Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dec 19. 2010

LaDonna Austin

For not being afraid to extend a
short notice invitation.



Dec 18, 2010

Valerie McQueen

For knowing that you can't get your
whole life together just because you
get one snow day.


And for calling me on the telly phone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dec 5, 2010

Brenda Downstairs.

I don't have a picture of Brenda right now,

but didn't want to have to delay this post until morning.

Brenda lives on the first floor

and whenever I pick up a call from her she says,

"Hello! This is Brenda Downstairs."

I have her programmed into my phone as such--

first name Brenda, last name Downstairs.

So I already know who is calling.

I'm not sure how old Brenda Downstairs is.

She has been a widow for a long time.

Her sons live far away.

She calls me if there is high wind.

Or even the threat of high wind.

"Are you okay up there?

You know that you can come down."

Once, I told her that I loved the shoes she was wearing.

Brenda Downstairs called me a couple of hours later

and told me that she got the shoes at DSW,

she had a coupon that she would probably not use,

and that I should knock on her door and get it.

She called me on Thanksgiving morning

because she saw my car out front,

and wanted to make sure I was okay.

Tonight, she heard my bathwater drain

and Brenda Downstairs called.

I don't know what the original reason for her call was.

But we ended up talking about love, loss, snow,

and Christmas.

On this December Sunday, it's Brenda Downstairs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dec 2, 2010

I really don't want to have to re-name this blog
One Person. Every Day That I Get Around to It.

Sorry I have been remiss.

I promise to do better.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov 29, 2010

Nicole Krauss

"It's in those places...those fissures...those very fragile and quite dark places...abysses that people find themselves in...I think those places give up this opportunity for revelation, for transcendence, for transformation.
I'm attracted to them not for their darkness, I think in everything I write, it seems strange to say, I feel hopeful about all the potential, about the magnitude of life and all that we are given to feel. I'm not shy about touching and talking about how painful it is, but I have this hope that somehow in dwelling in all of that there is an opportunity for some kind of enhancement."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov 28, 2010

Mary Daisy Dinkle

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 27, 2010

Phone Call From Madeline


Hi, Amy.

What are you doing?

Driving to swim lessons.

How is Daisy?


Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

Yeah. We had ham. What were you for Halloween? I was a fairy by day, witch by night.

I wasn't anything. I went to bed early.


You know what we forgot to do when I was in Denver? We forgot to make a Christmas list.

I know.

What could I send you for Christmas?

You know. You know. You know. Not clothes.


My mom and dad made my Toy Story 3 list and Santa is bringing me ONE Toy Story 3 thing.

Who do you think you'll get? Woody? Buzz?

Probably. But Dinosaur, Potato, Jessie, Woody, they are all my favorite.

Do you think they have Jessie at Target?

Probably they have Jessie at Target. She's twenty cents.

*****mumbling from what sounds like Madeline's mother in the background****

Oh, Amy? Jessie's MORE than twenty cents.

Okay. I will make sure I take enough cents for Jessie.

Okay. I love you.

I love you, Madeline. Have a good swim lesson. Call me again. Soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nov 26, 2010


A little birdie told me today that
Lynn reads my blog.

Oh, the pressure!
When you (I) can write with the knowledge that
no one is reading,
you (I) can write anything at all.

At least it's Lynn,
who teaches second and third grade,
and is used to a lot of trial and error
in writing.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nov 25, 2010

Nathan Alexander Dickerson McCracken
To me, simply Buddy.

For a hundred reasons that everyone knows,
and for many, many reasons that
only I know,
today it is Buddy.

During the middle of a night
23 years ago, my heart broke with
the knowledge that the tiny person I
was holding would grow up and
leave me one day.

But it doesn't really happen like that.

There's mercy in the way children go.

They leave you a little bit every day.

And we celebrate it.
When they learn to feed themselves.
When they walk.
When you change the last diaper.
When the school bus pulls away.
When one day they have body odor.
When you can't breathe because you see tail lights fading up the street.
Then there is the tassel on the mortarboard.
And the goodbye on the curb outside of the dorm room.

A little bit every day.

Until they really are gone--and all grown up.

But, if you're lucky, as I am, your child will
do or say something that makes you
realize they'll never forget that you
held them in the middle of the night
and that your heart broke.

