“DON’T Shake the Tree UNLESS You Are WILLING to eat the FRUIT that FALLS!”

As usual, my sisters saucy sayings AKA #Cindyism Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel were a hit yesterday on Twitter. Everyone loves #Cindyism Quotes. 

My twin sister is my Hero. She is a survivor. She’s strong, hilarious and full of life. When Cindy walks into a room, she owns it! Yesterday’s quote was a keeper for many of our connections on Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest and FB because as usual, it was based on Real Life and more importantly, Real People. 

“SOME people TALK a good BUFFET, and WILL even INVITE you to DINNER, with a PROMISE of BEANS without any BEEF, just SO they can STIR the CHILI, and LOOK like, the WINNER!” God bless us all.

Cindy has a “way” with words which is why sales of our customized tees and caps continue to exceed our expectations. Cindy’s quotes are actually based on real observations. Cindy is both a watcher and a listener. “Don’t ask for an apple and expect a pie.” 

Every quote Cindy posts or puts on custom designed Pawning Planners Apparel tee shirt or cap is an original. Meaning, no one else said it first. Cindy’s creative content based quotes are so popular that she is often featured on Say Quotable. Everything she says is Quotable.

Now and again, I don’t always understand Cindy’s quotes but, when I do, it’s amazing that her humor contains quite a bit of truth.  

A few weeks ago, our production company asked Cindy’s husband where and how she “comes up with” her spot on observations with a Redneck Flair. 

Not surprisingly, Steve Daniel wasn’t “where Cindy gets her best material.” Cindy can come up with a Quote to fit any situation off the top of her head. It’s a gift that I don’t possess although we are identical twins.  

Steve Daniel is a truck driver and good ole country boy but, Cindy is the original Redneck Granny. Her words of wisdom are creative, funny and often inspirational.

Cindy’s best material is with clients and family AKA Inlaws and Outlaws. “I am BUSIER than a BEVERLY hills PLASTIC surgeon, DURING bikini SEASON” God bless us all. 

Or, “If you ACQUIRE anything EASILY, it WON’T be MISSED when Its GONE, the THINGS that will MATTER the MOST, are WHAT you FOUGHT for, and WON” Amen. 

I’m going to “catch up” everyone on the latest developments from Clients, Family, Trades and Treasures along with Flips and Flops in today’s blog while addressing my latest round of drama with a bride who is getting cold feet and what’s up with my niece, Stephaney.

First, let me explain that many of my Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham Clients often send a photo of what they plan to wear to their TDCJ Wedding. The reason for this is that clothing must be appropriate and cannot be revealing, too tight or too low cut. 

Spaghetti straps and low cut cleavage baring tops, dresses and other attire are strictly frowned upon. So much so that your TDCJ Wedding can be cancelled or you will be required to wear something to cover you which has upset three of my Brides to such an extent that they cried following me to the Visitation Area for their wedding. 

Yes, I realize “it’s your wedding day” but, there are strict rules (The Administrative Directive) in place regarding TDCJ Inmate Weddings. From what to wear to what you can bring and everything in between, TDCJ Wedding Ceremonies follow strict guidelines.

The above dress wasn’t inappropriate because the cleavage is well covered and it isn’t too short or too revealing. Since I don’t know what you are wearing unless you’ve sent me a photo, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution if you don’t want to wear a smock over your clothing. 

Rolling up to a Unit to find my bride in hot pants and a halter top or, drunk is the last thing I need! Please remember that we are at a Prison and follow the rules. You know what the dress code is and, you know that you shouldn’t be drinking and driving. 

My TDCJ contract sets out what you can expect from me and what I can expect from you. No drinking prior to your wedding, no “club” clothes, no disrespect to TDCJ Personnel and the only items you can bring in are your state issued ID, car keys, marriage license and quarters if photos are allowed at the Unit. (Many privately owned Prisons DO NOT ALLOW PHOTOS).

I’ve had numerous emails regarding marriage counseling with me through Two Together In Texas Classes. I am not currently taking on new clients for marriage counseling due to the time involved for an eight hour course.

Due to my schedule with Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Prison Weddings and Texas Twins Treasures, my schedule prevents me from taking on new Two Together clients for pre marital counseling which is why I direct you straight to Two Together to download the course for $29 per couple. 

