Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Long Goodbye

Six weeks and counting before I leave the U.S. to call China my home for a year. Oh, I know. A year is going to flash by...even if I'm struggling with my daily 1/2 hour language tapes. My neurons are old. What can I say?

So as a goodbye present, my sister--the best sister on the planet, I might add--offered to help me with NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, which is about a mapmaker's daughter. Look at what she made... mini matchbook thank you cards!

But you know what's really hard about moving? It's saying goodbye to my family and friends, especially the exceptional women and some of my best friends: my StrataGem consulting group.
For seven years, a bunch of us worked completely pro bono helping non-profit groups solve business problems. These women said YES to helping foster kids to kids with cancer to children who were dying. The projects we took on were HUGE in scope and demanding in hours...well beyond what volunteers normally take on for free. But these women...these women...were tireless and committed and smart. And they own a huge part of my heart.
So let me give my personal shout-out to some of the fab women in StrataGem who are pictured here:
Nicole (cute, buff, blonde) is a former television producer and current Mamazon (my role model for motherhood). She does everything beautifully. Lauren in the purple is an environmental consultant--and was green before green wasn't simply a color. I admit: she's one of the wittiest person I know, and my best lines no doubt come straight from her mouth. And at the end is Julie, an anchorwoman, and the embodiment of generosity and graciousness.

If home is where the heart is, my friends will be with me in China. I know it because they have always been there for me and for the people who have needed their talents the most.

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