And everything will be okay.

Buddy Nathan Alexander Dickerson McCracken,
I love you.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov 22, 2010

September 2008, New York City
Eeyore shirt.

November 2010, Denver, CO

I've been with my family for the last 4 days.
It's been impossible to pick only
one person, every day.

Flying home tonight to face the next couple of days
without them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nov 17, 2010

Leslie Hall

Oh, Leslie, honey, I LOVE YOU!

On the first Wednesday of every month,
everyone I know is invited over for dinner.

Guests bring a dish to share and a small, handmade gift
to give away.
The "handmade" part stops some people from coming, I think.

Let Leslie inspire you to be

Work through the pain....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov 15

Lucifer the Cat from Amy McCracken on Vimeo.


I get to hang out with this little girl
in three days.

I can't get this blog post formatted
the way that I want.

I don't care. I get to see this
little girl when she gets out of school
on Thursday.

And there's also 6 other people I dearly love who
are waiting my arrival.


Hello, Denver!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nov 13, 2010


I'm not going to lie.

I invited myself to Julia's birthday party today.

And, oh my goodness, am I ever glad I did.

Let's all have AT LEAST one day a year
to wear a hat like this
and have a cake all to ourselves.

Happy Birthday, Julia.

***It is now the morning after the party and I'd just
like to say that my imploring you to have your own
birthday one day a year illustrates that I give myself a
little too much credit. You'll probably have a birthday one day a year
whether you read this blog or not. Please enjoy it.


Nov 12, 2010

Best in Show Candidates

I'm lucky enough to be the Executive Director
at Richmond Animal League (RAL). I do not
know how it happened, and I tried to talk
them out of it. But here I am!

Founded in 1979,
RAL is the area's longest operating
no-kill shelter. Our mission is
Providing hope, help, and homes for
animals in need.

Our biggest fundraiser of the year is an
event we call Best in Show.
We round up seven candidates
(who happen to be humans--don't hold it against them)
to vie for the coveted title of Best in Show.
These candidates embark on their own
fundraising campaigns, and for 10 weeks
become obsessed with raising as much money as
possible before we come together for a
Grand Finale. Every dollar is a vote and we tally it all
up to determine the victor.

The winner gets the following:
her mug on a Richmond billboard,
a $12.99 tiara from Party City,
and a heap of gratitude and a round of applause
from all of us!

This year's candidates were tireless and relentless
advocates for all of the cats and dogs in our care.
They wore their friends and families out,
they sat at restaurants for hours on end
because they were promised a percentage of
proceeds from evening sales.
They hosted Poker Runs,
Halloween Parties,
and even had a date auction.
They robbed banks (just kidding),
held raffles, solicited sponsors, and, toward
the end, just resorting to posting on Facebook:
Support Me. Now.

The Grand Finale was held on November 12
at the Science Museum of Virginia.

The candidates raised almost $63,000
for the animals in our care, and those cats and dogs still to come.

It's a tough world out there.
But these women make it look easy.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Here are my heroes today....

Tarra Balcom
Dee Bogetti
Ashley Carroll
Suellen Christeller
Carly Keating
Heather Mullican
Natalie Wier

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nov 11, 2010

Jeff Reed

It's Veteran's Day.
Everyone is posting tributes and
messages of support to our troops
past and present.

But not me.
Because I have some big work thing
going on and I am overwhelmed with
details, details, details and loading the van.
La la la. Heinous Bitch.

I adore my co-worker, Cynthia.
But I was even rude to her.

I left the office for a little while
so that I could find a quiet place to work
for a few hours.

After I calmed down a little,
I logged into Facebook and saw
Cynthia's profile picture.

It's Jeff.
He's Cynthia's brother.
Fifteen days away from coming
home from his second deployment,
Jeff died on a spring day
in Balad, Iraq.

A brother. A son. A husband.
A Philadelphia Flyers fan.
A soccer player.
After witnessing Iraqi children
resorting to playing soccer with soda cans,
Jeff organized soccer ball shipments from his hometown--
and played along with the Iraqi children
when new, inflated balls began to arrive.
He is missed dearly by everyone who knew him.

