february 6, 2019

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“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

keeping watch

 

I don’t ordinarily put off a post for two months, but in the case of my extended trip to DC last December, I needed to process for a while. The conference that got me there was fine, but the days leading up to it were slightly traumatic because the last time I saw Ricky Hayes he was alive and laughing. We – Ricky, Rick Warfield (pictured here), and I – had a nice dinner and talked for hours, sprinkled with laughter throughout. It was a beautiful moment. This time, I could only see his name etched in stone. I couldn’t even touch it because it was at the very top of the 10′ foot columbarium. No hugs. No laughter. Just silence. I was sad to my core just as I’d been when my other near-brother Mark Collinsworth died. If you’re fortunate as an only child, like Ricky and I were, you form long-term relationships with certain people can, and often do, fill the vacant role of brother or sister. These friendships transcend the concept of “friend” and can take on characteristics more akin to siblings. My most formative years were spent with Ricky and Mark in this capacity. They were brothers to me in every way. Period. As an adult, I could never be there to help Rick care for Ricky through the many times he got sick or was hospitalized. Even when I was told that something had gone terribly wrong with Ricky’s heart and he was no longer conscious I couldn’t be there. Instead, a few weeks later, I had to say my goodbyes over the phone. That’s not how either of us thought our time together would come to a close, but thanks to Rick, at least I had that much. So, nearly a year to the day after Ricky’s death, I found myself craning my neck to stare at his name on a symmetric stone square in the dim light of Sunday; Rick Warfield’s grief as palpable as if the passing just happened. I’m sorry Ricky had to go so soon. I’m not sorry he no longer suffers. This strange, complex human condition: sometimes you just need to sit with it a while and just be.

 

sanctuary

december 15, 2018

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“The only expectations you should live up to are the ones you expect of yourself.” ~ Unknown

 

home

 

Some homes in DC are large and beautiful. Some are small and tacky. Then, there’s a whole lot of this (above and below): practical, adorable, neighborly, fun, welcoming, warm. That’s the neighborhood I’d want to live in. 

 

party

 

december 14, 2018

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“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Eastern Market

 

Last Sunday Rick took me to Eastern Market. I had gone there once before many years ago, but it was just in passing more than anything. Sunday, we perused the stalls of the creative artists, from jewelry to painting to textiles. In fact, having left Lexington without hat and gloves, I bought both made of alpaca wool from Ecuador and got toasty warm real quick. The indoor market had most of the perishables. It was really great to see such a market. I would shop in a place like this for sure. I’d like to go back when it’s not quite so cold, but for a frosty day, it was still pretty fun.

 

goods

december 12, 2018

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“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

sunrise

 

This was the sunrise in Washington, DC at Reagan National. To catch an 8:15 flight I got up at 4:45am, was on the Metro by 5:30, at Reagan by 6:15, and then things got weird. Long story short, both the travel agent and I got my flight time wrong. We thought it was a morning flight. Turned out to be 8:15 PM. I’ve never had that happen before. Even the agent at the desk this morning did not see that it was an evening flight until she checked it on her computer. I felt somewhat vindicated by that. I guess I was just destined to waste a day hanging out in airports. Fortunately, Delta got me on a much earlier flight and I was back in the Bluegrass by 3 PM. Thus ended a highly emotional trip. I’m sure I will eventually talk about it, but for now, I’ll just say that I am grateful for all of it, even the messed up schedule.

september 15, 2014

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“When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
~ Buddha

 

best of the best
best of the best

 

How do you get a group of people to smile broadly after sitting all day in a meeting? You lay down in front of them. Works every time (this is the only time I’ve ever done it, so I wouldn’t take my word for it). This group of current NDNP awardees, NDNP graduates, and a few outside organizational representatives assembled at the Willard Hotel beside the White House to figure out how we’re all going to continue to produce and deliver newspaper content to the world. Newspapers are the single most accessed digital collection any of our institutions have. The numbers bear that out. Between us, we have more than 14 million pages (not a typo), and we continue to produce 4 million pages a year. What we have done is remarkable. I have no doubt our collective dreaming will produce something more spectacular than anything we’ve done so far. I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet to be associated with such incredibly smart people.

 

the hippest grandma going
the hippest grandma going

 

But wait, there’s more! BFF Lisa Banyai met me for dinner. We went to this super cool bookstore in Dupont Circle called Kramer Books where I had one of the best shrimp and grits dishes I’ve ever tasted. And it really is a bookstore! We perused an incredible selection of books as a weird mix of James Brown R&B and early 80’s dance music filled the air. Lisa picked up Kentuckian Noah Adams’ book, and she forced me to buy C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. We rambled for a few blocks, even passed a Scientology Church, before I bid my dear friend adieu down the Metro hole. One of the things we talked about over dinner was how many things we have to be thankful for. Each person in this post, Lisa Banyai at the top, they are just a few things for which I am grateful.

 

read well, well read
read well, well read

september 14, 2013

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If you have good thoughts they will shine out your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely.” ~ Roald Dahl

fall blue
fall blue

There’s something about a crisp fall day that makes the sky extra blue. I spent several hours working in the yard, and at one point I stopped and said, “Thank you God for this divine day.” It was an absolutely stunning day. Afterward, I turned my attention to my photos from DC. You might remember Tuesday’s post where I mentioned a homeless man sleeping in the middle of rush hour. My prayer is for him tonight, that he may take some comfort in this cooler weather, and soon have shelter and a soft bed for sleep.

the least of us
the least of us