If a Dog Barks in South Station.....

Trip into Boston. Took the Blue line into Aquarium and stopped by a couple of businesses.  Nothing remarkable about my venture through town. I can tell you that when you visit 75 State Street now, there are gates just before the elevator banks. They weren't there before. You have to check in with a valid drivers license/ID before handed a ticket that is printed out, noting where you are going in the building. You insert it into a little slot at one of these gates, the gates open, then you are allowed access to the elevator banks.

I had finished my visit, not quite ready to head back home, when I decided to visit South Station for a toasted piece of heaven (there's this grilled cheese place that would make even your grandmother blush). Nothing unusual here folks.... the hub bub of people getting off commuter trains, the traveler and business person, grabbing a quick bite to eat, a cup of liquid heat, or some other little culinary goodie.

After retrieving my order of melted, grilled comfort, I settled in on one of the wooden bench areas in the station, ready for my feast. Seated between a businessman checking his messages, and a college student, who looked like she was packed to go home, I began chomping away at my late lunch.

Just then, a dog barked. It was not a regular bark, no.... this was a big, loud, echoing bark, repeated. The dog continued his warning. I looked up from my own little world to see where this canine was, and to try and decipher what he was 'hollaring' about.  In a corner of the station, there he stood. A massive German Shepard, clothed in a K-9 jacket, being restrained by his handler, a man that looked like he was dressed for the part of a SWAT team. I glanced around, noticing that the other occupants of the station were also doing the same as I was. We were all then, looking, wondering, where the culprit was. Glaring at one another, trying not to make eye contact with everyone around, trying not to look alarmed.

There is no recollection, in my mind's eye, of ever feeling that way before. I don't recall ever feeling that kind of unease, that insecurity, hanging out in a train station in Boston. But, today, now, it was real, palpable, and I wasn't the only one sensing that. As I looked around, trying to calm myself down inside, I saw that the rest of the crowd was also doing a self check. Five minutes later, and we were unsettled down, back, somewhat, to what we were all doing before the dog barked.

"just IS"

Funny, my teenage son was putting clean dishes away. Funny that he was putting them away? Yes. What's even more funny is the fact that he broke a coffee cup.  He was extremely apologetic. Me? I really could care less.  It was a very nice cup. Cost me more than 3 other of my favorite cups combined.  Why wasn't I upset?  Because, even though there was a monetary value, there was no sentimental value.  I liked it, it served it's purpose, but, well.... the handle, after using it a few times, was more aggrevating than I expected.  It was adorable... had a special shape to it, but after a few times of coffee dribbling out of the side, I only used it as my 'back up'.

Baffled, my son wanted to know why the cheap dish, the one that he had smashed a month ago, incurred far greater wrath than the breaking of this pretty thing.  It wasn't easy to explain, but when I equated it to an old longboard of his, the cheaper one that he first used, he almost was able to identify, to relate.

There are things that we have, use, possess in our lives that mean so much to us, for one reason or another. Many times it is because we have invested substantial sums of money. For those items, I find myself taking care of them, using them until their usefulness wears out.  I don't necessarily place an emotional value on them. When they are no longer needed, I pass those things on to others, not a tear shed, not really missed at all.

The items that I have attached an emotional value however, I tend to use them, constantly, without thought. It's like that worn, old, pair of _________ (fill in the blank with whatever you wish) that you've had for at least 15 years. There's a comfort that goes into something that has been used, broken in, and is consistently reliant.  The item doesn't have to be the prettiest (usually isn't),  the finest quality (most of the time, it definitely isn't), or the most expensive (again, usually isn't). It just IS. Just like that, it IS ~ always there, easy to use, convenient, comfortable, yours. You don't always value it when you have it, but if you misplace it? God forbid.

A friend of mine passed away the other day, unexpectedly. She was a 'just IS' kind of person in my life. I could call, dm, or text whenever I wanted to. We spent years not talking, just because we got caught up in chasing a dream, living a life apart from each other physically, raising our families, and still, I could call her and she was there, as though not a moment had passed between our last conversation. Now, she's gone. I didn't even get to talk to her about the possibility of lunch the following week, just to catch up and see her face one more time.

