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2013
pir8fan

Thanksgiving in the rearview!

Posted by pir8fan Nov 30, 2013

The turkey is carved,

the sandwiches eaten,

the carcass is turned into soup!

 

We met with our kin,

toasted all of our friends,

and now we return to our group!

 

I wish everyone here,

a season of cheer,

and all the good things that can be!

 

Thru the holiday season,

let's remember the reasons,

we have chosen to live SMOKE FREE!

 

Tommy

 

Turkey soup photo: Creamy Wild Rice & Turkey Soup turkeysoup2.jpg

  
     
  
     
pir8fan

Freedom Train 11/24/13

Posted by pir8fan Nov 24, 2013

Good morning fellow EXer's! The Freedom Train is on the tracks, and prepared to make it's daily run to Freedom from smoking! Everyone is invited to come aboard to celebrate their own personal Freedom, and that of their friends!!

If you are new here, this vehicle provides an area for everyone to gather and celebrate the milestones, and successes of those in our community! There are no tickets! The fuel for this locomotive is love and caring! The rides on this Train are paid for in contributions to the quits of others! The only thing required to ride this Train is a desire to breathe Free! We encourage everyone to join in the celebration! No matter where you are in your quit, today is special, and is cause for celebration! Celebrate with others, and they will celebrate with you! There are no baggage fees! Bring all your "EXtra baggage"! We will help you sort it out!

We encourage you to come aboard today! Shout out your personal milestones, and those of your friends! Show your pride in your quit! 2 Days, 200 Days or 2000 Days! More, if you have them! Let us hear from you, and let us all celebrate our FREEDOM!! Post food and music! IT IS PARTY TIME!!!

This Train is bound for FREEDOM from the Evils tobacco and smoking!!

"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL ABOARD!!!!!!!!! Tommy

pir8fan

Thankful!

Posted by pir8fan Nov 23, 2013

As we approach "The Holiday Season", which is also "The Quitting Season", I find myself reflecting on the many things that I have to be thankful for! I suspect a lot of you are doing the same! If you are not, I highly recommend it!

What seems like an eternity ago, I came here, for the first time, on day 8 of my quit! I was angry! I saw an ad for this site on TV, and this looked like a great place to pick a fight, and vent my anger! I came here EXpecting to meet a bunch of liberal do gooders who would preach to me about how I should live my life! By their rules! But, that is not what I found! In spite of my best efforts, no one wanted to get into a "ruckus" with me! They just encouraged me, and educated me about my addiction! And, I found my forever quit!

I have given much thought over the years to what makes people stay here and help others! Some have become great sources of support over a period of many years! Others over a period of months, and some almost instantly begin to share wisdom, and participate in what I call "Collateral Kindness"! Helping themselves by helping others! These people stand out as beacons in the fog of smoking cessation! They reach out to pull those in who strugging for their very lives! What make these people different? I think I know!

These people do not seem to be divided along gender lines, although there are more women than men here. I think that just reflects the fact that men are more likely to keep things bottled up. Age does not seem to be a factor, Nor does race. It is not size, nor shape, or which side of the political aisle you are lean toward!

I think a lot of you here are old enough to remember the greatest horse to ever run circuits on a race track. The horse was Secretariat!! This magnificent animal won major races by margins that made everybody wonder what was so different about her. Eventually she died, and an autopsy revealed that the horse had a heart that was much, much larger than that of a normal horse. About twice the size!

I think that is the answer. As I look around this site I see so many people showing so much love and compassion for people that they may never lay eyes on. There are people who came and found their quits, yet stayed to help total strangers. I think that we have a huge group of people with very BIG hearts! There are some here that I see eye to eye with! There are some that I disagree with, most of the time! But I never question their motivation! And, I will always respect the good that they do! 

So, today, as I think of the things that I am thankful for, this site comes to mind! I am thankful for all of you who have help me stay Free! I tip my hat to all who have helped make the Freedom Train an enduring symbol of our successes! And. I am thankful that through thick and thin we are able to offer safe harbor to those who encounter stormy times in their quits! I am thankful for all the hearts that combine to produce this huge heartbeat of FREEDOM!

As quitting season begins, I hope that we will continue to Focus on who we are, and be Determined to save all of those who seek our help! Thank you everyone! And I do mean everyone!                                      Tommy

pir8fan

Here is a thought!!

Posted by pir8fan Nov 17, 2013

pir8fan

Freedom Train 11/17/2013

Posted by pir8fan Nov 17, 2013

Good morning fellow EXer's! The Freedom Train is on the tracks, and prepared to make it's daily run to Freedom from smoking! Everyone is invited to come aboard to celebrate their own personal Freedom, and that of their friends!!