I'm happy Jeff lived.
I'm happy to know Cynthia.
I'm happy to have been jolted out
of my temper tantrum by
the reality that I have the freedom to
do all of the things that I do because of our
nation's servicemen and women.

Today, it's Jeff.

Nov 10, 2010

My Camellias

I love my camellias for many reasons.
But I really, really love them this morning
for illustrating it's not always
all about the blooming--
there can be a lot of beauty created by
letting go.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov 9, 2010

My See-ster Stacy

Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.

I sent a somewhat whiny email
(and by that I mean an email in which I questioned
my existence and the meaning of life,
complained about how tight my
pants were on my thighs,
and used the "f" word more than a couple of times)
to my sisters and a friend this morning.

My friend replied with all sorts of
cheery love.

Stacy wrote back and said
(and I paraphrase)
God! I know! Life SUCKS!

I love her for it.
It made me laugh.

And I love her for it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov 7, 2010

Edison Pena

Oh, I love this happy, funny, irresistibly
adorable man. So much.

But I can't imagine what he would
have thought if someone told him--
when he was trapped deep in the
Chilean mine in which he worked--that he would
be laughing about his 69-day long brush with death.

In the mine, he was dubbed "the runner."
He ran as much as six miles a day through dark tunnels
--sometimes dragging a pallet behind him.

He explains his motivation by saying this:
"When I ran in the darkness, I was running for life.
I didn't say I can't.
No, I tried and I succeeded and I did it.
And, of course, I did that in the darkness.
Without light.
I was running to show that I wasn't just waiting around.
I was running to be an active participant in my own salvation.
I wasn't just waiting around.
I was running because I was also contributing
to the struggle for our rescue.
And I also wanted God to see that I really wanted to live."

Today, Edison Pena is running the New York City Marathon.
I am cheering for him.

Show God that you really want to live by being an
active participant in your own salvation.
Don't wait around.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nov 5, 2010


Today it's my friend
Kathryn in Indiana
who posted this photo
of winter's first snowflakes.

I'm been so afraid for winter
to come.
I tend to get a little dark.

But this made me think that
just maybe,
winter could be dark pink
and white
and beautiful.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nov 3, 2010


Today, it's Paul.

He's my brother.
He is coming to spend Christmas
with me.

And the day after we'll
leave on a road trip
that will forever change
both of us.
Or not.
We might find out
that we'll always be the same.

And that will be okay.

Nov 2, 2010

Frye Melissa Button Boot

It's good to have goals.
Just sayin'

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 31, 2010

Patti Digh

I spent the day by myself today.
But sometimes even when we are trying
to be hermits and we don't leave the house,
people who make us happy come to us.

My friend Patti made me happy
today by being brave and then
sharing it with me.

So that I can be brave, too?
Maybe she just did it for no
other reason that she's just
like that.

The inspiration she provides for so many people
is like the wind was today--
gutsy and steady and comforting.
Patti can find words for things that
are all a part of us at some point
--loss, joy, grief, appreciation,
wonder, confusion, anger, ignorance, tolerance.

But when Patti puts into words stories
that are hers alone, it's even more powerful
wonderful and brave.

You can know Patti at

Here is another picture of her.
I wasn't sure which one she would want me to use.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30th, 2010

Pam and Lynn

When I asked Pam if she thought
she and Lynn would like to go
walk around a long-forgotten,
overgrown cemetery on the
city's east side she said
"Sure. Maybe."

They did end up joining me this morning
for a long walk around
Evergreen Cemetery.
It was established long ago
as a beautiful burial ground for
African Americans who lived and
worked in Richmond.

It's been forgotten.
And it's overgrown.
And sad.
But it's hopeful--because a small
group of volunteers are trying to
clear some of the growth and restore
the cemetery to a place where there can
be eternal rest.

And where Bertha E. Thompson's
membership in a
Forget-Me-Not Club
will continue, even in her death.

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29th, 2010

Elaine Carter Whiddon

It makes me laugh that Elaine
has "Family Feud" listed as one
of her interests on her Facebook page.

I am happy (and lucky) to know
Elaine because of her fierce dedication
to her own family.

She's part of Beau's Brigade, a team that
gets together every spring to raise funds to
find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening
disease that her grandson Beau is living with.