As we draw closer to the holidays, you'll be begged to reconnect with family and friends.... 
I challenge you, before the rest of the hordes do, to actually find that person (you know who they are), and set time aside for the one that 'just IS'. Set some time aside now, book it in pen, not pencil, before the holiday madness and end of year running begins. 

I would be interested to hear who your 'just IS' person is. Why? Because the person that 'just IS' in your world, they're the one's that tend to get short changed of time with you during the mad rush called our lives. It could be a co-worker, an old neighbor, friend, a relative that's always been there when you pick up the phone. Let me know when you've penned them in, that you've met up, spent that time you promised them. Actually, to be frank, it's really time you promised for yourself, time that you wouldn't trade for all the holiday parties in the world.

Social Me, Please

I have been a student of social media since the time of dial up, chat rooms, and "You've got mail".  More recently, since this kid, some of us in college at the time referred to him as "Zuck", created this cool little site just for us, the college student.  Zuck was my first FB friend.... and he was my first 'unfriend' when he changed up stuff on his site.  Interacting with one another, posting, responding, following.  It was 2005 for me, I was hooked. 

Then in 2008, loaded with a college degree in Communications, I discovered a another neato website ~ ya tweeted there. It was a bit odd, because you were limited. For someone like myself, who loves talking and communicating, it was a bit perplexing at first. My first tweet?

cooking turkey and cleaning up after the house flooded out.

Hello Ello!

They sit, presumably, somewhere in the northwestern corner of the US. In some minds, with a smugness about them, sipping coffee, or maybe a micro-brew, blogging, scouring the net, writing code. They had a small group of ‘inhouse’ folks using this little network, let’s call it Ello. Then the coding gods that they were, brought a beta to mainstream, carrying the mantle of the anti-FB social media site. Fine.

Nothing new here folks, just another social media site some would say. But no, it’s an invite only kinda thing. Ya gotta have a friend that had some kind of connection to be invited. That friend has the opportunity to invite five friends, and their five friends can invite five friends of their own, and so on, and so on (Sorry for sounding like a hair product commercial).

Brilliant! Genius! A great way to create a buzz, a want for something that not everyone can have. Admit it, you want it because not everyone can have it. Think though, for a moment, what else does that invite do? It eliminates a lot of the clutter you already have on other social sites.You can be selective as to who you want to listen to. A bit of ‘other web’ kind of thing going on.

I was fortunate enough to get one of those invites, by a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy. I gladly signed up, and started poking around. Not that the layout, design, or ‘catch words’ were like anything other, but there was a familiar feel about it. It is a brave new social media, in beta of course. There’s plans for other options and features coming soon. I posted my first piece of ‘noise’, perused the sections, and navigated my way around the site and other user profiles. Pretty cool. A quiet world of chatter in a not so quiet web. Artistic posts, some just out there, others, a bit more mundane, like mine. It’s new. Promising a divergence from ad based social media that’s been out there, collecting whatever information it can in order to hawk P&G products (I like P&G by the way).

Not to my surprise, I had been hearing folks caterwauling about FB selling them out, crying for an opportunity to have another social media outlet, one that was less bizzy and truly social based. Here it was, Ello. After a short while, I see ‘experts’ and others now complaining about their shiny new Ello toy on FACEBOOK.

“I was expecting a bit more. Hope they work out the ‘noise’ thing, because some of it is distracting and meanders.”

“Not impressed. Graphics are ok, kinda weird way of navigating around. Not as good as I thought it would be.”

Wow. Really?

They would have hated Zuck’s first versions of Facebook. Then they would have been unfriending Mark (just like I did at one point) because he was screwing around with the platform. Oh, by the way, that was before the ‘general public’ could access Facebook. Originally, you had to have a college e-mail address in order to access Facebook. My college e-mail address has been inactivate for the past seven years, but I keep it out there for my sign in because, well, I’m nostalgic that way.
I don’t want to forget my first tweet. Something about Thanksgiving dinner and a house ripped apart. No picture or graphics attachment, just a simple statement of what was going on. Yes, I probably tweeted about what I was cooking my family for dinner too. No InstaGram attached pic either, or a geo check-in. Basic. Simple.

If you can’t handle the beta….. oh no, I shouldn’t be so rude. Listen. If you really want an invite to Ello, I still have my five sitting out there. I am being very selective. I’ve done this whole social media thing before. I have an idea of how it might turn out. Hopefully I am wrong, dead wrong.



