Terry held the piece of polished wood in his hands for a moment, thumb gracing the secret seam. The gift had been carefully selected and patiently chosen. After all, what Terry was looking at was far more than a simple piece of polished wood. Inside of the gleaming wooden prism was a second gift, a secret one, for the love of Terry’s life, Anna.
The gift itself was not meant to be found right away and so Terry let Anna hold onto it, knowing one day he’d help reveal the gift inside to her. What was inside? What was Anna’s reaction? Let’s dig in!
Let’s Start With an Introduction
There is something to be said for falling in love. It’s a wondrous feeling and when you find it, you hold onto it tightly! For Anna and Terry, the feeling was as instinctual as it was instant. The two had bonded over a shared wanderlust for the world and their affinity for exploration, surprise, and adventure would surely be the fuel for the story that is about to unfold.
But we all know why you are here. You are here to learn about a secret gift, one held close to heart but unrevealed for nearly two full years!
A Secret Gift Begins With a Plan
Terry and Anna had begun dating in 2013 and by the following year, they could tell that the relationship was going to get serious. For Terry, this meant creating a perfect gift to present to Anna on their anniversary. The only question is, what could Terry get the love of his life that would accurately show how he felt?
As a lover of romance and treasure, Terry decided to do something unique. He decided that he was going to make his own gift with a secret inside of it!
3. The Best Gifts Are Made From Scratch
As we all know and agree, the best gifts are often ones that we make from scratch. Not only do we get to imbue the gift with our love and passion, but we also get to present our loved one with something truly unique. Terry turned to his woodworking studio where he had begun to hone his skills.
As a challenge, Terry decided that he would craft a gift-within-a-gift from scratch, by hand, and for Anna. Intimidating, right?
Is There More Than Meets The Eye
Terry didn’t rush into the anniversary project and instead, he spent several days trying to decide what to craft. What could he make that would provide her with something now and in the future? What could he make as a relatively new woodworker that would truly showcase his love and appreciation/
Terry decided that the answer to his question was a pendant. But what kind of pendant? What material? As it turns out, Terry had a few more good ideas up his sleeve.
Working With Tasmanian Huon Pine
In order to craft her the loving gift that she deserved, Terry knew that he would need to work with a special wood. Enter the Huon Pine, known for its growth throughout Western Tasmania. Huon Pines only grow in wet and temperate climates which makes them particularly hard to raise in certain areas of the planet.
The perfect wooden gift would require the perfect material to craft with!
A Special Material for a Timeless Gift
What makes the Huon Pine particularly alluring for crafters is the relatively elastic nature of the material itself. Huon pine timber is known for its unique smell, elastic quality, and propensity to not split during crafting. The Huon Pine takes roughly 500 years to reach full maturity. Thanks to research, we also know that there are Huon pine trees more than 3,000 years old!
The Gift Was Well Received & Cherished
Needless to say, Terry had found the perfect wood for the gift he was giving Anna. After working to carve and treat the pendant, the gift was finally ready and Anna was thrilled! In fact, after hanging the pendant on a piece of white twine, it would become part and parcel of Anna’s outfit for days, weeks, months, and years to come!
Throughout the months to come, Anna wouldn’t realize that something quite precious was hidden within her already prized gift.
Travel Brought Them Together
After Terry presented the gift to Anna, it was easy to see that he had chosen correctly. She had fallen in love with the necklace and had decided to wear it everywhere, including on their big trip! Anna and Terry had bonded early on in their relationship over their love of travel and that shared passion wouldn’t diminish in the years that their relationship progressed.
Now that Anna had received her gift, Terry was ready to plan a special trip. Where would they be going to?
Compiling Their Shared Bucket List
The couple from Australia had been working on their traveling bucket list for quite some time. After a few years together, they had gotten to go on some pretty fun adventures. Along the way, they kept jotting down places that they would one day like to visit if the timing were ever right.
Terry and Anna pored over their bucket list together before finally selecting one destination from the listed options.
A Momentous Trip is Planned
A trip to Scotland was in the cards and Anna and Terry knew just the place, Durness. Durness is located on the coast of Scotland along the Scottish Highlands. Terry had wanted to take Anna to the Smoo Cave along the beach. His goal for this trip was simple, to help Anna unlock the final piece of the puzzle that was their anniversary gift two years prior.
The Smoo Cave complex was the perfect destination for what Terry and Anna were about to experience!
Was the Time Finally Right For The Gift?
By this point in the story, Terry and Anna had been dating for three years. Terry had given Anna her unique present after their one-year anniversary and now it was finally time to unlock the final secret. Terry had chosen to incorporate a hidden gift because the idea of waiting for the time to be right appealed to him. There was something almost poetic about a gift waiting to be given, resting neatly in public view.
