Friday, September 29, 2006

McDreamy vs McVet

Boy! Some people have the toughest lives! Here the rest of us are, working, paying bills, dealing with personal issues, and poor Meredith Grey: she has to choose between Patrick Dempsey and Chris O'Donnell!! Which one will she choose?

I really don't care that much about the Meredith Grey character (I like the Izzy character better), but I do envy her romantic options! I also loved how she presented both gentlemen with the opportunity to date her. That was classy! I wish more single women thought of that option instead of staying with whomever they're sleeping with until/unless something better comes along.

Of course, now that I think about it, I'm not sure which is the better choice: McDreamy is, of course, McDreamy. He has a personality that suggests confidence with women, he's a doctor, he's, well, totally McDreamy, and he seems to be fairly decisive and committed about his relationships: he "flung" with Grey after he found his wife in bed with his best friend. Having realized that he has fallen in love with Meredith, he ended his marriage (albeit after trying to patch up his marriage once his wife moved to Seattle to follow him).

But, McVet has something to offer, too. For one thing, he is a widower - death of a spouse scores higher (at least in my book) than a divorce, because he kept his vows: 'Til death us do part. For another, he has "plans" - he has a future in mind that isn't just a series of sleepovers. He has that boyish charm thing going for him, he's compassionate with animals - he's a veterinary doctor, besides, which is still a member of the medical profession, and he's not giving up without a fight.

I don't know. It's going to be an interesting season. I have to say, though: while I'm pulling for Finn (and hey, if anyone knows someone like Finn who happens to be single, at least 6'2" and 40-something years old, feel free to give him my email address!!), he'd be easier to write out of the show than McDreamy would. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What Dreams May Come

Dreams are funny things. Most of the time, I don't remember mine. Occasionally, I'll remember something about one or two, but for the most part, they don't stick in my conscious memory long enough to make any lasting impression. When I do tend to remember, it's usually because the dream comes in the morning, when I'm really supposed to be getting up and getting ready for work or whatever.

This morning was one of those mornings, though, when I didn't want to get up. I dreamed about seeing my grandparents, who have been dead for years, at a picnic. Only they didn't look like they did the last times I saw them; they looked like themselves only I don't remember ever seeing them like that - my grandfather was 58 years old when I was born, and my grandmother was 57 years old. I've seen pictures of them, although not very many, but what I remember of the pictures was not what they looked like in my dream.

The other thing was, my grandfather on my dad's side was there, too, and I've never met him. He died when my dad was 8 years old, but I saw him. Other people were there that I knew were family and old friends, although I don't have a sense of who they were. It was just weird - good weird, but weird.

If I had to draw a conclusion about the dream, I would say that it felt like a reunion, only a reunion in the hereafter. I don't normally dream of heaven - I know it's there, and I know I will be there and I know that members of my family who knew the Lord will be there. And honestly, this didn't feel like a dream of heaven, in the sense that the place wasn't the focus - the focus was the people.

The best part about it was that my grandma hugged me. When I woke up, I could still feel where her cheek had pressed against mine. It was so tangible and real that I tried to go back to sleep to find her, only I couldn't.

I've been trying to figure out why I would have a dream like that now, and while there is probably a certain amount of "cell-memory" at work in the sense that the dates of birthdays and anniversaries tend to bring up memories of those events whether you're conscious of them or not, the other side of that is that everyone will die. Where they spend eternity depends on the answer to one question: what did you do with Jesus?

I took this from Billy Graham's website because I think he explains it well. If you've never heard this before, please take some time to read it now.

Step 1: God's Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life—abundant and eternal.

The Bible says ...

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." —Romans 5:1 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)

Why don't most people have this peace and abundant life that God planned for us to have?

Step 2: The Problem: Our Separation
God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.
We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God

The Bible says ...

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Our Attempts to Reach God

People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God ...

The Bible says ...

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." —Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." —Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

No bridge reaches God ... except one.

Step 3: God's Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.

The Bible says ...

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ."
—1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."
—1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
—Romans 5:8 (NIV)

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Step 4: Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.

The Bible says ...

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will
come in and eat with him, and he with me."
—Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to
become children of God."
—John 1:12 (NIV)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised
Him from the dead, you will be saved."
—Romans 10:9 (NIV)
Where are you?

Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?

Here is how you can receive Christ:
1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.
(Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

For more information, please visit:

Monday, September 25, 2006

No offense....

Why is it that people feel perfectly comfortable saying the most horrid things, so long as they follow it with "no offense," or "if I'm mistaken, I apologize?"

1) At the very end of a deposition last week, the other attorney asked to make a statement for the record, during which he stated that a document that had been produced appeared to have been "doctored." Turned out, he had the wrong document, and had he acted like a human being and asked about it without being accusatory, he would have resolved his question without the drama. Instead, he had to make a court record out of his mistaken assumption, only to follow with "if my recollection is incorrect, I apologize."

2) After I won a motion (also last week but in a different case), the other attorney decided to backstop his argument by seeking testimony from an expert - which is not only smart but should have been done before the evidentiary hearing. When the results of that test call my witness's credibility into question, he sends me a copy with a request to "call me." When I do, he proceeds to suggest that I was complicit in the witness's testimony about the timing of certain events, and that he wouldn't want to suggest that I had done anything improper. The hell he didn't! A) I wasn't complicit in the witness's testimony, because B) the witness offered what was a logical explanation - he had had open heart surgery. The Court recognized the explanation as a valid one for a time delay, and it ruled in my client's favor appropriately. But he didn't mean to "imply" that I had done anything wrong.... Yeah, right.

The next time someone says something like that and follows it with some nonsense that is supposed to negate the effect of what they just said, I'm going to have to have something to say. I don't know what it is yet, but I'm going to think of something good to come back with that should (hopefully) either shut them up (if they're just insensitive) or point them out as the sniping bullies they really are.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fall is really here

The weather this summer has not been that bad. Really. It could have been a lot worse. I still am overjoyed that the cooler temperatures and brisker breezes have finally arrived in southeast Michigan. I went to Frankenmuth yesterday with some friends, and it was almost perfect. I'm planning to go back, because as great as it was yesterday, it would've been even better if the leaves had turned, but we haven't had enough cold yet - I think that's what makes the leaves change.

Anyway, if you're ever in Michigan, Frankenmuth is a must-see stop on your travels. It's an interesting village, and while the tourist attractions have attempted to swallow the original place, I found this bit of history from the website (yes, they have a website! - this is an edited excerpt):

Wilhelm Loehe, pastor of a country church in Neuendettelsau, Mittelfranken, in the Kingdom of Bavaria, organized a mission society, which is still in operation today, to train teachers and pastors for work in the United States. His idea was an experiment to send a mission congregation with a dual purpose: to give spiritual comfort to the German pioneers in the Midwest, specifically the Saginaw Valley, and to show the native Indians in the area "Wie gut und schön es ist Jesus zu sehen" (how good and wonderful it is to see Jesus).

The pastor of a Swabian settlement in Michigan recommended a location along the Cass River in Michigan, and Loehe approved it, naming it "Frankenmuth," from the German word "Franken" (representing the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria), and the German word "Muth" (meaning courage). The city name Frankenmuth means "courage of the Franconians."

Thirteen people, mostly farmers from the area around Neuendettelsau (eight were from Rosstal) volunteered to form the colony. Loehe selected Pastor August Craemer, a graduate of Erlangen University who was, in 1844, teaching German at Oxford, England, to train to be the mission colony's pastor and leader.

Loehe also started three other German colonies in Michigan. His purpose was not to start another mission colony, but to cluster German Lutherans together in Michigan.
Farms were set up in long, narrow strips along one road so that all the houses could be built close to each other, more like a German "dorf." A fourth colony, started in 1850, had a different purpose: to help poor and/or unmarried Germans to lead new and better lives.

Immigration continued through the end of the 19th century as friends and relatives of settlers joined them in Michigan. Many were craftsmen and businessmen who continued their same trades here. Frankenmuth established a reputation for its flour, saw and woolen mills. They also produced beer, cheese, and sausage. A half dozen hotels served travelers. Agricultural and self-sustaining businesses were the norm.

Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland open in 1945. If you've never been to (or heard of) Bronner's, it is a destination adventure in itself - it's always Christmas there, no matter what day of the year it is, and their selection of Christmas ornaments and other things is remarkable.

After World War II, the development of interstate highways led the community into the visitor industry and the town capitalized its assets. In 1958/59, the Zehnder family redecorated the Fischer Hotel in an "Alpine-style" architecture, renaming it the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn. The Bavarian Inn Grand Opening was held in 1959, and the celebration was later developed into annual Bavarian Festival.

The expansion and development of the area into a Michigan tourist destination has continued apace - I was kind of surprised at how commercial much of the shopping outside the city proper has become even since I was there last, but it was still a lot of fun to go to the shops, and they seem to find things I haven't seen anywhere else.

Good way to open Fall!! :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.....

Yikes. It's amazing how time flies - I only wish it flew because I was having fun, but alas, that was not entirely the case.

The quick rundown:

After I posted my 9/11 tribute, I kind of gave it some space - some air time, so to speak - where it would be at the top of the blog. For one thing, my programming skills are still somewhat non-existent, and for another, I was kind of overcome by so many of the other tributes that people wrote. I know it's been 5 years, but still.

During that week, I was trying to get caught up on work, only the phone kept ringing!! My parents were coming to town, too, so I also was busy getting my house ready for their visit. They arrived in the evening on Friday the 15th, and my mom and I stayed up until about 1:00 a.m. that night/morning just yakking.

Saturday the 16th, one of my dear friends from work met my mom, my dad and I for brunch. Then, we went home and hung out until we left to go to my aunt's and uncle's for dinner (this is my mom's sister and her husband). Then, my dad and I left there and went to the Tigers game - which was fortunate, because it's the last game they've won in the past few days! - and we had a good time. We got home before my mom, who stayed and hung out with her sister, so that was good.

Sunday, my dad went to his former church's 20th anniversary (he'd been the pastor there for 10 of those 20 years, so he participated in the service), and my mom and I played hooky! We hung out, talked, went to the bookstore and the library to look up stuff, and just had a nice day. My mom was thrilled that my local library was actually open on Sundays, since the one by their house isn't. Plus, it's a great library, so we were able to find what she was looking for.

By Monday morning, I had to be someplace extra early, so I left the house at about 7:00 a.m. They left later and got home OK, and the time between now and then is a bit of a blur. I had a bankruptcy court hearing Monday afternoon that lasted until after 6:00 p.m.!! I won, but it was really late. Yesterday, I had a hearing in the late morning that didn't go because a witness was unavailable, so we had to adjourn that, and today, I had another thing that just got over with around 1:00 p.m. I have things tomorrow and I don't think I get a break in the action until Friday.....

So that's why I've been away! :) Aren't you glad you know? Hope things are well with you, and I will try to think of good things to write about between now and the next time.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dreaming big dreams

I'm in a motivational rut right now. It's partly because our company announced yesterday that it was hiring someone I have worked with in the past and found to be difficult to get along with - her father is a judge, and she had the entitlement attitude you would expect. In our last co-employment situation, I had her fired.

It's also partly because I'm at "that age" where I feel like should be in a different place than I am. Yes, I've bought my own place. Yes, I've been in this job for longer than I've ever had a job in my life. Yes, I'm at a point where I can actually visualize paying off my student loans sometime before I die (it's still a ways off, but it's a lot more realistic now than it was 3 years ago).

The thing is, I don't really know what to do next. I didn't think I wanted to be a partner in my firm - partners are generally very nice people, but I have little concept of how my life would change if I got there, and the evidence I've seen is that those changes would require more of what I already don't have enough of: time, energy, focus, money, business, etc.

On the other hand, though, if I don't have something to shoot for, I know I will not maintain any acceptable (to me) level of productivity and "moving forward" in my career or in my life. I don't know what my childhood visions of what my life would be like were, but I'm pretty sure they weren't this.

And that's part of the question: what do I want my life to be like? I don't want to have the big house on the lake, or the power boat, or the country club membership where everybody knows me. Those things all come with strings: the house on the lake costs more in taxes and insurance, plus upkeep; the boat is subject to rapid depreciation, plus you have the same issues with taxes/insurance/upkeep; and, the country club membership is hugely expensive just to get in the door, never mind the cost of keeping up appearances so that you aren't the weakest link in the social chain.