It has come to my attention from many of my clients that there are sites “selling” the Two Together Marriage package at a ridiculously inflated cost. Sadly, these same scammers often don’t send the certificate after completing the course. 

Don’t purchase this course anywhere else other than Two Together. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and headaches by going directly to the source. 

Only a Two Together Authorized Counselor can issue the Certificate. Be aware of this and go straight to Two Together– Two Together Online Premarital Course.

If you have purchased this course from someone else and haven’t received your certificate, contact the seller or Escalate a Claim on Paypal for a refund or contact Two Together In Texas.

Back to Trades and Treasures…Cindy and I love digging through your stuff to find a Flip, Swap or Trade but, these Appraisal Appointments are time consuming which is why we require you to upload a photo at The Pawning Planners. 

Traveling to your location and going through your stuff trying to find something of value takes us away from our other booked clients and commitments. 

Travel time along with 1-2 hours on location requires us to be fairly certain your barter will work for both you and us when bartering your event services through The Pawning Planners.

Please use our site form to include what type of Event Service you are seeking as well as what your proposed trade is when seeking an Appraisal Appointment. I’m including the link for you– The Pawning Planners Contact Us.If you are having second thoughts regarding your TDCJ Wedding, Officiant Service, Photography Package, Event Coordinator Services or ANY OTHER SERVICES Offered, please be aware that holding an event date for your prevents us from booking new clients. Because of this, we do not refund deposits. 

A few months ago, one of my TDCJ Brides decided to cancel her wedding at the last minute. After months of phone calls and texts, no one was more surprised than I was regarding this “change of heart.” 

My bride had sent photos of outfits options while excitedly planning her Prison Wedding and was really looking forward to it.

To find out why my beautiful TDCJ Coffield Unit bride had a change of heart, here’s the blog link– The Coffield Unit Con Man & The Bride That Gave Him The Boot.

If you are booking through The Pawning Planners, a barter must be agreed upon a minimum of thirty days prior to your event date.

I do not schedule your TDCJ Wedding. Why? The Warden does. Because of this, holding my schedule open to accommodate your TDCJ Wedding limits me to booking no more than 10-15 new TDCJ Clients each month. If you have not signed a contract with me, you are required to do so prior to listing me on your TDCJ Paperwork.  

For those of you following our latest dive into family issues, I’m updating you since there isn’t a line between business and family for me. Throwing business and family into one pot can and does have challenges. 

I have three generations of family members who work with me at Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and Texas Prison Weddings.

My father is currently unavailable for bookings at your County Jail Wedding. He is in North Carolina visiting my brother until further notice. 

Thousands of you have read the blog post regarding the shocking circumstances of my dad the past few months that led him to believe intruders were living in the attic. 

For those who missed it, here’s the blog link– What About Dad? Caring For Seniors Requires Compassion, Patience & Perseverance.

If you had told me that the past eight months of my life would be spent visiting family members in Psych Wards, I would have NEVER believed it. 

Cindy and I first visited my niece, Stephaney in a Psych Ward only to find ourselves (a few months later) visiting our dad. Our first visit to a Psych Ward was five months ago to see my niece, Stephaney. In a five month window, she has been committed seven times.

It’s hard to believe but, Cindy and I literally “bounce from Psych Ward visits to client meetings and events” like we’ve been doing it all of our lives. 

Trading in our sad and confused faces for our happy faces on location is perhaps our greatest achievement in pretending we don’t have a care in the world. 

My niece, Stephaney our Bilingual Translator is currently in treatment for Bipolar One and currently not available for bookings due to Psychiatric Treatment.

We lost Ann Alexander a few weeks ago to an unexpected illness and subsequent death at a fairly young age. 

The shocking reality of my stepdaughter Ann struggling with mental illness as well as my niece and the early death of Ann has surprised our clients and saddened our family. 

Our mother also suffered from mental illness and recently, my father became convinced people were living in his attic which was alarming to say the least! 

For nearly five months, Cindy and I have attempted to convince our father that no one is living on the roof or in his attic but, hopefully, a trip to visit our brother will give us a break from dealing with dad and Stephaney at the same time. 