Anna Begins to Grow Suspicious
At this point in their journey, Anna was starting to get a little suspicious. After all, you don’t often take romantic trips to Scotland. What was up Terry’s sleeve? Did he have some major plan ready to launch when they arrived? And why did he keep smiling so much about her old necklace, anyway?
These were certainly the thoughts running through Anna’s mind as they made their way to the Smoo Cave.
They Head to the Beach Near Durness
During all of their traveling together, Terry had kept a close eye on the pendant necklace he had given Anna. Fortunately, she had kept it safe and sound throughout the two years they had spent together since the gift had been given. Terry joked, “At one point I thought she was going to trade with a blacksmith at a market.” The blacksmith reportedly made an offer on the necklace but Anna didn’t budge.
Now drawing near the vortex of caves, Terry was very grateful the pendant had not been sold. He was even more grateful about what was to happen next!
And Terry Takes a Knee to Anna’s Shock
When Terry and Anna finally found their destination, Terry knew that the time had come. Before taking a knee, he gestured to the necklace that had hung around her neck for two years. Terry would go on to say, “She stood there dazed for a second, trying to work out what was going on.”
As the gorgeous treasure unveiled itself, the reality began to truly settle upon Anna’s shoulders!
Revealing the Treasure Inside
Perfectly preserved within the wooden box was a stunning ring, bought and paid for two years prior. Terry had the ring specially fitted into the wooden container so that it would stay snug, preventing it from rattling around during their journeys. While Anna was rightfully blown away by the ring, she was also shocked!
Anna would say, “Wait, it’s been in there the whole time? I could have lost it you idiot!”
She Said YES!
Of course, concern gave way to love and Anna was quick to say YES. Terry said of her final response to the gift, “She was quite a hilarious mix of happy and angry.” The couple would end up getting officially engaged before the Smoo Cave with a handmade gift that they had been sharing together for more than two years.
What do you think? Could you hide away a wedding ring for two years, only to unveil it in such a romantic gesture? If we are being honest, we might have to step up our engagement game!
Father Decides to Set Up Cameras After His Daughter Wakes Up With Strange Marks
What happened inside the house of an Ohio couple couldn’t have been predicted. Troublesome commotions could be heard in the wee hours while everyone slept. No one thought much of it until something strange occurred.
Darren’s suspicions were initially directed at his fiancé, who suspected of playing a practical joke on him. They staged a camera to sort things out after she denied it ultimately. The unsettling footage, on the other hand, would rock their world.
Father Takes Action After Daughter was Expelled for Appearance
Enough Is Enough
This father’s jaws fell open as he listened to the scathing remarks from his daughter’s school administrator, stating the reason for his daughter being booted from a prom event. He was at boiling point and had enough.
He thought enough was enough after only a few seconds and was ready to address the situation head-on.
40 Unforgivable Movie Bloopers
With that goes with making a movie, especially one for the big cinema screen, it’s not surprising when mistakes occur or edits are need. That’s what the editing room is for to go through the draft film and tighten up all the problems or loose spots in the film as well as to get it within the acceptable viewing time allowed. However, once in a while even the best of movies, including Oscar-winning films, have bloopers in them that just can’t be forgiven. They are such clear violations of quality film-making, people wonder how the blooper got through to the public viewing, and yet it does anyways. Here are 25 examples of film bloopers that never should have been allowed or the detail missed, but in the fictional world of movies they occur regardless.
Homeless Man Who Helped a Woman Turned Out to be a Hoax
The story of the homeless man who helped out a woman needing gas for her car by donating his few dollars went viral on the Internet and had hundreds of people wanting to reach out and help. They did so through a GoFundMe site that ended up generating a sizable amount of charity and gifts. For those who gave money, it made them feel better instantly. There was only one problem. The story was made up. The man was not homeless, and the woman had never run out of gas.
Instead, the two were involved in an online scam that ended up defrauding folks out of approximately $400,000 in online money gifts. It was not only enough to trigger a serious crime, the pair got themselves charged with a federal conspiracy case and ultimately pled guilty in a New Jersey federal court. Johnny Bobbitt and Katelyn McClure both separately admitted their crime of wire fraud. Given their involvement and degree of actions, Bobbitt is looking at a potential 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines. McClure for her part faces a bigger sentence of 20 years and a similar financial penalty. Both will find out for sure when they are sentenced. In addition to the federal charges, the pair also have a second round of trials to go through with state charges as well. It was a blunt, cold ending to a story and scam that started in 2017 and took off like wildfire, far better than Hobbitt and McClure thought it would.
