I liked Madison for a lot of reasons before I moved here. As I walked around the square this afternoon, I remembered the most enticing thing about the city - the outdoor activity and respect that outdoorspeople receive. Unlike any other U.S. city I have seen, bikers were kindly being dodged by traffic at a busy corner.
I walked to a law firm to drop something off. I didn't feel like tying my dog up. A stranger offered to stay with her and watch her while I went into the building. I kindly asked the building's security guard to make sure the stranger didn't steal my dog. (I don't know why he would. He would have given me a ransom and returned her..) I felt safe about the whole thing. I knew before I left my house that I could have a stranger watch her, if need be.
Walking back, so many people complimented by "pretty dog." If you passed me, you would have thought I was walking with a friend the way an unidentified woman walked with me and talked about what a great dog a golden retriever is.
And a few weeks ago, as I sat at the bar a block away with a book and tears streaming down my face, a stranger approached me and asked me if I was ok. She gave me a hug and offered support.
Sometimes I can be private and sometimes quite public (like on here). It's nice to know I am never alone, if I feel the need to lay a shoulder on a random stranger. Madison locals are your friends. And I am touched by them.