Maybe humans too? When you meet a human who is kind, but also consistent. Consistency is everything when it comes to trust. We loved seeing him every time we got the mail. He would ask questions and sometimes even ask about me. And no matter how many times Tom forgot his key, Antwon never made us feel bad for ATom’s Covid-brain. Tom became a friend to him and on Antwon’s last day I heard Tom out loud say, “Gunna miss him.” The town even gave Antwon an award and many neighbors were moved to tears as they said goodbye to him. Our post office will be different without him. It’s say a lot about a human, that an entire town misses you.

We also had a neighbor who Tom had been friends with for twenty-five years. She became very ill and had to go into the hospital. Tom considers her one of the nicest neighbors and friends he has ever had. He told me she hadn’t missed one performance of theater or music since they met. That would mean she attended over 200 events of Tom’s over the years. She also helped Tom edit his book, and she constantly asked about what she could do to help Tom out. When we found out that she was sick, Tom put a message out to then neighborhood and hundreds of messages and gifts came in, for him to bring to her. Everyone asking how she was and sending their love.  When Tom visited her, she cried about how loved she felt by her neighbors. I’m telling you that doesn’t happen everywhere. And this dog knows. 

More than ever, we must think about our neighbors, and being a good neighbor. There is  somebody somewhere in need of something you can give.

 I’ll see you all in town. Thanks for being great neighbors!

Love, Hazel 

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