Elaine makes a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
every year that
gets Beau's Brigade on the back of the
event t-shirt. The first year that I added it
to the event t-shirt we had a lot of sponsors and logos and
Beau's Brigade was printed a little lower on the t-shirt.
The next year, when it came time for Elaine to make her donation,
she called me, a little sheepishly, and said that she had
a special request.
"I'm old," she said, "and like to tuck my
t-shirts in. When I tuck last year's shirt in Beau's team
name gets hidden in my pants."

is now printed very near
the top of the t-shirt.
For Elaine and her generosity.
For reasons only I know
(well, you know, too, now).

Even though Beau's Brigade only gets together
one day of the year to walk as a team, Elaine is
a bright spot 365 days a year for me--as I am sure she is
for her family and all of those who know her.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28th, 2010

Gina Greco

This is an ordinary photo of an extraordinary woman.
(After all, I use a cell phone camera, and we were at Panera,
and it was 9:30 on a Tuesday morning, nothing at all
out of the ordinary)

But here is Gina of Must Love Paws Bakery
and there isn't anything ho-hum about her.

That she dreams and sets goals for herself
makes her just like the rest of us.

That she is constantly living those dreams
and reaching those goals
sets her apart from many of us.

Gina left a job in the high-rise corporate world to
make organic dog treats in her basement.
that is what she wanted to do.

Did she have all the answers before she took the leap?
Did she have to figure stuff out as she went along?
Did she know she'd be able to make this work?

I don't know. But she knew she had to try.

She's brave, passionate, sincere, and
she's here.

Gina's also a very good listener when
other people start going on and on about
their own dreams.

Thank you, Gina, for being an example of
what we can do when we want to.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27th, 2010

Patti Digh and Kathryn Schuth

It's been a YEAR since I started this blog. For the first couple of weeks, I so loved the task of having to truly appreciate at least one person, every day. Like so many things that I love to do, I let it slide. I'm climbing out of that slump this morning to recognize my friends Patti and Kathryn who keep me writing whether I want to or not. Here we are working on, uh, uh, a project together. I'd really love to see it fly one day and resolve to do my part to make that happen. Even though I did not win the lottery last night (AGAIN) I feel lucky this morning.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm Back

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Today it's Johnny and June

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23rd, 2010

Kathryn Ruth Schuth

I'm back.
I have missed this little blog.
Now that I have an assitant
I should be able to find the
time to appreciate and record
one person, every day

Many thanks to Kathryn for her
role in finding me this
perfect co-worker.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9th, 2010


This is Bob.
Bob belongs to Cooper--
has always belonged to Cooper.

In exchange for being loved by Cooper
these long seven years,
Bob will wait.
In the cold car.
In the hot car.
In a bucket of other,
less dignified toys.
In the backpack.
On the floor.
On the bed.

Bob will wait for Cooper.

And Cooper will always
come back.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 27th

Sydney and Stella

If you are ever really, really, really
worried about grown-up life,
find a baby to hang out with.

It helps.


If you don't think this will work,
find two babies.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 24th, 2010

Larry West
Providence Middle School

Yesterday afternoon I had the
pleasure of seeing Providence Middle School's
production of Thoroughly Modern Millie (Junior)!

I was invited because one of the students who
in the show has cystic fibrosis and
ended up hospialized--unable
to fulfill her role as a singing,
dancing Priscilla Girl.

A life with CF sometimes
means you can't fill certain roles.
But CFers always manage to play other roles.
Like Hero.

This particular student, Brianna, leads a team
in the annual GREAT STRIDES walk in
Richmond, VA. They raise over $5,000
every year for CF research.

Her fellow actors, out of love and respect for what Brianna does,
decided to donate proceeds
from today's show to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

It's my work, so on a professional level, this was good news.

On a personal level I simply could not believe my
luck of being able to watch a group of incredibly
BRAVE and talented students bring this show to life.
By intermission, my face hurt from smiling.

If you ever wonder if you should embrace life
and live in an exclamation point sort of way,
just go see a play. A local middle school play
would be best. But Broadway will work if you
can't catch a show at home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17th, 2010

I had a dream last night that I was sitting in a restaurant
and the women in the booth behind me was laughing, laughing, laughing
and I asked her if I could take her picture and feature her on my blog.