There's something to be said for believing, actually, a lot of things. 

You can believe in things and people. Sometimes believing is easy, many times, especially as we become jaded and older, it's far more difficult.  I believed in Santa Clause. He was pretty darn punctual with those presents. Showed up every year, just like I was told.  Never saw the jolly old elf, but I certainly believed in him. The thought of Saint Nick made me happy because, well, he was happy (and generous too).  Even when I began to doubt, when the whispers of classmates were too loud to ignore, I wanted to believe. There was a comfort in thinking that someone really took the time to care about, and act upon what I wanted, many times what I needed.

As I have progressed in my life, I have learned that to believe is an act of not just faith, but of courage. You have to possess courage when you believe in something. There's great risk of being hurt, and hurt badly by believing, shattered dreams, a broken heart. If you can't stomach the idea of the pain, it isn't worth believing.

The older I get, the more I realize that I could believe in just about anything, if I set my mind to it. It's a choice. A conscious decision that is made. A heart's hope that something that is held dear would come true. There are so many negative things in this world, sometimes, the only thing that keeps my heart from breaking completely, is that I believe.

I believe in second chances, that people can change (sometimes). I believe that there's got to be something better, that things will work out. I believe that despite all odds, there's a shot at making things right.  I believe that I deserve more, not out of self pity, nor of entitlement. No, because I've already struggled, hurt, bled, cried, paid my dues, in more than one way. I've already experienced the pains of dreams that went unfulfilled. I believe I am ready for that 'break'.

I believe that as long as there are people on this earth there will be hope, love, and an opportunity to make something not good, right. I believe that there is something about to change, a tremendous change, and many will not have seen it coming. I believe in children, animals, a God of my own understanding. I believe that time will tell, that my hurts will heal, that my children will be ok.

I believe that people are put in our lives for a specific reason, that there is a greater plan. I believe that our actions and reactions create our new reality of what was, what is, and what will be.

I believe, that for now, I will continue to believe.
Not because I go blindly, but because, for now, I really want to believe.

The Value and Worth of Social Media

There are two words that permeate the world of social media marketing ~ value and worth. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I Can See America from My Back Yard in Boston

The throngs of people weren't there in the suburbs waiting for the train to take them into town. Many of them had already made their way into Boston, or simply never left.  A change of schedule, a day in advance for the Boston Pops performance in tandem with the celebratory fireworks display over the Charles River had been moved to accommodate for mother natures own awesome display of power and grandeur, Hurricane Arthur was heading for the New England region, promising rain and wind to dampen the 4th of July festivities.

Bostonians don't care about weather, nor do they mind an inconvenient change of plans, just let it be known that they will do what they want, and if they have to, will move a national holiday celebration ~ they don't miss stuff like this.  Our country was built on the grit and determination that those in the Northeast exhibit.  Arthur be damned, celebrating our nation's birth was going to happen.

The train made its way through the suburbs, continuing on its routine pathway into the heart of the city, each stop closer, growing crowds of people, finally making their own traverse toward the great banks of the Charles.  The car we were riding in was full. There were couples and gaggles, families and groups of friends, all of them relaying what they planned on doing, where they had decided on going, and what ever came to mind during their very public conversations.  A family, speaking in an Asian dialect scurried into a car.  The children, younger than school age, were speaking in both their parents' native tongue, and then reviewing words, letters, and numbers in English with their parents.
A large group of high school students pushed their way to open seating in the middle of the car. Seated across from one another, they goaded one another with insults, teases and taunts, laughing loudly, apologizing to no one.

An extended family crammed into one corner of the car.  An uncle was explaining where they were going to get off.  One of the school aged children questioned whether they had lost the rest of their party, four or five cousins, a grandparent, and somewhere in the mix was Dad.  "Three stops.  That's what I told them.  They should be ok, and if not, well.... we'll  keep an eye out for them when we get off and make the switch to the Red Line."

Our stop arrived, and we made our way through the underground corridor leading to the Red Line.  The crowds had grown. So many people wearing the colors of our nation's flag.  A number of soon to be spectators had donned face paint or hair dye, as if to confirm the festive atmosphere that we were all about to experience.