Quite frankly, if Cindy and I never had to visit another relative in the Psych Ward it would be a blessing for Cindy and I. 

Yes, this has been a tough year for us of unexpected surprises for my family but, Cindy and I along with my niece, Leigh Ann Blais my son and his wife, Robert and Stephanie Hafele as well as my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney who work as Princess Characters at parties are all still working hard to meet our Clients needs. 

I’m the only Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant on our staff which is why I’m generally booked Monday-Friday for Texas Prison Weddings when I’m not working on refurbishing trades for Texas Twins Treasures with my twin sister or meeting new clients. 

Because of my schedule and being the first choice for Religious Services and Ceremonies, Floral Designs, Event Coordination and more, if you are a short notice Client, you are effectively “bumped” to another Officiant on my Texas Twins Events Team.

I want to first address the many phone calls and emails sent through Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners regarding personal stories from the new followers and connections who have shared their hardships of dealing with mental illness and/or addiction issues of their family members. 

Sharing your pain and stories wasn’t easy for you to do. My twin sister and I had always masked issues with my niece, Stephaney due to her unpredictability by rarely booking her at an event unless of course, we were on site with her. Stephaney is Bipolar One and struggles with self medication. 

Cindy has had custody of Maryssa and Makenna since birth. Our reasons for saving the twins are based entirely on our own childhoods with a mother who was a heroin addict. I’m very vocal about hating drugs because I do. 

Drugs destroy lives and families. The combination of drugs and mental illness or addiction issues is shocking. My twin sister and I saved the twins from Stephaney’s bad choices. 

Dr Phil is following the treatment for Stephaney and Stephaney has agreed to go on the show. Over the past year, my niece has been committed seven times. 

It’s tragic but, true that while dealing with Stephaney and her Demons while trying to “appear normal” has been difficult for Cindy and I. 

Based on correspondence from readers of my blogs from Denmark to Chicago, we aren’t alone in “trying to appear normal in an abnormal world.” 

From visits to Psych Wards to uploading video diaries to Dr Phil, Cindy and I have dealt with loss and heartache while continuing to address the many demands of our schedules. 

Many of our clients are aware of what we are dealing with and we appreciate your prayers and concerns. The twins do not visit Stephaney with us as we feel it’s best to keep them away from Psych Ward visits to Stephaney at JPS LCA. This is one of the worst Units that I’ve been in. Trinity Pavillion and Sundance were by far cleaner and safer for visits to my niece. Fist fights break out in the Visitation Area quite frequently at JPS/LCA. It’s so shocking that Cindy and I have only visited once. We drop off toiletries and clothing every Monday but visiting my niece at this location is depressing and can be dangerous. 

Cindy and I had convinced Stephaney to go into long term treatment by threatening to cut her out of our family and more importantly, stop buying her food, drinks and cigarettes because she was fired from yet another job in June and refused to go back to work. 

This “help” from Cindy and I enabled Stephaney. We were unaware of it at the time but now realize our mistakes in trying to “Save Stephaney.”

My stepdaughter, Ann was also Bipolar. Because of this, my husband has silently watched Cindy and I attempt to Save Stephaney while realizing that his hardships with Ann had taught him that only the person struggling with mental illness can decide to help themselves. Like Cindy and I, my husband had attempted to “Save Ann” for years.

Many of the people contacting me to share their own similar experiences have also “tried to save their son, daughter, father, mother or spouse” from their own Demons. 

If you have ever dealt with a relative struggling with mental illness or addiction, God Bless You. Your patience and your pain, your hope and your struggle were difficult. 

Some days I have no idea how Cindy and I put on our happy faces to go to work waiting on the next call from Stephaney and/or her latest change of plans for long term treatment. 

Last night, Stephaney had decided to move in with her Psych Ward roommate after leaving treatment. Of course, her mother and I were upset about this but, Stephaney is an adult. If she chooses to skip long term treatment, we can’t stop her. 

My dad met his girlfriend during his stay at Wellbridge. It’s not as unusual as you might think for friendships to occur between patients at Mental Hospitals. 

In fact, it’s deeply distressing to know your relative with a problem is developing a relationship with another patient who obviously has their own problems.

