The other day I got an email from someone I’ve not seen in ages. And it couldn’t have stirred sweeter memories.


Back in 2001, Mister’s Mama and I went to cooking school in Italy. The horrors of September 11th were only one week behind us, so the whole trip felt shaky. The whole world felt that way really. We didn’t know that until we arrived in Italy and wonderful strangers started telling us how sorry they were for what had happened to America. But I digress… At cooking school, our hostess turned out to be a California gal who had moved her family to Tuscany for her business. She, her husband and their young daughter had upended their world to try something new. Maybe something crazy. They committed fully and went for it.


A few years after that, Mister and I were in Italy and we visited the same cooking school for a couple of days. I caught up with the California gal and we had a great time. At one point, the young daughter wanted to hear me sing. I obliged her and then she graced us with a song she’d made up. It was creative, hilarious and smiley. And Mister and I have never forgotten that moment.


Cut to a few days ago and that aforementioned email. It was from the California gal, the proprietor of the cooking school in Tuscany. She wrote to tell me her daughter – practically grown now – was writing her own songs, recording and studying the arts. She gave me a link to some of the young lady’s works and I was blown away. She really is a talent to be reckoned with.


The other night I was at dinner with a group of talented, strong, brilliant women. At one point we were discussing having an impact on the world. I said that when we set out to do good in life, there’s no telling how we’ll affect others. That sometimes the very thing we think will cause the most ripples turns out to not even be a drop in the pond. And how something small, something trivial, may end up causing the most wonderful waves.


Let me be clear here. I in no way take credit for the above-mentioned young Tuscan girl’s dreams and aspirations. (And I certainly have nothing to do with her talent.) But it does make me very happy to know that I got to spend a little time with her, ages ago, sharing music. The fact that her mother reached out to me to mention that musical memory, well, it warms my heart.


And to think – that small, trivial moment from all those years ago may have helped to form a ripple or two. Time will tell if waves will follow…

National Dance Day



Today is National Dance Day here in America. And I support the heck out of that.


I’m not a dancer myself, mind you. In fact, over the last few years I’ve come to understand that I am fairly awkward when it comes to dance moves. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever been any good at dancing, but I’ve always had such fun trying! It never occurred to me to judge my dance ability, as any time I was in the act of dancing, I was filled with joy. Now that I know how bad I am, I hope I can continue having fun, as I’d hate to deny myself that happiness just because I lack talent.


I have no plans to hit the clubs tonight. I won’t be tripping the light fantastic in any elite establishments about town, either. But I may put on a few records and shake what the good lord gave me, in my own living room. My foot is tapping and I’m smiling – just thinking about it.




Today I’m helping a friend move. She’s been more than a good friend to me over the years. Helping her feels right. Feeling right is a good thing.


Later, I’ll be attending another friend’s reading. She’s a writer and actress, and tonight she’ll be putting both talents to work. I love seeing people do their thing, and I love that people actually do do their thing. Things. Whatever. I’m looking forward to it.


For some reason, yesterday found me thinking of a friend who once verbally attacked me at a dinner, for no good reason. I didn’t freak out or anything. I just let her express herself and that was it. I thought about it as I drove home on that long ago night, and realized she’d probably been stressed. When I talk to her these days, she’s lovely. Kind. And I’ll never – not even once – bring up that odd night a few years back.


Friends come in all sorts of packages. They’re good for us. That’s why we call them friends. And when they’re not good for us? Well, that’s when we need to let them go.


As for me, today is a good day to have friends. And to be a friend. Friendship is a two-way street, you know. I’m happy to report traffic is moving smoothly in both directions.

Until We Meet Again



Another Olympics Games, closed. I relished these winter sports, as I do every 4 years. Not only do I admire watching the athletes display their skills (skills they’ve honed for-practically-ever), I also love-love-love the sportsmanship. For though examples of bad sports may be found, those tend to be the exceptions rather than the rule. And that just makes me bubble! I love the way teammates cheer each other on. I love the way medalists congratulate one another, no matter which countries are represented. I love the stories. I love the heart. I love Bob “Pink-Eye” Costas.


The Olympics remind me just how small the world can be. And just how large. They remind me to appreciate the talents of others. And they remind me to work toward my own.


I’m sad the Olympics are over, but also ready to get back to bid-ness. Maybe the charge I feel from the Games will stick with me a while. And if it doesn’t, I’m not worried. The 2014 Paralympics Games open on March 7th. Bring on the inspiration!