"Charles/MGH"..... the voice informed us as the train cars clattered across the Charles River to the subway destination we were all looking for.  The doors opened, and the entire car emptied out onto the platform.  There was no real "where do we go" moment, you just were a part of this living, breathing, moving crowd that took over stairwells, moved through gates, and spilled out onto Storrow Drive.

The further down Storrow Drive we went, the larger, more dense the crowds became.  An entrance made of Jersey barriers and movable gates had been erected to guide people to checkpoints.  Working through the groups, a man wearing an Anonymous group shirt stood by, looking for someone off in the distance. His large frame towering over the crowd that moved around him.  An older gentleman held up his bike, balancing the box he had placed like a basket on the front.  He was replenishing the water bottles in the melting ice, hawking each bottle for a dollar. His hand scribbled note promising ice cold refreshment. 

There was a semblance of a line, a rumor being murmured through the crowd that there was a check point.  Two police officers had pulled aside three young men with backpacks, explaining that they would not be allowed into the venue, and that there had been numerous announcements about NOT bringing in coolers, bags and the like.  The conversation stayed and the wide line of people moved passed them.

Two men discussed the ramifications of having to change their weekend plans together. They had planned on a trip to 'P Town', but the storm had just wreaked all sorts of havoc with their long weekend.  It wasn't worth the trip, cancellations needed to be made.  They turned at one point and informed me that we would all be 'wanded' and that my purse might not make it past the checkpoint without being dumped out.  Two couples to my right were discussing a schooner trip, and how long it takes to get from Boston Harbor to the Hamptons. Chatting about their adult children's educational endeavors, a graduation had just taken place and a job had been had. This day in advance celebration was not an issue. What had become the issue was what to do with the extra day that would now be more 'down time' for them.

We made it in, not to the circle (the area you see on TV), but just behind that line of trees (the one's you see on TV).  You could still see the stage through the trees, but it wasn't really the stage we wanted.  It was the bursts of acrid sulphur shining brightly, shooting up into the air.  The colors, patterns, working in time with the music being played.

After singing the national anthem, everyone standing, surrounded by thousands, we all sat back down, chatted with our company, hummed to music.  A group of four twenty something guys, after lighting up a joint, invited another person who was sitting near them in another group.  A few moments later, there were police asking to speak with them.

The line for ice cream wound down in a long snake-like fashion along the banks of the Charles.  A few hours passed, and then, it happened.  An announcement.  Apparently Mother Nature was ready to unleash a precursor to what Boston was to expect within the next 24 hours.  The fireworks would be moved up, they would begin in a moment.  The crowds of people cheered loudly, happy that they were about to see the pyrotechnic show light up the night sky.  And then, another announcement: "Due to weather conditions, there will not be a 'grand finale' and the Pops will not be able to play the 1812 Overture." The crowd booed. Loudly. If they only knew that the great Tchaikovsky himself detested his own piece.

The fireworks display went off.....people moved, walked about, watching the illumination light up the skyscrapers, the facades of so many buildings on either side of the river.  As the show continued, we began to move toward what would be our 'escape' from the crowds.  Milling about, stopping for a snapshot, a glance of the aerial display, we made our way over to the Boylston Street stop. 

Just moments before entering the train station, lightning flashed above our heads. The taste of electric, intense, we made our way to the station before the throngs who had been occupying the Esplanade were officially evacuated.  Sitting on the ride home, I realized, there was not one walk of life that hadn't been represented there in Boston that evening. There were numerous dialects, from across my country, to across the world, that had converged on the space of green and ponds along the Charles River.  Why, I guess, that I love Boston so much. All of us, together, singing, dancing to the music being performed. Waiting, maybe not so patiently, for the fireworks that were going to go off, just out of sheer determination to celebrate what makes our country great ~ all of us.

The Final Hour

Her hand gripped the cold cylinder piped with fluid.  There was a tension in the air. Waiting.

Stomach in a knot, sweat making its way down the sides of her face. Heartbeat racing, sounding louder and louder with each passing second.

Each moment being measured by the ever pounding muscle responding to the angst.  Breathing faster, harder, her body screamed for oxygen, for a pure breath that would satiate.

The tension in the air, palpable. Nothing could cut through the anguish, the fear that hung like heavy winter drapes. Covering the room with a pall, the muffled silence amplified the moment.

