To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~~~Ralph Waldo Emerson I spent the weekend in Baltimore visiting my friends there. It was a wonderful weekend, and I realized what incredible generosity I am the recipient of from my friends. I was touched from beginning to end by the outpouring of warmth from my friends who I haven't gotten to spend time with in much too long. From those who had Shabbos meals in my honor, filled with my friends, to those who opened their homes to me and welcomed me with open arms and hearts (and the incredible, amazing, loving hugs from their children, whom I've missed so much). I really was just absolutely blown away by the generosity of everyone. I was given books, a map, pepper spray (when describing the slight scary conditions near my office), crackers, drinks, a picture frame, traffic advice and friendship from so many over the weekend. And the love that accompanied it all just blew me away. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many caring friends. I have one friend in particular who was a classmate of mine at the University of Baltimore. She is a constant giver and has done an incredible amount for me, from specially buying kosher food and plastic silverware so I can eat in her home, to giving my cat a new home when he needed one. This weekend she was the first person I visited and the last person I saw before I left. And before I left, she slipped into my purse a card with the above poem on it, and an inscription inside saying that I am a great friend, a tribute which, in her shadow, I hardly feel worthy.