Someone recently asked a group, "You don't really start up conversations with people in the grocery store, do you?" I hadn't really thought about it much before, but we actually do, especially when we're there as a family.
I blame the adorableness of our two kids, but strangers will make a comment to us about them, and then we'll respond with something back, and it often ends up being an actual conversation, about everything from where our families grew up and who we're related to, to where we went to college and where their kids are going to college.
I think it's a pretty amazing thing actually.
I thought we had community when we lived in Louisville, and I would often see people I already knew at the grocery story (from work or church) and we would have casual conversations. Even though there are a wider variety of grocery stores around here, it still feels more like a community. I may see the same stranger we talked to at Ken's Korny Maze at the grocery store the next weekend, I may see a stranger from the park at the library (before they shut down our local library). It gives me a huge sense of connection, because these are people that are part of my community. It's much easier to talk to a stranger when they aren't really a stranger.
They read our local paper, delivered free Sundays and Wednesdays, so they have the same community news. They attend the same sports leagues. The go to the annual Easter Egg Hunt, 4th of July Celebration, and Trick or Treat the Trails. It's a lot harder to be rude to someone, when you know that you'll likely see them again, in a place where you least expect it.
As Thanksgiving draws closer, I am thankful for the sense of community in my new town. It may not be a small town anymore, but it still has a sense of community that I haven't found anywhere else.
So, even when we accidentally defrost our turkey too soon, and have to go buy a replacement turkey a few days before Thanksgiving, the stress starts to disappear, simply by talking to friendly strangers at the grocery store.