12 January 2010

Support Your Local Candy Drive!

Today, I thought we'd go on a field trip. You remember those, right? Where you take a piece of paper home to get it signed, load into a smelly, cramped bus with your specially packed (moldy) sack lunch, sit with all your grimy little friends and on arrival, ruminate in place for another half an hour while the teachers figure out that yes, indeed, in order to enjoy the Zoo, you have to actually get out and walk around in the Zoo.
We'll skip all that. We're grown-ups and we're in charge.
Instead, I thought we'd take a little trip down Memory Lane with Vita-Mix. Okay, not really, but when you hear the name Vita-Mix, don't you think of this:
Ha! Thought so. It's a happy memory, isn't it? One of the most beloved comediennes of all time, Lucille Ball in one of her most famous comic sketches: VitaMeataVegimen.
Why do I bring this up? Because today, we're going to do something nice for someone. We're going to be supportive friends and now click on a link on the website for Vita-Mix.
Be a good sport and do it now.
Do you see that video? It belongs to this woman:

This is Brooke MacLay, who if you've been hanging around here for a bit, you may already know from her blog. Together, we had a quite little literary adventure with Jan Karon awhile back. It thrilled our aspiring wanna-be writer-hearts on both sides of the Mississippi. (That Jan Karon connection just keeps giving. And giving. And giving!)

You may not know it, but I've done a lot of things in my television career. However, I do not dress up in costumes and adopt fanciful character acting, as Brooke does frequently for her blog. And I haven't let people into my private life the way she has. I admire that, er, while not wishing for the level and number of stalkers that would encourage.
I think we ought to be supportive here. It'll only take you a few seconds to sign up. I would hope by now you've gotten an email address for "sign-ups and other Internet business" that you can easily use. (Otherwise, get ready for an onslaught of SPAM with an aftertaste of "Vita.")
Seriously, can you turn this face down?

And as Brooke herself would say, if'n I let her talk on my blog...
"Be a dear. Click over, sign up, sign in and click on the FIFTH STAR. Smooches!"
(FYI: Voting is simple. Go the page. See the row of rating "stars?" Click on the fifth one. You're done. Thanks!)

07 January 2010

People Are Candy: Ann Samuel

I'm learning. We're all learning, right? I'm learning and today... this was my teacher.

This is Ann Samuel. She's originally from Georgia. I like her face, don't you? It shows that she's really lived. She won't leave empty-handed. And she's not leaving anytime soon. At least I hope not. She seems to have a lot to teach some of us, including me.
Reporters, in case you didn't know it, are feistier some days than others. We pretty much like a little squabbling most of the time, but some days, we are spoiling for a fight. Er, professionally speaking, of course. Oh well.
I went out early Thursday afternoon to pick up my mail and buy some supplies. I was loading those supplies into my car at the pickup curb at an Alexandria, Virginia grocery store. (Grocery stores in VA often don't allow you to cart your groceries to your car, so instead they have drive-up areas where you pickup your groceries.)
Suddenly, I heard an elderly male voice, loudly telling me not to use that "yellow curb zone, because it's for handicapped people."
I immediately looked down to check for a wheelchair access ramp. It was forty feet away. And again, I was in the grocery pickup area. I said "Sir, this is the grocery pickup area. It's not an area for handicapped people."

"You should be ashamed of yourself!" He continued. "This is a handicapped area. You should not be here!"
Let me just state for the record, if he had been right, I would have been ashamed of myself. But he wasn't. Still, it brings a certain level of color to my face to be accused of violating the few privileges accorded to a certain segment of the population when I am not. NOT.
"Sir, it's not a handicapped area. There is no handicapped access curb. This is a grocery pickup area."
He started in on me again and I began to realize that perhaps there was another handicap in the process of making itself known.

And then I heard this gentle voice say, "Honey, don't let anyone ruin your day."

The previously mentioned geezer wasn't about to ruin my day, but this sweet little thing was about to make my day.

Ann is 89 years old. She was married for most of those years until three years ago. Her husband died that February, just months short of their 61st anniversary in April. She tells me she leads a "blessed life," because although she uses a cane, she can get out and do for herself. I'm guessing she's not the only one whose life was blessed today.

Take another, closer look at that face. And let me point out, you don't get smile lines like those unless you actually smile. A lot.

She let me hug her before I got in the car. I say "let" because I was wearing a big down jacket and looked like a berry-flavored Sta-Puf Marshmallow monster. But she didn't flinch a bit. And I just liked her. Don't you?

That's sweet, old-fashioned homemade honey taffy, is what that is.

Sit a spell and savor it.

03 January 2010

People Are Candy: Church-Ladies Are Us!

To start off the year, I thought we'd go with something simple. Pure people candy, discernable on sight. Here it is:

I'm hoping the People Are Candy of this is immediately accessible to all. It's a picture that I took last winter, outside the church I attend in Alexandria, Virginia. As I was leaving after the meetings, I saw the couple standing outside, posing for pictures and I couldn't resist. I stopped to stealthily snap one just for you.

I have, uh, changed a few things about the photo. To "protect the innocent," I've switched in my face as well as a photoshopped headshop of Brad Pitt. He's in the public domain and the actual people in this photo are not.

At first glance, it's a darned fun photo, isn't it? But I want you to think about it.

The woman who actually owns this dress, I'm guessing, is loved. She's very, very loved. She's loved by the wonderful beloved friend who made this dress for her.

Because someone has to make this dress for you. It doesn't just happen. This is not a dress that you can buy "off the rack." Someone has to love you, know your height and sizes and have faith that they know your taste. They have to care deeply enough to go out to the store, pick out the materials, choose the colors, buy the stuff, cut it out, sew the whole shebang together and generally, do the work to make this "dream outfit" become reality.

And then you have to love them enough to wear it. It's a leap of faith on both sides.

And don't Brad and I look thrilled to be out together?