Electric lighting, bland and tin like.  The artificial glow creating a washed out look of all that it touched. Buzzing current, coursing through copper lines, racing to its destination.  A cold surface, smooth and ungiving. Waiting. 

No warmth here, no love, no care.

Papers shuffled, quieted coughs, feet swinging. Waiting.

Over an hour passed, the final exam was done.


Feeling rather numb inside, I wake to another weekend in progress.

Nothing spectacular, just another Saturday.  There's laundry to fold, dishes to wash, floors to clean. My heart isn't into any of it.  My soul is quiet, almost not caring if it even exists. I wonder at times, whether it's my defense mechanism, or is it something more.

Sleep seems like an adequate escape, but one can only sleep for so long in a 48 hour period of time. Thinking isn't a good thing right now.... it is something that will only place me further away from everyone and everything. Maybe it's best, that I am further away. Maybe it's where I need to stay..... at least for now.

Heart Felt Questions

Our heart pumps life through our veins, and poets wax about it's vital part of our emotions. It goes on its business of keeping us going, literally and figuratively.

We discuss what is on our heart, in our heart of hearts, and look to seek our heart's content.  When things are going well, when the world's troubles are lifted from our psyche, our hearts are light. Spiritual things brings one to lift up your heart to the maker of your understanding. 

Our hearts ache when dealing with sadness or loss. Hearts have been stolen, most likely because they were worn on a sleeve.  When something is heart wrenching, it is as though it has been ripped from our being.

Oh, and lest we forget, heartbreak ~ there is actually medical proof that a heart feels those emotions of pain, like the one we experience when that first significant other decides that we no longer fulfill their needs, wants or desires, or we have been left behind by the one that we love so unconditionally.

If a heart could talk, speak to you directly, what would yours tell you?  Would it ask for you to be a bit more careful, or would it ask for freedom?

Would you have a Grinch-like issue, one of too small; or perhaps filled with blackness and hate, filled from absorbing all of the negatives in life?

Could you see your heart, pouring out all it had to give, invested in this life, the one you've been living all along?

Icy cold, after being conditioned to no longer feel, or is there a fire that burns deep, one that smolders, just waiting for oxygen to bring it full?

Is there something you could have done to safe guard it from the pain your decisions inflicted upon it, or was it guiding you all the way through your journey in this life?

If you were to ask your heart what it wants from you, would it be able to answer, to be true?

My Happy Place

A dear, close friend asked me an interesting question the other day: 'Is there any place in the world that you would be happy?'

The comment was spawned, I believe, by my bite of sarcasm, my tear apart of what ever domicile address that I have had.  I have lived in rural locales, small cities, larger ones, cold weather climes, and a sub tropical location.  Now, looking to foster my passions, I look to other places, once again.

To answer my dearest, sweetest friend: Yes. There are places that I have been happy. It is not necessarily the location, but the frame of mind, the state of being, that I have visited. 

The ski slope on a cold winter's night, ablaze with torches, lighting up individual snow flakes like ever so many tiny diamonds; the frigid air biting at my face. 

The moonlit horseback ride through the outback of saw grass and palmetto, where the steady trod of the horses hoof could put a soul into a trance, as the melody of frogs and crickets played simultaneously as a musical accompaniment.

A walk, on an early spring day, where the last vestige of autumn blooms cling resiliently to the edges of its branches.  Spanish moss hanging loosely over the arms and limbs of old southern oak trees, swaying ever so slightly in the air, and catching sail in the afternoon breeze that kisses my cheek.

Walking on sugar sand, along with my daughter, listening to the waves rolling into the shoreline. Sun caressing my skin, warming my bones with its intense touch. Speaking of nothing in particular, but discussing of what is on our hearts at that moment in time.

The ride along winding country roads, littered with the last colors of autumn's paint.  Leaves swirling  in tiny cyclones as I drive past them, listening to my music, singing along to familiar tunes.

Sitting at Nubble Light, or Hammond's Castle. Walking on Bayshore Boulevard, or dinner with a view of the Custom House.  Pancakes at a sugar shack, the  Ottauquechee running beside me. Dancing in a venue to a musical group, singing to the top of my lungs.

A moment, my dearest sweetest, not a place, and more often than not, a stolen moment in time. That is where I am most happy.