Aside from which, unless one has a substantial bank account (which I don't), the money needed to fund that lifestyle just requires more time working - either actually putting in time that gets billed out to the clients, or bringing in business (which again requires a certain level of capital investment).

What I really want is a job that pays me enough to take care of my mortgage, my insurance, and my basic living expenses (including student loans), and leaves me something over and above those things to go out to dinner once in a while, maybe see a movie, go visit my family a couple of times a year, and put something away for the future.

The more I think about it, the more I think I might need to do some serious re-training, because nursing (while not the glamour and glitz one would expect from 10 seasons of "E.R.") seems to offer pretty much that life: you work (at a pretty decent hourly wage, sometimes with shift-differential and overtime), they pay you, you get benefits (that usually can include 401K, etc., just like I have now), and you don't have all of the same patients waiting for you plus the new ones that came in if you aren't there for a couple of days.

Plus, think of the different reactions at parties: "I'm a nurse" versus "I'm a lawyer." Dating options would certainly be different - caring female nurturer persona versus killer shark. Hm. Why did I not think of this sooner?

I talked to my mom about this. She was a nurse for over 30 years and left for health reasons, but she still thinks of going back to it. I talked to her this afternoon about my idea - it's a back-up plan in case things with this new addition to our professional staff go sideways, but the more I talked to her and the more I thought about it, the more I wonder whether this isn't such a bad thing to pursue regardless.

She was making $80,000 a year as a nurse working 3-4 days a week, 12-hour shifts, plus shift-differential and weekend pay/overtime. Granted, she was working in coronary intensive care, and the educational upgrades were a little intimidating at times, but the reality was, she was good at it - she just couldn't cope with the stress of their financial situation on top of the job pressures. She said that there would be no reason I couldn't make the same money after about 3 years or so if I wanted to just be a nurse, but I could make considerably more than that with my degree.

I have to admit: the idea of changing careers and going into something that I would have at least one built-in mentor (my mom's sister-in-law is also a nurse with unmatched administrative experience), plus my mom's brother is a doctor. That would be better than continuing to flounder in a profession where, yes I've accomplished a lot by doing what I've been doing, but where I've had to feel my way along with minimal mentoring and guidance.

Most lawyers, God bless them, are too busy to do the mentoring that people need to be truly successful in their profession. As an example of the difference it can make, my sister, who is a major in the U.S. Army with almost 20 years in, gets regular mentoring from someone in the Army - not just in the career decisions she makes, but also in the financial aspects of maximizing her income.

As a result, she has the option of taking a civilian position in the same department doing essentially the same type of work she's doing now, and after about 5 years she won't have to work. Ever. Because she will have a pension and benefits that, coupled with her investments, will provide her with a level of income that will support her for the rest of her life.

To be sure, there is a certain amount of pique on my part because her pension, although deserved for her service in Desert Storm and since, will be at my (taxpayer) expense, but still: that's what I would like to have had in my profession and career, and it's not there. It's not there for most people working in most jobs anymore - the days of the company pension where you spend your life working for a corporation and they provide a retirement for you when you reach a certain amount of time in or a certain age are gone.

Yes, it's a bit of an entitlement attitude - and yes, I can see the irony - but the opportunities to effectively manage the alternatives are few and far between. You'd have to have bought your own home outright (no mortgage) with sufficient land to eventually produce vegetables, maybe a few chickens or goats for eggs, milk and cheese (unless you wanted to keep a cow or two), and even then, you'd have to be able to generate enough income to keep up the place plus pay taxes on it every year. Probably, you would want to keep a cow & chickens so that you had fresh manure to renourish the soil so your vegetables would give you more than just something to eat, too.

God forbid you get sick or need to be hospitalized for anything, because the medical expenses could wipe you out, unless you were in a community where the doctor didn't depend so heavily on actual money coming in that he (or she) could either barter or outright give you medical care or treatment.

When was the last time you talked to anyone who could say those things about their lives?

Anyway, something to think about.