If you’ve lost someone, you struggle with the relief of not having to worry anymore. The guilt of not being able to save them and the trauma of their actions. 

Your pain is intense. I don’t understand addiction. My sister doesn’t understand it. Stephaney’s twin daughters don’t understand it either.

The joy in our lives are my three grandnieces and our clients. Sharing your Dream Event and spending time with you is a Fringe Benefit for my twin and I. We are honored our clients came to us for help and trusted us to make their day as special as they are. 

Many of you welcomed my grandnieces on location with us as if they were your own children. From photo shoots to weddings, family reunions, baptisms, birthday parties and more, the twins and baby Maddy have enjoyed being on location with us and working as a family to make your Dream Event a Reality. 

Our clients accepted that by hiring us, they were hiring a family on location at their event and welcomed Cindy’s granddaughters as part of the “Team.”To our “traditional” vendors, having a baby on my shoulder while directing other vendors may sound odd. 

Truthfully, when I created Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events, it never occurred to me that clients would want to hire Maryssa and Makenna for tips or flips to be ring bearers, flower girls or ushers. Twins with twins? Yes, it’s rare. So rare in fact that clients wanted our mini me twins, Maryssa and Makenna in their weddings. 

The twins have been in over three hundred weddings and when they decided to “branch out” and become Princess Characters, they felt as comfortable on location posing for photos as if it were second nature to them.Wherever we went the past nearly eight years, Cindy’s three grandnieces went with us. Baby Madyson is always on location with her mom, Leigh Ann Blais. Clients knew our children and grandchildren as part of the package and welcomed us with open arms.

This may sound unusual to a few people but, my goal was to give Cindy and I am opportunity to spend time together. 

Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and even Texas Prison Weddings gave me the time to spend with my family that high end sales and brand promotion never did.

Cindy joins me in my SUV driving across Texas to Prisons and waits for my Bride or Groom and I to return from the wedding for the photo shoots we offer as a courtesy. 

Cindy and I do everything together. We are not only twins but more importantly, best friends.It’s been a tough year for my Team but, Cindy and I are accustomed to overcoming adversity. Nothing has ever come easily to either of us.

My desire to make Event Services affordable by starting Texas Twins Events was unheard of years ago although the need obviously existed.

Taking trades for services by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners has raised a few eyebrows among our competitors but, my twin and I are experienced appraisers. 

We “worked it out.” Texas Twins Treasures gave us an outlet to Flip Items we had taken in trade through The Pawning Planners.

Texas Prison Weddings also surprised a few folks but, we welcomed anyone for any reason and were already well known for being the first openly LBGT Friendly Event Services based business so, if you were surprised by LBGT Prison Weddings, you shouldn’t have been.Affordable floral designs that we even loan to ensure our clients have everything they need? You bet! I created an inventory to loan Pawning Planners Clients. 

From ring pillows to bouquets, bouteniers, champagne flutes, flower baskets and cake trays, if you cannot afford to provide items for your event, you can borrow them at no cost to you as a courtesy. “Loaned items are for booked clients and at the discretion of Wendy Wortham.” 

My twin sister and I can create just about anything and also sell custom brooch bouquets at Texas Twins Treasures.Looking for your favorite #Cindyism Quote? Cindy has several blogs dedicated to her Hillbilly Views on Life– Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything- #Cindyism Quotes.

What made us different made us popular. We treated every client the same way we would’ve wanted to be treated. We welcomed anyone viewed as “different” by other vendors. Their loss was our gain.

Dealing with family issues while working isn’t that unusual. Millions of other people do the same thing everyday. We’ve managed to overcome and bounce back from the unexpected disasters of having family members committed with our usual humor and hidden sadness. 

You can’t choose your family. “FAMILY is LIKE a POTLUCK dinner, YOU don’t HAVE to LIKE everything they BRING to the TABLE, to APPRECIATE the MEAL.”

Cindy and I no longer hide the fact that “the UGLIEST tree IN the ORCHARD, bares the SWEETEST fruit!” If we hadn’t hard a hard life, we wouldn’t have soft hearts. I was so ugly as a child, that no one would’ve believed that I would ever become a model. I’ve sold everything under the sun including Cadillac’s, Jewelry, Furs and high end furniture. 