I think that means I need to resume my daily posts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10th, 2010

Larry and Katy Brydon

Oh! Networking!
Breakfast Clubs!
Business card exchange!
I'm Amy!
Who are you?

I'm supposed to "network."
With strangers.
It's not something I love doing.

But early this snowy morning
I found myself at a breakfast
meeting--to network.

I was a little early. I put my L.L. Bean
canvas tote (my version of a briefcase)
on my chair and took my coat off.
There were 8 or 10 men in suits
standing around the coffee pots
chatting about...
I don't know.
I didn't get that close to find out.

I was just standing by my chair when a woman
walked in and said,
"Oh! Good Morning! The tables are so pretty!
Did you do that? I hope everyone comes
this morning despite the snow! How are you?!
Oh, look at her pretty sweater.
I'm Katy!"

She never stopped being that positive and lovely.
She engaged everyone she saw in
sincere, give and take conversation, making
sure to repeat their names so that she
would remember them and acting as if every
stranger she met were a long, lost friend.
I just stuck by her and walked around the
room with her. If nothing else comes of
my breakfast networking, I am so happy to have
met Katy--and her husband Larry. The next
time I have to get up really early to go
hang out with a bunch of people I don't know,
I'll try to be as full of wonder and grace as
Katy Brydon.

Larry and Katy opened MacLaren Jewelers in November.
I wish them all the success in the world in this new venture.

February 8th, 2010

No Kidding

I went to visit a darling girl
in the hospital today.

Finding my way through
the maze that is VCU
I heard the wackiest version
of Dancing Queen

It was coming from these
happy mouths.

And wonderful.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6th, 2010

It looks like this today.
Unless I have my camera out
when the snow plow driver comes by,
I probably won't have a real live encounter
with someone who makes me happy today.

But technology took me to the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin
this morning where I heard my
dear friend Patti Digh speak
directly to me.

This is what she said:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 2, 2010

Everyday. Every day. Yes, this is all there is.
And that's a wonderful thing.
You just have to realize it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 1, 2010

Will it take 16 minutes to watch this?
Is it worth it?
That is all I have to say.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31st, 2010

I Don't Know Who!

I just looked out the window and saw
that 14 inches of snow has been
cleared off my car.

Three cheers for random acts
of anonymous kindness.

January 30th 2010

Angela Dickerson

Can something from 22 years ago be the thing today?
On this snowy winter day in 2010?


Today, it's Angie.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 29th, 2010

Susan Keitges (rhymes with righteous) Kelly

Turning down an offer to come and get snowed in

with Susan this weekend I went on and on about all

of the things that I needed to do

(clean, pack, paint over a water stain, pack,

fix the latch on the door, fold up the futon,

sulk, get another quote for the hot water heater,

remove all soap scum from tubs, etc.).

She replied.

"You do what you need to do. If necessary,

the girls can come over and help you

with your tasks."

Here are the girls.

I have the best friends.

The best.

I'm watching the snow and am so grateful.

So grateful.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28th, 2010


I met Jasmine at a really hectic family
sing-along at Christmastime. She was so darn cute,
and so johnny-on-the-spot
when it was her turn to belt out
that I wanted to be her friend instantly.

She is my cousin's step-daughter.
She lives in Ohio.
I live in Virgina.

I made her a refrigerator magnet.
She sent me origami.
I told her she was totally rad.
She sent me basil seeds.
I told her I loved her photography.
She sent me a story about visiting
a nursing home and witnessing an impromptu
(and kind of scary) choir break out.

In short, I love her.

Last summer, she sent me really groovy collage.
With boots and butterflies.
And ninjas.
On the back side she had written,
Sometimes I forget why I'm going about, doing what I do.
That is when I do things I love.
Doing things I love and being around people I love
helps me remember that, well, everything
that people do matters.
Everybody I know is somehow needed.
They are somehow loved.
My life is a bunch of pieces put together (like a collage)
as is everyone's life.
My point is, every piece is important!
You are part of my collage
even if it is starting as a small piece.
I hope it grows, it will always be there.

Jasmine rocked my world again today
(even though I found out that she
got a B in Art because a classmate asked
her for an answer on a test and Jasmine...
gave it. Zero for Jasmine Art Cheater).
Out of the blue, and into my lap
came the sweetest message.
About integrity.
And summer camp.