It matters to this one

There is a story told to young trial lawyers about this classic opening statement for a personal injury trial:

A man walking along a beach spies a child picking up starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the sea. He ask the child, "Why are you wasting your time at this? They just come back after you throw them in, and look how many there are! You'll never get them all back into the water."

The child answers, "But it matters to this one, and to this one, and to this one...."

The people who died on September 11, 2001, had families. When I thought about whether it would matter if I or anyone else posted a tribute to any of those who lost their lives in that attack, I thought of this story. It matters to this one. It matters to the families to know that people remember their loss, their grief, their anger, their pain.

And as much as it matters to the families, it matters to us, too. Whether we agree with the choices made in the wake of the 9/11 attack, our lives have been irrevocably changed, much like the lives of our parents or grandparents were changed after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and possibly like the lives of those families who survived the Holocaust were changed.

The balance to tragedy, war and grief is remembrance. Remember the ones who were lost. Talk about them, what they might be like, what their favorite flavor of ice cream was, whether they followed the Mets or the Yankees, the Cubs or the Sox.

My person is Edward T. Fergus, age 40, of Wilton, Connecticut. I did a little checking online, and I found that he was a husband, a father of two children, a "junior", an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald, and a boating enthusiast. He graduated from St. Michael's College in 1983.

I cannot imagine the loss his family feels because he is not at the table for celebrations. He will miss his children's graduations and weddings, his parents' anniversaries, his wife's birthdays. He will miss family vacations and the time to sit and reflect on the ups and downs of business, life, and love. There is a beautiful tribute to his memory on here.

According to The Hartford Courant, he enjoyed the outdoors and spending time working on his lawn and home (from neighbor Lisa Crosby). Fergus, his wife, Linda, and their children moved from Norwalk to Wilton a year before the Courant article ran. As a family they hiked, skied and enjoyed boating.

His family will miss his presence and his influence - his children will need someone else to whom to take their troubles, their questions about decisions they have to make, their stories and their laughter. He will not see their weddings. He will not see his grandchildren, and his grandchildren will never know their grandfather. His wife will not have her husband's hand to hold during each of those moments, and if he has a daughter, she will not have her father to walk her down the aisle. If he has a son, his son will not be able to ask his dad about what it means to be a father. There are skills he had, family traditions he held and memories he knew that are lost forever because of that day.

What will this tribute matter, really, to anyone? It will matter to this one - his family, his friends, his colleagues - to know that somewhere, people remember him and the impact he had on those he loved.

This is supposed to be a tribute, and I hope I've succeeded in that effort. However, I would like to make it a little more than that. I'd like to make it a bit of an exhortation to those of us who remain among the living: whatever it is you've been meaning to do, do it now. Write the letters, make the phone calls, mend the wounds, reach out to those you love but haven't had time for in a while. Understand that you can't fix everything - not in a moment, not in a day, not (maybe) in a lifetime, but that you can take one step toward a different future. Because some day, it will matter to someone.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Sharing violation

The biggest and most important lesson of childhood (after potty training and "please" and "thank you") is how to share. You learn to share toys, snacks, clothes, shoes, Barbies (distinguished from actual toys because they're, well, Barbies), and ... parents.

As the oldest of four, I had to learn to share mommy and daddy early - before I was a year old - because my sister was born 13 months and 1 day after I was. Supposedly, I had that whole first year to myself, but the reality was, I had about 4-6 months before my mom started getting morning sickness and hormone fluctuations that accompanied her pregnancies.

By the time my oldest brother was born, I was 7 (and a half!), so I knew the drill pretty well; my sister was not so astute. Her nose got out of joint at no longer being the baby, and it's still a bit out of joint to this very day. My youngest brother's birth when I was almost 10 completed the tribe. While my sister felt some solidarity with him (he was the baby boy, but she was still the baby girl), she and my oldest brother are still somewhat competitive.

Flash-forward 42 years, and we have learned a little better to share. Not much better but a little better. :) Thus, I can say with complete honesty that I am totally digging the fact that I am getting SO much more parent time this year than my siblings!! Granted, my brother lives the closest and as a result, his kids get to spend time with their Nana whenever possible, but that's only because of proximity.