If you are new here, this vehicle provides an area for everyone to gather and celebrate the milestones, and successes of those in our community! There are no tickets! The fuel for this locomotive is love and caring! The rides on this Train are paid for in contributions to the quits of others! The only thing required to ride this Train is a desire to breathe Free! We encourage everyone to join in the celebration! No matter where you are in your quit, today is special, and is cause for celebration! Celebrate with others, and they will celebrate with you! There are no baggage fees! Bring all your "EXtra baggage"! We will help you sort it out!

We encourage you to come aboard today! Shout out your personal milestones, and those of your friends! Show your pride in your quit! 2 Days, 200 Days or 2000 Days! More, if you have them! Let us hear from you, and let us all celebrate our FREEDOM!! Post food and music! IT IS PARTY TIME!!!

This Train is bound for FREEDOM from the Evils tobacco and smoking!!

"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL ABOARD!!!!!!!!! Tommy

4 Years ago today Sootie woke up and realized that she had walked away from her addiction the day before! It seems that she did not put any real planning into it! That is EXceptional! Fortunately for us Sootie found this web site! Here she found the people and information that would help her stay Smoke Free for a Year! Then Two! Then Three! Now Four! That is EXceptional!

A month and a half later. I walked away from my addiction! I also found this site! I, also found the people and information that has helped me stay Smoke Free! Fortunately, I found many fantastic friends here. And, one who is EXceptional!

A lot of us spend a lot of time blogging here! And that is a good thing! For many of us, it is the way we share "Collateral Kindness"! There are some wonderful people here who do not blog much! And, that is EXceptional! Sootie, Rick, and Strudel come to mind off the top of my head! They spend their time and energy here sharing "Collateral Kindness" in a much more personal, one on one, kind of way!

My Friend Sootie comes here most everyday, and contribute to our quits in a very level headed, no nonsense, good common sense kind of way! And, that is EXceptional! She maintains her dignity, and does not get caught up in our petty skirmishes and dramas! She remains above the fray! But she will tell you truth when you most need to hear it! And that is EXceptional! If you don't know Sootie, and she is not part of your quit, you should make the effort to become her friend! And, if you do not love her, you might need to look in the mirror! Her wisdom, and her grace are EXceptional!

So, I would like to take a moment here to say CONGRATULATIONS SOOTIE!  MY EXCEPTIONAL FRIEND! 4 Years behind you, and a lifetime in front of you! You are indeed the best!                         Tommy

pir8fan

I know.........

Posted by pir8fan Nov 13, 2013

Veteran's Day has passed, but I had to share this powerful photo!

pir8fan

Freedom Train 11/10/13

Posted by pir8fan Nov 10, 2013

Good morning fellow EXer's! The Freedom Train is on the tracks, and prepared to make it's daily run to Freedom from smoking! Everyone is invited to come aboard to celebrate their own personal Freedom, and that of their friends!!

If you are new here, this vehicle provides an area for everyone to gather and celebrate the milestones, and successes of those in our community! There are no tickets! The fuel for this locomotive is love and caring! The rides on this Train are paid for in contributions to the quits of others! The only thing required to ride this Train is a desire to breathe Free! We encourage everyone to join in the celebration! No matter where you are in your quit, today is special, and is cause for celebration! Celebrate with others, and they will celebrate with you! There are no baggage fees! Bring all your "EXtra baggage"! We will help you sort it out!

We encourage you to come aboard today! Shout out your personal milestones, and those of your friends! Show your pride in your quit! 2 Days, 200 Days or 2000 Days! More, if you have them! Let us hear from you, and let us all celebrate our FREEDOM!! Post food and music! IT IS PARTY TIME!!!

This Train is bound for FREEDOM from the Evils tobacco and smoking!!

"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL ABOARD!!!!!!!!! Tommy

   
pir8fan

Faith

Posted by pir8fan Nov 4, 2013

When I was young, (and yes it has been a while) we used to spend two weeks every summer on the farm with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Harpel. Uncle Harpel was a tobacco farmer!! These were good, honest, hard working, God fearing people!! Every Sunday morning, without fail we went to church. One summer eastern North Carolina experienced a very long drought. Some of the area farmers had irrigation sytems, but they were no help as all the ponds dried up! I remember going to church one Sunday, back then. Now we are talking about a small country church! On a typical Sunday you may have 15 or 18 people there. On this particular Sunday the church was packed!!!! Now the old preacher was a very wise man, but it did not require the brains of a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on.