Jasmine, Jasmine, Jasmine, you are
an incredible gal.
And you have made me VERY happy today.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24th, 2010

Breathe from Amy McCracken on Vimeo.

Inspired by--and happy to know--all of these faces!

Fifty years ago, kids with cystic fibrosis rarely lived

to see the first day of school. Today, some CF patients are living

into their 30s and beyond.

Some don't.

There is no cure for CF.


The families behind these faces work tirelessly to make

CF stand for Cure Found.

You can help by supporting me as I take a short walk for long lives.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16th, 2010

Princess Pierce

With no regard for my health or financial well-being, a Daisy Scout walked into my office on Thursday and asked if I wanted to buy some cookies.

While Daisy Pierce’s mother, Amelia, was carrying around the sheet of paper on which we were to transcribe our dreams of Thin Mints and Samoas, Pierce and her friend Charlotte hung out in my office.

They told me that they were having a play date. Right then and there. Charlotte had come with Pierce and Amelia to sell cookies. Pierce told me that she had earned her Daisy petals.

“What else?” she asked me when she stopped talking.

Before I could think of what to say Pierce spotted the big bucket of shiny, plastic beads that got tossed in my office after they had been used at an earlier event.

“What are these?”

“OH! Those! Those are Princess Beads.”

Eyes as big as saucers, both of the girls asked, “What are princess beads?”

“Well, if you wear them you will turn into princesses.”

“Weally? Weally? Is that true? Can we have some?”


After much deliberation about whether they wanted gold or silver, diamond shaped or circles, they each took a strand of beads and put them on.

I answered the phone. As I was talking on the phone they both stood there looking back and forth between each other and then me. Each other and then me. Each other and then me.

I finished up the call.

“Well? We are not princesses.”

“Oh, that is because you have to wear FOUR strands. One of each shape.”

Frantic digging through the bucket ensued.

In no time both Charlotte and Pierce had four strands of beads hanging around their little necks, reaching their bellies. They looked at each other and then me.

“Oh, I forgot. After you have all of the beads that you need you have to wait until the first Saturday that comes along before you can tell that you are princesses.”

“Weally? What is today? What is today? What is today?”


“So Saturday is tomorrow?”

“Friday is tomorrow and then Saturday is the tomorrow after that.”

Another phone call.

As soon as I hung up they said, “Are we weally going to be princesses?”

"I think so."

They had more questions, though.

“Do we have to sleep in them or should we hold them in our hands? Will we wake up in our dresses and tiaras? Will we still have to go to school?”

Pierce was completely ready for the transformation. Charlotte seemed a little skeptical.
“Why aren’t you a princess if it’s so easy?”


“Well, I keep forgetting to take my beads home.”

They gathered up four strands of beads—one of each shape and hideous color—and started to put them on me.

“Wait, wait! We should probably make some wishes.”
"Yeah, yeah, wishes!"
And then they started giggling. And I started giggling.

I cupped my hands around my beads and held them up. Then I put my mouth to my closed hands and started whispering, “Dear Princess Beads, when I wake up on Saturday morning…”

And the little girls followed. Their beads were spilling out and hanging down to their elbows as they whispered their princess hopes into their hands. While I was wishing for money to cover my Thin Mint bill, warmer temperatures, and better hair, the girls were whispering about more important things
Dear Princess Beads,
I want a tiara
and the kind of puppy that a princess would have
and shoes that sparkle
and a pink snowstorm

It was during this ritualistic blessing of the beads that Pierce’s mother arrived at the door and wondered what was going on.

“Hi, Amelia! It might be a good idea if you just go ahead and pick up a couple of tiaras and puppies before the end of the day tomorrow.”

As the beaded princesses got ready to leave I shouted out to them, “If you have any questions at all you can call me on Monday. My name is Martha. Just call and ask for Martha.”

Did the girls know? Yes. Did they know that the beads were beads and that we were the ones giving them magic? Yes. Did they understand how fun it was to wish and to make yourself believe? Yes. Did they know that my name is NOT Martha? Yes.