A Slice of Pie and a Slim Jim

Went to "Pie Night" at the local Village Inn.... it's a little tradition that some of my friends and I have created over the past few years. Just a little time to hang out, vent about the week, grab a bite to eat, and laugh at the things we'd rather cry about.  It's a hodge podge of folks, and it suits us fine. 

I ordered only coffee tonight, as I had already eaten dinner with the kids at home. The coffee came, the conversations ebbed and flowed with the pour of the dark liquid. There were discussions of what our kids were doing, the Dubai races and political state of affairs there, the celebration of a friend's personal victory.  As usual, there's always the moment of 'If I only knew then, what I know now" comments, and a chuckle from all, recognizing that we all learn from our life adventures.  We go for pie, more for the moral and emotional support, the food's a bonus.  As we delve into the theoretical discussion of what love is, agape, the different stages, and how age and opportunity factors into one's perception of 'true love', if there truly is such a thing, the conversation slows and our evening winds down.

Goodbyes being said, one by one, each of us left the tables where our group had been seated.  A dear friend, who is old enough to be my father, was the last to leave along with me.  Thinking that most of our friends had left already, we walked out the door to find a group of our friends still standing out front.  Hovered around a white SUV donning tags from Texas, our friends seemed quite interested in what was inside the vehicle.

Three women, a mother and her college age girls, were hovering with the group. A miniature Scottish Terrier, dressed in a sparkly warm dress and a rhinestone collar, danced around the front of the vehicle, yipping away at the people wandering around her territory. She was ferocious.... in a cute way.  Made certain that everyone knew that she had owners, they were right there, and as small as she was, SHE was in control. 

The tiny terrier had been guarding her territory while her Mistresses were inside, getting a quick bite to eat. Apparently, in the excitement of people walking near to the vehicle, she jumped onto the armrest of a door, inadvertently hitting the electric lock switch.  It probably would not have been an issue, if it were not for the small detail that the SUV was left running, you know, keys in the ignition kind of running.... with the other set of keys hanging uselessly in a suburban home somewhere in the Houston area.

As the locksmith promised no less than an hour or more wait, the local authorities informed the women that nothing could be done on their behalf, unless it was a child, and if it WAS a child, there might be legal ramifications.

Don't ask me why, 'cause I  didn't ask why he had one, (OK, I did ask, but he wouldn't tell), but a sweet young man from our crew of comrades came forward with a slim jim.  Working first on the front passenger window, he tried valiantly for almost 15 minutes to work the lock, then took a short break. The little dog, running back and forth, began jumping onto the arm rests of the door once again.  Walking up to the passenger door, I tapped ever so lightly on the front portion of the window, calling to her.

The whirling sound of electronically mechanized locks came, not just once, but at least 5 times within a few moments of each paw hit. The delicate pads, hitting on the lock portion, again and again.  Each time, I grabbed for the door handle, pulling, hoping that the sound signified the doors unlocking. The women, all standing on the sidewalk, as strangers tried to break into their SUV, ever more frustrated over their dilemma.

I backed away and joined the women, trying to reassure them that it would be just a minor inconvenience, and that there would be a great story of their trip to Tampa and their canine catastrophe that waylaid them from an extra two hours of sleep.  In the meantime, my dear buddy was back at it again, using the jimmy on the rear passenger door window.

Eventually, without much ceremony, and with two county sheriffs looking on, the back window rolled down, and my dear friend unlocked the vehicle for the travelling souls.  We clapped, cheered a little, gave him hugs, and then proceeded to say goodbye to our new acquaintances from the Lone Star State. 

As we walked to our own vehicles, calling out to one another, saying our weekly goodbyes, the younger of the 'rescued' women came running up to the young man that liberated their pooch. She handed him a white bag, filled with slices of pie, a thank you gesture. Being the gentleman that he is, he smiled, accepted the pastry, and hopped into his old truck.  As his truck engine came to life, the young woman ran back again, this time with cash in her hand, a smile, and another thanks.

It wasn't a really eventful night, but, I can assure you that those ladies from Houston, who thanked us just because we stayed with them, assured them, will have a story to tell.  My buddy has gas money tonight, three women are grateful for the persistence and caring hearts of some strangers, and I have warm memories of a caring soul who wasn't going to give up until he found a solution.

None of us will probably be able to think of or see a piece of pie again, not without thinking about a dog and a slim jim.