My folks are coming for a visit next weekend, my dad and I are going to a Tigers game (go Tigers!!), and my mom and I are already planning how we're going to handle the Sunday portion of the weekend (there is a 20th anniversary of a church my dad pastored for about 10 years, and she doesn't want to go.... We're working on that...) There may be a little hooky involved. We won't go into details.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Home again, home again

I hope you all had a good labor day weekend. I had a really good time in Alabama visiting my family. My parents are finally getting their second wind after their visit to Venezuela in July & August. My brother (a marine policeman in the Cullman area) and his family are doing fine. I got to see their place, and it looks nice: my sister in law is really good at choosing home decor; no matter what she starts with, she has a way of making things look really "together" and cozy, and I SO wish I had that gene!!

My mom & I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning out the garage. My sister in law and her three girls came over to see us Saturday morning about 10:30-11:00 a.m. - and my mom and I were still sleeping, because it had been a long drive for me the day before, and of course, we didn't go to bed until late because we were up all evening talking! :)

Anyway, we got up, had something to eat/drink, and spent a little time with her and the girls before they left to go to their little cousin's third birthday party. That was when my mom and I ended up cleaning out part of the garage. After that, we walked around their yard - they have 2 or 3 acres, I think. It's hard to tell because of the shape of the lot and because a chunk of it in back is sort of overgrown. Plus, they have a garage, two outbuildings/sheds, and a playhouse on the property in addition to the house, so it's size is deceptive.

My mom wants to do all this gardening and planning for a nice yard, and they have the room to do it, but it's a lot to keep up, and her back and legs won't let her do the things she did 20-30 years ago. My dad's physical condition is worse, so between the two of them, they have a hard time doing things when the weather is hot, which is 5-6 months out of the year, so sometimes, things get away from them a bit. That was why I worked on the garage. At least this time, I didn't end up with a massive spider bite!! :)

Sunday was church, and Monday was kind of a lay low and relax day. We left for Cullman at about 1:30 p.m., because my brother wouldn't get off work until later, and it takes an hour and a half to get there. We wound up leaving their house at about 8:30, but it worked out fine. I'm trying to get them to come up to Michigan for a visit - just them and their kids - and I hope they can come.

Tuesday was the day I'd reserved to drive home, and let me tell you, I am really glad I did that. My right front tire blew out right around Dayton, and I was so thankful that there were kind people to stop and help me set the jack and to direct me to the right tire place where I could get a new tire. This nice man stopped because he thought it wouldn't be safe for a woman to change a tire out on the highway alone, and while we were changing the tire, the freeway patrol stopped and made sure everything was OK - actually watched to make sure I got back on the road safely, which was nice.

Then, as I realized I wouldn't be able to drive from Dayton to Detroit on my little donut spare, I pulled off where I saw a Goodyear tire place. They didn't have the right size tire, but they directed me back to this other place - Cooper Tires, right off of I-75 - where Kim (bless her heart) checked her stock to see if she had a tire that would fit my car. When she didn't have it, she called the Tires Unlimited place down the road (all of these places were within about 2 blocks of each other), and they had what I needed. She told me where to go to get there, told me who to ask for, and was so nice about it!

Then, the Tires Unlimited people were nice enough to sell me the right size tire for what I could pay for it - I had told them I only had about $40 to spend, and they found something new that fit - and they put the tire on and sorted everything out. It was fortuitous (yeah, right!! :) ) that all of this happened where/when it did, because the tire place closed at 6:30-7:00 p.m., and I could have been stranded overnight.

Puppy-boy and I were tired when we got home, but thankfully, we got home in one piece - and we slept in this morning!! :) My folks are coming up for a visit in a couple of weeks to attend my dad's former church's 20th anniversary, so they will be here before we know it. There's nothing like having family around, and I am so glad I had the time to spend with mine this weekend. However, there is nothing quite like being in your own house with your own bed and your own pillow..... (Sigh!) There really is no place like home.

BTW: Not to brag, but my little Honda Civic got about 31 MPG for the trip. 1335 miles round trip, 12-gallon tank, about 1 gallon left at each end, 4 tanks of gas. All things considered, that's pretty good. Also, gas was cheaper in central & southern Ohio than it was in Alabama or in Michigan. Go figure.....