I Just Wanted to Be Sure of You

My grandparents are long gone, my mother died in 1963, daddy died in 1986, and my stepmother died in 2010. I guess that, technically, I am a 66 year old orphan — but I am lucky enough to have a big network of friends who have become my family.

I often take time to reflect on what a fortunate person I am. But no more than when I spend time with my friends. As Elbert Hubbard (who?) said, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

And I have gathered them from so many different parts of my life. Six of them gathered for a birthday dinner for me recently and we commented on that very thing. All six of us are linked by theater: five by Board membership at the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and another friend who is a supporter of Remy Bumppo.

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Sitting in a big hotel in Lusaka
Very Western
Pleasant but sterile
Sitting by a lovely “water feature”
With koi and papyrus and purple flowers
And water lilies


When the Golden Years Turn to Gold Dust

by Nancy McDaniel

The saddest part to me is that she seems to be disappearing in front of my eyes. The woman whom I have loved for over 40 years, the woman who married my beloved Daddy and who became my sweet step mom, my dearest Ginny, is vanishing. In her frail old age, she is becoming a fragile piece of paper, a puff of smoke. She is diminishing daily and seems to be evaporating.

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Death in a High Rise: A Tribute to Maureen McDonald

by Nancy McDaniel

October 25, 2003

When I think of dangerous occupations, I think of firefighter and police officer and window washer and miner and construction. I never thought paralegal.

When I think of dangerous places, I think highways and skyways and oceans and prisons. I don’t think high rise office buildings.

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Camp Chapungu: Listen to the Stone

by Nancy McDaniel

OK, OK, how many times has someone told you that an event “really changed my life?”

I recently participated in a stone carving workshop taught by a Master Sculptor from Zimbabwe.

It didn’t exactly change my life, but it did open me up and taught me ever-so-much more than how to carve stone.

This is that story.

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The Spirit of Christmas Passed

by Nancy McDaniel

What a curious Christmas this last one was. I didn’t think it all mattered so much to me, but I guess it did.

It’s All About Traditions for Me
I’m not religious. I don’t go to church any more. I believe in something but I don’t even know if I believe in God. So for me, personally, Christmas isn’t about religion. Of course I know it is for millions of people and I respect that. But for me, Christmas is about family and dear friends and children and caring and kindness. And being together with people you love. For me, Christmas has always been about traditions. It’s about the whole thing.

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The Death of Innocence

by Nancy McDaniel

September 11, 2001 started out for me, as it did for most, as just an ordinary September day. Just an ordinary Tuesday. Oddly enough, it was the 15th anniversary of my father’s death. It was the morning after the opening night of a wonderful new play I attended. It was the day before I was to fly to Los Angeles for a walk on role on the hit TV show CSI. The day started off expectantly hopeful. It changed dramatically.

“Do You Remember where you were when….JFK Was Shot? RFK Was Shot? Oklahoma City Happened…?”

Yes. I was walking to English Class junior year at Punahou High School, Honolulu.

Yes. I was on a “study date” (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) at an apartment the week before finals, junior year, Northwestern University.

Yes. I was lying on my mom’s couch recovering from foot surgery, about to indulge myself by watching Court TV coverage of the OJ Simpson Trial.

And, yes of course, to the as yet unasked but will-always-be-there question. I was sitting at my computer, on the Internet, when I saw the headlines that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. Like most, I thought “what a terrible accident” and immediately turned the TV on to the Today Show and began my marathon TV watching.

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