I now have the attention of my mother and she is going to wonder what am I blaming Susan for halfway around the world..so to relieve her worries, the explanation is this...more than a few years ago my sister told me about a cute conversation she had with our niece about listening in on phone conversations...she was maybe 8 or 9 at the time and felt very strongly the only way to find anything out was to help herself to her mother's or her grandmother's phone calls when she could get away with it. It was a very serious conversation on her part and I'm sure at one time or another we've all been there...sorry mom! Listening in on other conversations on the surface can be and is considered quite rude...however, stay with me here...I have to admit that if I had not overheard certain conversations throughout the years and acted on them, I wouldn't be writing about the small world experiences that I've had today. Susan will be happy to hear that in a way I have taken her advice and thanks to her, appropriately, I am not shy anymore about tuning in or asking people too many questions because I believe we all are looking for the same thing...something in common and a friendly face in a place that's not so familiar...yet. The latest one happened not long ago in our sports complex where Matt and I go to torture ourselves in the gym on the weekends. I was with my friend and tennis mentor, Laurie that day and we sat down next to a very nice lady who was by herself at the time. We invited her to sit with us and we started talking. We found out that she is from Capetown, South Africa, but has lived in Abu Dhabi for the last 9 years and has family in the states...San Diego, Cumming, and Alpharetta Georgia!!! Here's the deal...Laurie lives in San Diego and I grew up in this area of Georgia and better yet...she knew where Hickory Flat is!!!! I know...you have to ask the "nosy" questions!!! This happens to me all the time...I'll never forget the time we took the boys to London...it was for Eric's 16th birthday in 1996 and we had just moved to Brussels. We didn't know anyone yet, so we drove over and spent a couple of days. He wanted to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe so we did. It was a beautiful day and we were seated outside...over to one side was a group of men and women with southern US accents and of course, we got a kick out of that. We asked one of the ladies to take a picture of the 5 of us and started in with the "nosy" questions. They were a team in town from Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia attending the air show and she had known and had worked with Matt's dad ( who passed away in 1982). We had a wonderful conversation and Matt heard some fun things about his dad...was quite a gift for him that day. In 1999, Eric ran into an old high school friend from Virginia in a gondola on a ski trip in Austria. You never know where the statement "don't I know you from somewhere" is going to lead you! I have a new friend here named Maggie who is from Chicago and through another conversation (with our friend Deb), I found out that her son went to school in New York with Caitlin, our future daughter in law. There are others, too many to mention and just as fun. My sister in law, Jennifer accuses me (with a smile) of talking to to anyone, anywhere...must be a family thing as I say the same thing about her husband, my brother, Tim. I look at it this way, I have had some pretty interesting conversatons just because I said hi to a stranger. I have spent many hours passing time talking with folks I'll never see again, but sitting in a hospital waiting room or an airport for hours can be quite lonely and getting to know someone just for a moment can be a wonderful thing. So, thanks Susan!!! I love those "nosy" questions!