That Sunday morning the preacher came out, we sang a few songs, or at least made a joyful noise unto the Lord (I don't remember anyone being a very good singer). Then the preacher came forward and ask "How many of you came here today to pray for rain?" There was some mumbling, and most of the folks admitted that was why they were there! Then the wise old preacher then ask: " How many of you brought an umbrella?" It seemed no one had! The preacher then said " You can all go back home. It is not going to rain because you have no faith!!"

On a regular basis we have new people coming to our commuinty seeking the knowledge that we have aquired! We share this knowledge very readily! However, we do ask of our newcomers to do their parts in their quits! Education and committment! Learn about the addiction, and make the committment! Then, have faith in your ability to honor your committment. Believe in yourself as much as we believe in you! Fight for your quit as hard as we will fight to help you keep it! If you are struggling today, or hesitant to take that first step, look inside for that faith in yourself. Also put your faith in those who have blazed this trail! Then step up, reach out, and take my hand! Let's head for Freedom together! You can do this! We will help you!

Whatever you need, or are looking for in your life today, be prepared to get it. If you are praying for rain, carry an umbrella!!!         Tommy

pir8fan

Freedom Train 11/03/13

Posted by pir8fan Nov 3, 2013

Good morning fellow EXer's! The Freedom Train is on the tracks, and prepared to make it's daily run to Freedom from smoking! Everyone is invited to come aboard to celebrate their own personal Freedom, and that of their friends!!

If you are new here, this vehicle provides an area for everyone to gather and celebrate the milestones, and successes of those in our community! There are no tickets! The fuel for this locomotive is love and caring! The rides on this Train are paid for in contributions to the quits of others! The only thing required to ride this Train is a desire to breathe Free! We encourage everyone to join in the celebration! No matter where you are in your quit, today is special, and is cause for celebration! Celebrate with others, and they will celebrate with you! There are no baggage fees! Bring all your "EXtra baggage"! We will help you sort it out!

We encourage you to come aboard today! Shout out your personal milestones, and those of your friends! Show your pride in your quit! 2 Days, 200 Days or 2000 Days! More, if you have them! Let us hear from you, and let us all celebrate our FREEDOM!! Post food and music! IT IS PARTY TIME!!!

This Train is bound for FREEDOM from the Evils tobacco and smoking!!

"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL ABOARD!!!!!!!!! Tommy

pir8fan

Keep your fork!

Posted by pir8fan Nov 2, 2013

In a blog last night I made the comment that "The best is yet to come"! That came from the number of times that we tell new people to "hang on" because it does get better! Those of us who have been at this quit for a while know that those words are true!

Those words, last night, remined me of a story I heard long ago! I was able to track it down! I am sure many of you have heard this before, and I hope that you enjoy reading it again! If you have never heard it, then I hope you can find some wisdom here that you can relate to your quit! Keep your fork my friends! The best is still there for you!

There was a Christian lady who was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.
"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?", the woman asked.
"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main courses were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork." It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork. The best is yet to come."
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of Heaven than most Christians did.
She KNEW that something better was coming.
At her funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible, and the fork placed in her right hand.
Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?"
And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.
So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.
True friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They appreciate you. They accept you just as you are. They would never take advantage of you. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to you.

Ingredients:

2 million, 16 thousand minutes

I pallet of determination

33,600 hours of on going support

1 vast storehouse of shared knowledge

A generous smattering of disagreement, tempered with caring, and love

Untold numbers of friends 

Preperation:

Group minutes into a large community. Some minute all alone, and others bound together with gobs of determination! Slowly stir in the hours of on going support! Simmer in the vast storehouse of knowledge until the mixture become confident! Bring back to the community! Spice up with disagreement, tempered with caring, and love!

Serve:

Serves an untold number of friends!

Note:

The quit become stronger, and longer, as it is shared with more and more people!

Thank you, to all of you! You have all contributed to my success! And the best is yet to come!

Tommy

pir8fan

Happy Birthday Shawn!!!!

Posted by pir8fan Nov 1, 2013

For those of you who may not know, our Dear Friend Shawn is celebrating a Birthday today! This should begin a week of celebration for this young woman! Six days from now she join the celebrants on the Freedom Train to announce 600 Days of Freedom! And Monday she is starting a new job!! What a week for one of our most active and dependable members! So please join me in song for Shawn!!

Happy Birthday to You!!

Happy Birthday to You!!!

Happy Birthday Dear Shawn!!!!

Happy Birthday tooooo Yoooooooooou!!!!!

 

Birthday cake Shawn photo: Christmas 18 100_0160.jpg

  
     

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