But I weally, weally hope that when they got up this morning that they also knew how happy they made me, and how truly sweet and beautiful they are—tiaras or not.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15th, 2010


I mean, just look at her.

She's happiness no matter what

I could write about her.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14th, 2010


Oh, misery and petty bitterness today!
Starting early, mean, nasty.
Annoying alarm clock.
Uncomfortable pants.
Debbie Downer.
Negative Nelly.
Trapped in a spiral of destructive thinking.
All the while thinking of the grief in Haiti
wondering how to let go of it all...

And then, at 3:28 p.m.
like magic...
I get an email from someone I have not seen for
more than 2 1/2 years.
Pretty Chinda.

I just wanted to say:
Even though our daily face-to-face interaction was shortly lived at the AHA,
you have managed to reach back into my life through the amazing internet and Facebook,
and I'm truly grateful for it.
I love your blog and your random sayings and your positive "glass half-full" mentality.
I love that you love and appreciate everyone, especially when
I'm constantly surrounded by negativity
and mean people and people
who do nothing but spew the words
"I hate..." and "This sucks..." and "My life is miserable so I will make your life miserable...".
I go through my news feed on Facebook,
and have to constantly roll my eyes at the people who hate Mondays and who hate their bosses or who complain about their kids,
but your news feed is like the sunshine that jumps at me when I'm looking for that little ray of good news from my friends who can make me smile.
Thank you for that.
Stay positive.
I hope to make it to a First Wednesday soon.
xoxo from someone who is grateful for YOU.

The truth is: it made me cry.

I really believe that we go through life appreciating
so many things. So many things that we never take the time
to acknowledge. Chinda told me that she had resolved to take the time.
She wrote, "I had a few minutes before my Banana's gymnastic class,
and I'm glad I spent those few minutes to tell you how I felt".

Glad, indeed. Whew, me, too! I immediately wanted
to be the person that Chinda thinks I am!

And how lucky is Chinda's "Banana" to have Chinda for a mom!?

If someone does something that makes you happy,

They will love it.
Love it.

And it may come in right on time.
Like it did for me today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13th, 2010

Valerie's Desk Drawer

Since Valerie left me , I have been sitting at her desk.

I turn the light on in my own office every morning.

I check my voice mail.

Then I go sit in Valerie's office.

Sometimes I spread her business cards all around.

I use her pens.

I talk on her phone,

type on her computer,

and say, "Over here!" when my coworkers are looking for me.

And I ate most of the crackers she left behind.

This morning, I finished off the Tums.

Yesterday, I got a text message from

Val telling me that her beloved Mammaw died.

A picture of the two of them used to sit on this desk.

I wish I could sit with Val today like we used to everyday

from 12:00 - 1:00, and tell stories about

our grandmothers.

But I am grateful to be here in her chair,

in her old spot, casting every comforting thought I can

her way. To her new spot.

Love, love, love to Val and Mammaw.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12th, 2010

Angela Dickerson

Today, it is Angie.

Not because of anything in her email, but for the
words "Good Morning Amos"
in a subject line.

I took this photo. But not today. I wish.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11th, 2010

LaDonna Austin

While at my desk, on the phone, filling out reports,
dealing with a grouch, planning the weekend,
questioning my worth, in my living room, in traffic,
cooking a meal, petting a dog, making a call, talking to my boss,
hanging out with my son, picking out wine, pouring wine,
hating my big feet, telling a story, choosing my shoes,
thinking of hair color, planning an event, making a poster,
decorating my house, planting flowers,
or loving someone,
I frequently ask myself...

What Would LaDonna Do?

That's how much I love the way LaDonna does things.

That's how much I love LaDonna.

January 10th, 2010

Susan and Richard Kelly

In exchange for a spaghetti and meatball dinner,
I got to hold the new baby
(with the sweetest ears)
and pretend that
she was all mine....

if only for a little while.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 8th, 2010

Okay! Okay!

Today I will screw my arms back on and starting writing again!
I promise.

My heartfelt thanks to the universe
(appearing to me in disguise, but looking an awful lot like
The River Side Writer, and Patti Digh) for reminding me
that I have a little project going on here
that I have neglected.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6th, 2010

Oh. Dear. Am I really this far behind?
On the lookout today for a good story....
I promise.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!
Here's to a great year of one person, every day.