book club


the weathermen were proven right and the city, the state, the region fell silent, quiet in the way only a heavy snowfall elicits, as we paused to take stock of what mother nature was capable of.

the loneliness piled up as high and fast as the snowflakes.

i checked on my (multiple) devices, charging those that needed it and braced for the power to go out when my phone flashed an incoming email at me. it was an amazon gift from a twitter friend, but i wasn’t expecting or anticipating it, so i flipped over to twitter to follow the trail of bread crumbs.

jack frost

you see, wendy was holding a timely (and wicked generous) giveaway of her book FROSTED and she had one more copy left.

enter: jessica lemmon (author of TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE) who saw wendy’s tweet and spoke up for my frosty behind. just like that, i was the proud new owner of an e-book, but way more importantly, my loneliness dissipated. the twitter community warmed me as if i was sitting in front of a fire on the hearth. all i needed now were s’mores.

when the snow stopped sometime late the next afternoon, i figured i’d end the indoor isolation by tackling this:

i hope i’m about to dig out the right car…

in the midst of what ended up being a two hour task, i was passed by 7 plow trucks, 10 cars (driving ban, what?) and countless people. a father, mother, son, and their dog stopped to chat.

father: you’re doing an excellent job.

me: oh, thank you! it’s certainly taking long enough.

mother: do you have a [town] parking sticker?

me: yup.

mother: you know you can park your car in one of two garages during a snow emergency, don’t you? then you wouldn’t have to do this!

me: oh, yes, i sort of knew that, but hey, this is good exercise, right?

father: indeed. keep up the good work.

i did have more work in front of me, but with the sense of community warming my veins, the shovel felt lighter and less burdensome.

it was the right car!

and now, to keep the good times rolling, i’m going to pay it forward. since i can’t offer to shovel your sidewalks, i’m going to give away a digital copy of wendy’s FROSTED and jessica’s TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE to two lucky people who comment below. that’s it. there are no other rules. go forth and join my community by commenting!

the winners will be announced on friday february 15th. stay tuned.



at the time i’m writing this, the name nemo reminds me of this:

rather than this:

but by the time the day/storm is over that association may very well change.

in other weather news, this video is a lot like my reaction a few years ago when i was walking home from work in the middle of the blizzard and thunder cracked through the sky and my heart.

although, come to think of it, my response might have been a more of AAHHHH, THE WORLD IS ENDING as opposed to the sheer wonder that reporter radiates. i also might have used slightly stronger language than him.

if you’re also in the path of this fishy blizzard, may you be warm and cozy this weekend. if you’re not in the path of this storm, may your weekend be productive and fruitful and may you continue to associate nemo with a fish and not bucket loads of snow.

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #50

strangers + me. oh yeah, we’re talking.

i struggled to balance the stairs, my suitcase, and my purse all while pulling my boarding pass out of my pocket. it was folded multiple times to fit in my coat pocket which, after i’d freed it,  added unfolding the paper to my list of balancing acts.

her: are you mad because your team is losing [the super bowl]?

me: no, i’m tired and concentrating on unfolding this for you quickly so i don’t miss the shuttle. *hands over boarding pass* besides, my team is the pats. they’ve already lost.

her: yeah, you need to tell them to step it up. *returns boarding pass* head over to lane 2.

me: will do. thanks.

when you’ve got a tight connection + delays on the first leg of the trip due to the de-icing of the plane + a general weariness about you, it’s bound to show on your face. i didn’t realize just how much until that woman commented on it. i hustled out the door, grinning when the shuttle bus left a minute after i’d hopped on board. i guess there was some sunshine inside me.



i don’t want to burden you readers with sad posts, but what i really want to write today is one more thing about grandpa. his memorial service is tomorrow and it’s only fitting i write a little more for him. for me. his official obituary is here. i didn’t gather the facts or write the bones of the article, but i did smooth out the rough edges and bumpy transitions which is only fitting considering that’s what he tried to do whenever he gave us advice.

my original idea for this post was to memorialize the final few quotes he’d sent me making this his 6th guest post, but really, there were only two pieces i wanted to share. the first is this:

Words are things; and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. Lord Byron, (1788-1824)

it arrived on 1/22/13, six days after he passed, in the form of a “do you want to keep subscribing” email. you see, grandpa had signed me up for “a word a day” and at the bottom of each one was a quote, a thought of the day, if you will. i knew where he was getting the quotes he’d forward to me, after all, i was getting the very same emails, but i pretended i didn’t know. often, i wouldn’t even read all the way through the “word a day” emails because i didn’t want to spoil the quote. i wanted what he sent to be a surprise — both the words of another and which words made him think of me.

but with that email, the gig was up.

it was all on me now — to subscribe, to read, to think. this last “thought of the day” was so apt, so spot on, so something he would have forwarded to me, i cried. i cried because i missed him and our irregular regular communications but also because i could no longer pretend.

the magic from those “a word a day” emails was gone and the burden of missing him too much, so i refrained from re-upping my subscription. there’s only so much growing up you can do in a day.

the second thing i’ll always carry with me (literally (i printed it out and put it in my wallet) and figuratively) is an email he sent to me on 2.14.12.

Hi Abby – My wish for you today is love. Grandpa

ten words. one line. simple. sweet. honest. necessary.

it’s what i wish for YOU today and all the days.

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