For a buck toothed kid with a stutter that refused to speak for 6 years of my childhood, I’ve learned that you can’t change where you came from but, you can change where you’re going and, I have. Cindy and I are survivors. 

My smile was fixed and I’m no longer afraid to take a chance on myself. My twin is my best friend and one of the bravest and resilient people that I’ve ever known. We didn’t have a magic wand to help over 1,300 hundred families. But, “the SWEETEST grapes IN the VINEYARD, were GROWN from TWISTED vines.” 

What we had was ambition, drive, strong personalities and a desire to help anyone with a Dream Event. My sister and I were determined to help ANYONE regardless of their circumstances. We cared when no one else would when reviewing correspondence through any Wendy Wortham site. 

My family and I “Pow Wowed” our way through problems to find solutions regarding any obstacle to make your Dream Event a Reality. Whether I’m in a Prison or visiting a family member in a Mental Institution, variety is the spice of my life and as my dedicated readers and connections realize, you must “APPRECIATE the journey and be GRATEFUL for the TRIP.” 

Cindy and I have strong work ethics because we never had anyone other than each other and later in life, our husbands to rely on. “You can’t profit from the harvest if you don’t plant the crops.” 

We are survivors. My sister and I are the mothers we never had. The friends we never met and the people we always wanted to meet. We are honest and unafraid of transparency. 

We are no longer embarrassed or ashamed of our mother selling us for $50 each to go buy more heroin. Hardships forced us to be survivors. But, hardships didn’t harden our hearts.

Since a few readers have asked, Cindy does have her own WordPress Blog Site. It’s a great outlet for her to express her feelings and we are planning to merge our blogs to write a book together. Here’s the link–Cindy Daniel’s Blog On Redneck Reality, Real Life & Real People.

The delicate balance of Tough Love and Enabling isn’t lost on us. Stephaney and Ann both struggled with taking their medications. Stephaney and Ann both struggled with addiction. None of us could save Ann. None of us have been able to Save Stephaney.

We smile and we mask our heavy hearts over losing Ann and facing losing Stephaney if she doesn’t accept the reality of losing nearly everyone in her life aside from my twin sister and I. We fought harder when everyone else in our families gave up. 

Cindy and I believed in my niece when no one else would and….we have been dissapointed over and over again with Stephaney. 

We lost Ann because we didn’t know how to save her. Mental Illness alone is a cross that many families are forced to bear but, Mental Illness and addiction are a deadly combination. 

I recently told Stephaney that the ONLY reason our mother is still alive is because in 1988, I paid her $1500 to meet me in Solvang that resulted in a life changing accident. 

For me, paying my mother to meet me was necessary to move on and stop blaming myself for 1. Being worth only fifty dollars. 2. Constantly wondering why anyone would sell their children to buy drugs. 3. Giving her an opportunity to explain herself.

I wanted answers to my questions and she claimed to need “rent money.” The money was used (of course) to go buy heroin. My mother was “high as a kite” when she ran into a bus. Had my mother not met me, she would still be an addict or dead. 

The only reason my mother isn’t a heroin addict today is that she lost 60% of her brain in the accident and most likely, forgot that she was a heroin addict. 

I told my niece, Stephaney these facts for a reason. My reason was that my mother had a choice to straighten up and in 1988 at 45 years old, she was still an addict. Selling all four of her children for $50 each, I’m fairly certain that our mother has more memory than she admits. 

All four of her children are beneficiaries of the Sharon Hill Trust that I set up after the accident. The Trust pays us back for having an idiot for a mother. It’s a pay off of sorts to all four of her children.

Stephaney has a choice but, it’s a choice only she can make. We cannot make it for her. If her mother and I could, we would never have had another relative with an addiction issue. We are sick of addicts and sick of the issues they bring to their loved ones. 

My mother didn’t answer the questions I had the way that I had hoped. There was no remorse and/or regret for selling her children. The fifty dollar price tag she put on all four of our heads was calculated because “I didn’t think any of you were worth more than that.” Leaving that fateful meeting with my mother in Solvang, I hated her. I actually never wanted to see her again. 

Getting a phone call from my mothers mother five hours after meeting her so many years after she sold all four of us for $200. I refer to the meeting and subsequent “accident” only to elaborate and explain why meeting my mother in person and paying her for the privilege was actually worth it to me.

