It was finally a beautiful weekend here in New England! I had a very fun and friend filled weekend.
On Saturday I was going to work out and had every intention of doing so, but then my friend Christy messaged me and said she and Kent were meeting for breakfast, did I want to join them? Christy was our Spin teacher until a few weeks ago and she works most Saturdays so I knew opportunities to get together would be few and far between. So instead of working out the three of us met and had a nice visit.
Saturday evening Dan and I headed out to our monthly dinner party club. There are six couples in it and we rotate houses every 2nd weekend of month and each couple gets assigned a dish to bring. If you can make it great, if not we will see you next month. There is NO pressure and we have been doing this for about 20 years now! We had 10 people at the party this month and there was lots of wine, laughter and volume. The woman can get LOUD when we are all talking at once. I really enjoy these get togethers and we are even discussing a dinner party cruise to Alaska!
On Sunday, my friend Pam had asked me if I wanted to go see Tom Ryan, of the book, Following Atticus speak at the Groton Middle School. I had read his book and follow him on Face Book. Of course we all know I am a dog love so of course I wanted to see Atticus in person!
The doors opened at 12:30 so we got there a little before 1:00 to get our seats. I don’t have any pictures because we aren’t allowed to share them on our own boards.
We got pretty good seats considering there were 800 people in attendance! Holy Smokes Tom (and Atticus) can draw in a crowd. He said people came from all over to see him speak.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I simply said yes to the invite really because I wanted to spend time with Pam. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book and wanted to see them but I just figured whatever he was talking about I would enjoy it.
Enjoy it, I did!
Tom was dressed simply in shorts and a sweatshirt. His curly hair was cut in a buzz and he looked totally different to me without hair. He carried Atticus out and put him on his bed on a table so we could see him.
He said he doesn’t prepare a speech because he just likes to talk and share as it comes. I liked his casual approach. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone and he certainly didn’t put on any airs.
He was colorful, engaging, funny and endearing all at once. He showed you his heart but he also showed you a few of his “sins” as he called them.
He spoke of his book being not about his dog, but of relationships and life. He had people laughing one minute and in tears the next. He was right there with everyone else though, showing emotion when he spoke lovingly about his dog, Will, that he recently had to put to sleep. He hadn’t spoken of him in public before now and he was overcome by emotion during some points in his talk.
I watched the audience as Tom spoke and saw that folks were riveted to what he was saying. His speech can be quick and laced with profanities or other colorful descriptions. He interacted with the audience and made them feel included. Tom took questions at the end and he walked into the aisle and directly up to the people asking him questions. One woman in the audience admitted she made a goof and got chastised by an administrator on his Face Book page for something she did not intend. He apologized and asked if she knew the person’s name. To this woman’s credit she did not give it (publically anyway) but he said he was sorry that happened and gave her an embracing hug.
Was he was was real.
Ryan was honest and just himself and people loved it.
He spoke of hardships and broken people that write to him sharing their stories and how they can relate.
He spoke of people critiquing his choices and being tempted to shut down his Face Book page. He realized that it is a community where people can share so he decided to keep it open and just ignore the unsolicited advice.
On a rare 68 degree beautiful Spring day in New England, Tom and Atticus brought 800 people together to connect and talk about life.