Friday, May 10, 2013

Working Away

Today is the last day I'll be working in New York City. For a month. Thanks to technology and a very understanding boss, I'm packing up a bazillion files - well, just my work laptop, really - and moving my office to Atlanta. The reason for my temporary relocation is so that I can lend a couple of hands with GrandBoy as we prepare to welcome his new baby sister, due within the next couple of weeks.

Besides phoning in to all the usual meetings, I am tasked with a handful of exciting social media/multimedia projects. Research and creative brainstorming are high on the list. The day-in/day-out busy-ness of my real-life office doesn't allow a lot of time to slow down and poke around with crazy, fun, interesting ways to engage folks in new ways. I'm being given permission and time to do just that.

Admittedly, I'm the type of girl who needs some kind of structure. That's why I don't mind schlepping into an office everyday with some sort of to-do list waiting for me. While there'll be no office-schlepping in Atlanta, I will be bringing an extensive to-do list with me, complete with work timelines and target dates. That should keep me on-task amidst the not-so-structured GrandMary duties. Fortunately, most of the work can be done at any hour of the day or night.

And after my work-month in Atlanta, I'll have a few days of vacation with girlfriends - a little trip to Savannah - before returning to New York mid-June. I'm sure strolling through the city's historic squares and lolling on the beach at Tybee Island will be much needed at that point.

One more thing: lest potential thieves get any ideas, my landlord lives in the apartment next to mine and will be keeping an eye on it while I'm gone. So fuggitabahtit.

Thank you, Boss Anne, and thank you to everyone who had a hand in inventing the technology for allowing me to telecommute at this wonderfully happy time in our family. I'm fortunate to have a job that gives me time to do some creative dreaming that might become reality.

New ideas, new ways of working, a new baby, new family memories. I'm packing lots of vitamins.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Tales From The Porch

It was a weekend of memories and making memories. Raucous laughter and earnest conversation. Sweet snacks, salty snacks, a thousand dips and two thousand dippables. Renewal and relaxation. For the second year in a row, friends who’d known each other since toddlerhood or since the first, fifth, or seventh grades gathered atop Lookout Mountain, Georgia, in affirmation that there is something special in maintaining childhood friendships.

Two Susans, a Susie, a Sharon, a Ginger, a Joy, a Debbi, a Margie, a Linda, a Maureen, a Janie, a Chris, and a Mary came bearing bags of fruits and veggies, special artichoke and spinach dips, cheese and cookies, water and yogurt and coffee to the lovely, hospitable Cottages in the Clouds for our Second Annual Barger Elementary/Brainerd Junior High School Girlfriends Weekend. We used Dogwood Cottage as home base for cooking, eating, socializing on the front porch, and as sleeping quarters for half of us and Chestnut Oak Cottage for bedding down the other half.

Most of us had attended last year's reunion (and Debbie and Rhonda were sorely missed this year). We welcomed three newbies - Janie, Chris, and Susan W. - who caught us up on what they'd been up to over the last *mumble-mumble* years.

Of course, I can't tell you everything we talked about (or I'd have to kill ya'), but my highlights include:
  • Joy's artichoke dip and Maureen's cheesy beef dip. Excellent, women! You're signed up to bring those to the 2015 gathering. (Put it on your calendars.)
  • A warm, sunny Friday afternoon, just the thing for sitting on the front porch, talking and snacking.
  • Watching everyone greet each other. Usually involved hugs and laughter. 
  • Relaxing, hard rains and rumbly thunderstorms that moved in early Saturday morning, God's way of saying "Y'all slow down, and enjoy this time together."
  • Staying up till almost 1am with Debbi and Margie, talking family and faith and other big, big things. Yeah, out on that front porch. (Can you tell how much I love front porches?)
  • The decibel level of four or five conversations going on simultaneously. Funny thing, we were all able to keep up with every one of those conversations. We've had years of practice. 
  • Seeing Janie, Chris, and Susan W. for the first time in *mumble-mumble* years. Such fabulous lives we've all led!
We decided to gather on the mountain again in 2015, when there'll be more stories, more food, and guaranteed more laughter.  Here's hoping more of the Barger/BJHS girlfriends will join us on the porch. We're tired of making up stories about the ones who don't show up.

Till then, fall in line, Brainerd Bombers!