Hearing my mother had been hurt after meeting me, I was concerned that had she not met me, the accident wouldn’t have ever occurred. I blamed myself for years about the accident. 

The best part of that meeting was our mothers mother, grandma Tinney. She was an Angel and I’m fairly certain that dealing with our mother eventually killed her. 

Only because Grandma Tinney asked me to return to Santa Maria did I invite my twin to join me. Driving back was the last thing I wanted to do but, I drove back from San Clemente to Solvang fully expecting to watch my mother die and, yet she lived. 

My sister was horrified at our mothers missing teeth and yellow claw like toenails. Since the only photos she had seen were from the 60’s, our mothers appearance some twenty years later made her look like a different person altogether. How our stepsister, Tammy deals with our mother and her “convenient memory” I have no idea. Grandma Tinney adopted Tammy and raised her as her own. Saving children isn’t new in our family. 

There are Saints among us who make sacrifices to save children. My grandma Tinney and twin sister both adopted their grandchildren and both raised them without benefit of child support. 

The financial and emotional burden of raising grandchildren in your 40’s or 50’s isn’t an easy task. For those who take on the responsibilities, God Bless Them. 

Our mother still lives today in Lompoc and every visit to CA finds my twin sister and I paying an obligatory visit to someone who claims she doesn’t know who we are. 

How our sister Tammy deals with seeing our mother and “going along” with what our mother claims to not remember about tossing her children away I have no idea. But, Tammy does with grace and the patience that I could never possess. Just a two hour visit with my mother has me wanting to yell “you know who I am, you know who my sisters are too so, stop pretending.” But, I don’t. I keep it together. My anger and my sadness are crosses that I must bear. 

After all, what if our mother actually doesn’t know who we are. Sure, pitying someone who put you through Hell isn’t something anyone wants but, I may never have the opportunity to express my feelings regarding my mothers choices. I realize now that we were better off without a mother and that by having no role model, three sisters became the mothers they never had. 

Cindy would love to ask our mother “point blank questions” and our brother has only talked to our mother once. All four of her children harbor resentment. Due to her cognitive damage though, my mother has never admitted to whether or not she recalls her choices. The choices that defined our lives. The poverty, the loneliness, the despair and the guilt of being separated from our sister, Tammy. The sister we had known our entire childhood and only as adults found again cries with us. Tammy understands how we feel because her feelings mirror our own. We lost over twenty years of having Tammy in our lives. Tammy who often acted as our mother when our mother was “missing” for hours or days. 

Cindy and I are headed back to California for our birthday with Maryssa, Makenna, Madyson and Leigh Ann in October. As usual, we will go visit my mother and as usual, my mother will pretend not to know who we are. These visits are always stressful for Cindy and I. 

Last year, our mother asked about my brother. How can she remember him when he’s never visited and we’ve seen her every year? This question about Jerry upset Cindy to such an extent that my sister went outside crying. 

I’m guessing our mother continues to pretend not knowing who we are in order  to keep us from “going off on her regarding throwing her four children away” but, who knows how much she actually remembers? My mother would make a great actress. 

All these years after “the accident” our mother is viewed as fragile or too delicate to question about her past by her own children. All four of us would love to tell her how we feel about being sold at $50 each or how her choices separated her children but, we can’t. My mother goes into her shell of confusion when questioned about the past. 

I’ve hated drugs all of my life because of my mother as has Cindy. Even after surgery, I won’t take pain medicine for fear of becoming my mother. Having a drug addict for a mother, Cindy and I hated drugs at a young age. 

One day our mother will die and she will either die with a guilty conscience or not remembering she ever had children. If she can remember Jerry, she remembers Tammy, Wendy and Cindy too. This “who are you” game of our mother infuriates us. I wish we knew how much she actually knows but, we don’t and probably never will. 

We managed to succeed when others had failed in the Event Industry because we were open minded. I believe if life had been kind to us and we had never struggled, we would have never been as compassionate and dedicated as we are. 

You can’t change where you came from but, you can change where you are going…we couldn’t choose our family but, Cindy and I chose to take where we had been and become the people we would like to meet.