The excitement of coming back to Huntsville -- my fourth trip since November -- was not entirely related to the weather. Although, in Canada where I sat (frozen) while those lines were written, it’s been well below zero Fahrenheit for weeks and if you don’t know what below zero Fahrenheit feels like, believe me you don’t wanna.
It doesn’t feel anything, truth be told. It’s way too cold for feelings. So you’ll forgive me for enjoying myself not freezing in your company.
I’ve travelled a lot in my five decades on this planet. Very much including serious criss-crossing of the United States, which I think I know more than I do my own country. In my defense, Canada is really stupidly big and, with the exception of the first 100 miles along the border, full of not much unless you particularly enjoy the company of mosquitoes. And that’s only when it’s not freezing.
I’ve been to most American states, and I’ve felt welcome everywhere. But the people of Huntsville bring it up a notch higher, especially when you accidentally bump into them.
Do you know what they say to you when your doofus self crashes into them and say whoops, sorry?
Not that’s OK. Not no problem. Not no worries.
I thought Canadians had the market covered on making people feel seen and accepted. After all, up here when someone steps on your foot it’s customary for you to apologize.
In Huntsville? You tell people they’re fine.
Those little words carry so much meaning. They tell you, the person who just klutzed, that although you may have stepped on toes that don’t belong to you, you are indeed a fine person worthy of being loved and accepted just as you are.
When you’re declared “fine” at one of your most bumbling moments, you are indeed appreciated and valued as a human being.
That’s always the way I feel when I come to Huntsville. And yes, you bet I’ll be back.