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.