The story was plausible and reasonable enough. A couple told their story online about how they wanted to help a homeless man who helped them. McClure and her partner posted that Bobbitt realized McClure was in trouble, stuck in Philadelphia without gas. She needed to get home, and Bobbitt, who was nearby, realized the problem. He then gave her his only $20 to buy gas so she could travel again. To show their gratitude, McClure and her boyfriend were trying to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt out as a thank you. The story took off.
Unfortunately, the media got involved. Loving a story out of the norm with a good newsworthy ending, they showcased the story on TV, and it got big attention. All of a sudden, what was supposed to be a little scam turned into a big one, raising some $402,706 with the added attention in a short three weeks. While Bobbitt did get $25,000 set aside by McClure and her partner, the rest of it was burned like kerosene on fire via clothing, trips, a car, vacations, gambling and more. However, Bobbitt didn’t appreciate the small share, and sued the pair for more, arguing he should have gotten $75,000 at least. GoFundMe got involved by trying to avoid bad press and making sure Bobbitt, the alleged homeless person, got his fair shake.
All of the financial attention caught the eye of the Feds who started investigating McClure. They seized well over 60,000 digital messages between the couple, which included admissions that the whole story was made up – a smoking gun text in the fraud conspiracy. Interestingly, McClure’s partner, although he enjoyed the spending of the money with McClure, was not charged or seen as involved in the conspiracy. The Feds went after McClure and the alleged homeless partner, Bobbitt, for the fraud. And GoFundMe yet again found itself in the middle of a crazy criminal scheme gone public and bad, stealing money from people who wanted to help others online. It turned out to be an odd, miserable ending to what many had hoped would have been a story of human charity done right.
Drones, COVID-19, and Girl Scout Cookies: How One Virginia Troop Made It All Work
Nestled in the heart of Montgomery County is Christiansburg, VA. A small town with just over 20,000 within its city limits, Christiansburg was first founded in 1671. Hundreds of years later, the city continues to thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has been wrecking so much of our day-to-day life.
One particular group of Christiansburg locals made it their goal to deliver Girl Scout Cookies no matter what during the pandemic and Google’s parental company, Alphabet Inc., decided to help them out.
Cookies From the Sky
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed unlikely that there would ever be a time when the pandemic would end. As economies shuttered and businesses quarantined, people had to get creative to continue working their trade. A team of Girl Scouts in Virginia was determined to deliver their famous cookies this past year, but due to COVID restrictions, they knew that this would bed difficult.
Lia Reich is a global communications lead at Wing, a subsidiary of the company Alphabet Inc.. Wing develops drones for Google, and it was through their futuristic work that Thin Mints would rain down from the sky. Lia says of COVID restrictions impacting the Scouts, “Selling cookies outside (grocery stores or shops) is difficult this year.”
According to Lia, sales within the Girl Scouts have dropped more than 50%. Lia would go on to tell the team at USA TODAY during an interview, “It was a natural fit to partner with the Girl Scouts.”
Despite soaring vaccination rates and loosening COVID restrictions, the drone program would get launched through the Wing App and its corresponding website. According to Reich, the plan at Wing is to help deliver more than 3,000 total boxes of cookies via its drone delivery service, if not even more.
For the Girl Scouts, cookie season typically begins in January though flavor availability and onset will vary based upon the region. For the longest time, Girl Scouts have prioritized selling their goods in residential neighborhoods, outside of grocery stores, and even through company programs at local businesses.
Unfortunately for the Girl Scouts, the COVID-19 pandemic would put an end to convention. In March 2020, the Scouts would suspend all of their traditional cookie booths and door-to-door sales campaigns. To make up for this loss in action, the Girl Scouts of Virginia would prepare virtual cookie booths through their online social media campaigns to partner with their drone-delivery methods.
Considered one of the largest girl-led programs for entrepreneurs on the planet, the Girl Scout Cookie drive is immensely important for multiple reasons. Not just an important institution, the Girl Scouts are a defining one.
Take Flight With Wing
While the Girl Scouts of Virginia will enjoy drone flying assistance with their cookie deliveries, they won’t have to worry about running the controls themselves. As the first drone delivery company in the country to earn Air Operators Certification from the FAA in 2019, Wing has used the Scouts delivery service as a way to showcase just how far drone flights have come.
According to Reich, “COVID gave people who might not have a reason to try drone delivery, and we saw deliveries increase by more than 500% in 2020.”
Reich’s assertion was backed by a local survey released by Virginia Tech. The survey found that Christiansburg locals enjoyed the idea of a residential drone delivery company with support coming in at 87% in favor of the idea.
Are you ready to start ordering your Girl Scout Cookies through drone delivery services? How about your next grocery order? As it turns out, the sky might be the limit!
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