It was subtle at first, but now it's dawned on me that a bunch of people around me have quit smoking.
Regularly, my neighbor Lorie and I would see each other outside while we puffed away, chatting away about current events, our pets, our children.
One day, I noticed Lorie just relaxing at her little table, sans cigarette.
"I'm taking Chantix," she explained, looking only slightly forlorn.
Chantix is a quit smoking drug approved by the FDA and it works by not allowing the little receptors in your brain to be stimulated by nicotine.
Over the next few days, Lorie sightings became fewer and far between. Now when I see her, it's in passing and I yell out a friendly little greeting while I puff away.
Then one day last week, I'm talking to my dad. He says, "I've got to do something, the money I spend on cigarettes is ridiculous. I think I'm going to give that Chantix a try."
I tried Chantix. I got so frustrated because cigarettes were doing nothing for me I went out, bought a carton of smokes and dumped the meds.
And puffed away.
Then there's Corey Russell. Who, as he pointed out when I asked if he wanted to smoke with me yesterday, is on his "latest attempt" to not smoke.
Corey can pick up the habit, then let it go like it's nobody's business, which only affirms my theory.
Corey's not human, he's a Martian from outer space.
My friend Guy has joined the ranks of current not-smokers, too.
Only Guy's like the model former-smoker-in-training. He doesn't complain and he still hangs out with us while we surround ourselves with wispy clouds of cigarette smoke.
After all this, I'm teetering towards contemplating an attempt to kick the habit.
The fact that I'm actually toying with the idea probably reinforces my pastor's faith in God for the millionth time over.
Now, if she'd just send some more prayer power my way, maybe I'll take that leap and become a former-smoker-in-training, too.