by Nancy McDaniel
Not my mother
Nor my stepmother
Nor even an official godmother
But my “almost mom”
Who has loved me for over 60 years
I’m an “almost sister” to her two sons
For those same 60 years.
Maybe better than a “real” mom
Because we are first of all friends
I can talk to her more honestly and openly
Than I could to any of my “other” moms
Laughing over silly mistakes
That we each make
Or things we both forget
Helping each other with projects
Reminiscing about old recipes, old parties
And funny stories from 50 years ago:
by Nancy McDaniel
Many people who go to Africa for the first time refer to it as a life-changing experience. I know that I felt and said that when I first went to Kenya on safari in 1987. I suppose it is hyperbole to say that each time I go back to the continent, it changes my life. It’s actually more of a re-affirmation. As I once said, when I am in Africa, whether on safari or in a rural area with local people, I am “the best me I can be.” I don’t know why; it just always happens. It is where I am the kindest, most interested, most engaged… and happiest.
And it just happened again. I returned from two weeks in Zambia the end of July. I still think about this trip every day. I saw a water bottle attached to a bicycle yesterday and I got tears in my eyes (more on that later).
The Reason For The Trip
I have recently become aware of and involved with a wonderful Chicago-based not-for- profit organization called World Bicycle Relief. Their mission is brilliantly simple and simply brilliant: “World Bicycle Relief is a nonprofit organization transforming individuals and their communities through The Power of Bicycles.” I was planning to go to southern Africa anyway last summer and when I saw they were offering a trip called “Africa Rides” to visit their projects in Zambia, I decided to sign up.
Before I went, I started a Grassroots Fundraising Effort for WBR. My initial goal was to raise enough money to donate 10 bikes (at $134 each) which I would match, for a goal of 20 bikes ($2680).
I promised to send photos of kids and bikes when I got back; this appeal certainly worked! Due to the generosity of friends and the powerful appeal of this organization, my total was over $10,000 (that’s 75 bright new shiny Buffalo Bikes, especially designed and built for the uncompromising rough terrain of the rural areas where they would be living)
Jamie Smith wrote this article.
When I was at breakfast recently with friends, the subject came up about Facebook and who uses it, what games do they play, etc. Interestingly enough, there were a few of us who were on Facebook, for various reasons; mainly to catch up with real actual friends that the user seldom saw or for reunion purposes, family and/or high school variety reunions; family tree research and the like.