One week ago I started my day in the most productive way. Up earlier than necessary, got tons of extra chores done and still managed to make it out the door with 20 minutes to spare. Chalk it up to a gut feeling telling me to do as much as possible as soon as possible.
While backing out of the garage to make a run to the mailbox around the corner, noticed my new roommate had left her window open all night. Oh well, not the end of the world, right? So I grabbed the mail, came back to the house to run upstairs and close the window. Forecast called for a wonderful sunny CO day, free of rain, wind or hail. Again, gut feeling told me to close that sucker up. Done and done. (Coincidentally, that night it rained and poured and hailed in proportions not seen in years. Yay for gut feelings!)
Minutes after leaving home, my truck broke down. 4 blocks from home it gave up the ghost and refused to accelerate. Uh oh. And that sinking feeling in my stomach where I know that something is REALLY wrong came to stay.
Called AAA, called my truck dealership, called work to say I'd be late, and called my Dad for advice. And I Twittered. Of course I Twittered.
Almost immediately my friend Tom tweeted that he would come pick me up if I needed a pickup and I was free to stay with he and Dale. Just like that, no questions asked. Cause that is how Tom and Dale roll. They've rescued me in the past and I can't think of a crisis I've gone thru where they weren't there for me in one way or another.
Wound up having my truck towed to the Dealer and got a shuttle ride into work. My stomach was in full-on stress mode, since I don't exactly live close to work. Not close at all.
Long story short, the news was not good (as in horrible) and it became apparent I needed to find a way to get back and forth to work for the next week. So I accepted Tom & Dale's kind offer to stay in their beautiful home while my truck was in the Isuzu ER.
Something you may not know about me is that I have a very hard time accepting help. Giving help? No problem! I am there...I'm your chick. But accepting? It's difficult...always has been. I always feel like I must repay and repay the act of kindness right away. Add to that a small degree (some of you would say huge boatload) of control-itis (total control freak here) Do I require or expect that from those that I help? Oh hell no...not all. I'm a big fan of paying it forward. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, all that goes out the window.
Please understand this is just me being the quirky unique individual that I am. I was told repeatedly by both Tom and Dale to 'relax..don't worry..everything is fine...we are happy to help'. And they were. And are. It was humbling for me to accept, especially being in a situation where I could not repay immediately...not even close. I've had this happen while staying with other friends too. That's just how I am.
So over this last week I looked for the lesson in all of this. What could I learn? How could I grow as a person? How could I be the best houseguest possible? And how to graciously and lovingly accept help from two wonderful friends that neither asked or expected anything in return?
We don't really know WHY something happens...all we can do...all I can do...is guess and deduce and go with what feels right.
Maybe Isuzu needed the business? Maybe Tom and Dale really really really wanted to catch up with me? Maybe Tom wanted an iPhone cohort to discuss why AT&T stupidly does not provide more than 2 bars at any given time to his cell? Possibly it was meant that I meet Tom & Dale's wonderfully funny neighbors Sam & Anjanette? Maybe I needed to be in the presence of two people who truly and deeply love each other and live as deeply committed and loving partners? (Always a plus to witness a loving relationship, no matter what the circumstance). Maybe I needed a reminder that love does happen and when it happens, it's wonderful..and that wonderfullness can give hope to others that might (might??) be open to the same thing but haven't been lucky enough to have it happen to them just yet. And just maybe it was meant that I wind up getting a free 1 day rental from my truck dealer and finding out that Nissan Sentra's are pretty zippy little cars that get really good gas mileage. Finally, it could be nothing more than my truck wanting some 'me' time...who knows?
I left Tom & Dale's lovely house (with their equally lovely and darling doggies Millie & Zoe) tonite shortly after work. Some good karma came my way and I was able to keep my rental car for another day so I took that as a sign to come home.
Tom and Dale, you both are wonderful friends. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you the most. You both went above and beyond and you will never know how much your kindness means to me. Finally, thanks for reminding me that life's not always about giving...it's also about receiving.
Message received, loud and clear.
Today is the birthday of someone that's very dear to me. Normally he's near to me too, just not today cause he's celebrating his birthday in London with the love of his life, who is also very near and dear to me.
It's Tom's birthday. He and Dale are celebrating in England while they are on their whirlwind European tour. I don't know if they will see a whirlwind, or if Dale will surprise Tom with a whirlwind while they are there...you never know with Dale. Or Tom, for that matter.
I met Tom and Dale thru the internet (thanks Micah ), which is nothing new these days and certainly nothing new in my life. Micah profiled Tom's blog, I started reading, Tom started reading mine, and then one day out of the blue, Tom and Dale popped into work with several hot fresh cookies straight from Mrs. Field's oven. Cause I was having a bad day. That's just the kind of people Tom and Dale are...always thinking of everyone else.
So we continued to comment, they continued to drop by to say hi to surprise me, and finally (last year during the DNC) Tom and I actually had a chance to sit down and chat. And it was awesome. Just like Tom. And Dale.
So many people always talk about 'Social Media' and the value it can bring to a business. Page hits, site rankings, followers...it's all the rage. For me, Social Media is about the 'SOCIAL'. The people you meet and how they grow from being blogs or Twitterers or even Facebook Friends to friends that you care about and interact with. Then one day it's like you've known them all your life and you can't imagine your life without them in it.
Much like I feel about Tom and Dale.
Tom, your birthday present is back here, waiting for your return
Thanks to you and Dale for being such wonderful friends and having me as a friend as well.
Have a wonderful birthday my dear friend, and if the Queen won't take time out to have you over for a spot of tea, that's her loss.