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.