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Back From El Salvador

I'm back early this morning from my Habitat Charlotte trip to El Salvador. This annual "attitude adjustment" trip is always so rewarding, such a pleasure, and lots of hard work. I spent many months preparing at the gym, knowing as I do, that being in the best shape possible always makes for a better trip. I was, if I do say so myself, quite studly this year and suffered no injuries, didn't fall down on the site, and with the help of a little Advil P.M., not even sore during the week of hard work. For mi compadres, I wrote this poem, which came to me as I was going to sleep on our last night in the country.

And Then

And then they started to leave.
At first just a couple
Who don't enjoy the beach.

And then we all pack up
Our fabulously dirty clothes
Crusted with the week's sweat and work

And then we have our last hugs
And disperse throughout the airport
To our respective gates and cities.

And then we fly away home to our loved ones
Dreaming of next year,
Leaving behind those we love, too. Read More 
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In Aberdeen

Whirlwind would be a good word to describe the past couple of months. First there was the move to a new (old) house. It's a wonderful home and a great decision for us, but moving, even if it's only a few blocks, is just such an unmitigated pain.

Then there was the annual On the Same Page Literary Festival. Splendid is the word for this event. Great attendance, wonderful authors, and promising prospects for next year, too. But, it does make my feet hurt just thinking about it.

Next we whisked off to Scotland for a couple of weeks of scholarly pursuit by my Henry with our Professor friends, Janey & Peter, at the University of Aberdeen. That's what the pictures at right are all about. It's been a tremendous trip for Henry's academic pursuits. We have been treated like VIPs by all. But, my head is a little sore from thinking so hard; I can only imagine that Henry's is banging around inside his skull. Hanging around with really, really smart people for extended periods of time is challenging -- in a very good way, of course. Read More 
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Wow Wildacres

What a great week at Wildacres. Thank to Mike and the whole crew. I got to eat with the staff each day, and that was a treat. Thanks also to the Blumenthal Foundation and family who make it possible for writers and artists to have this rare opportunity to work.

I made serious progress on six essays and also started a brand new top-secret project that is way out of my usual comfort zone. Look for some bits of the essays on this blog soon. And I'll be posting a new photo essay here on this site in the next few days as well. Read More 
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Habitat Charlotte Women Wishing All a Merry Christmas!

A bunch of us women who used to work together at Habitat for Humanity Charlotte got together for a Christmas lunch at Mary Nell's house. What fun! We got caught up on each other and our families, shared info on those who couldn't be with us, and made plans, too. First off, we're going to be sure and do a lunch at least once a year, AND, all of us who can are going to go with the Habitat Charlotte crew to El Salvador in February 2011. (Fair warning to Ana Maria, Kendal, Patty, etc. in El Salvador!) Several of us went in 2007 and it was a great trip we want to share with more great Habitat Charlotte women. (see Photo Essays tab on this site for pictures from that trip)  Read More 
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