DSCF2528I drive A LOT. I enjoy driving.   Running Peachtree Estate Sales  means I am all over metro-Atlanta and then some.  I also use my Google maps app quite a bit.  I’ve tried many devices to ‘hold’ my iphone on the dash, but it never seems to be quite right for some reason.  Thus, one day I was sitting in the drive-thru at Starbucks plugging in my next estate sale into my phone and it hit me.  Velcro my cell to my steering wheel.  I grabbed my vanilla latte’ and headed straight for Walmart.

A pack of velcro and super glue and VOILA!

It works GREAT!!!!  I can see my GPS —  safely — just glancing down as I’m zooming around the ATL.

When I’m sitting in the drive-thru windows and get to the point to pay or take my food, people always say ‘How do you get your phone to stay there’. I explain, telling them I need to see my GPS  just below my sight line which is important and safe for me.  They then call everyone around the window to view my velcro iphone sitting proudly on my steering wheel.  Yes.  I had to share my velcro invention.  :::::::beaming::::::::


I’ll miss you daddy

36645_1392034652970_6035878_nIn Memory of

Myrt David Kennedy Jr.

There aren’t many 90 year olds with a nickname of ‘Mad Dog’ who can actually fill the shoes of such an epithet. Well, my father did. Born Myrt ‘David’ Kennedy in the year 1924 he was an Atlanta native at that. He was one of 5 children. His sister, Annette Ingram is the last of those five. He grew up riding his bike through the streets of Atlanta when the Great Depression was just beginning to rear its ugly head. At the age of 14, he became sweethearts with the pretty little skinny girl next door who was 12 – his future wife of 55 years.
Daddy was too young and skinny to join the Navy during WWII, so he did what many did at that time and lied about his age. They said he was still too skinny to join and sent him home with a crate of bananas and come back in a week. He made the weight cut (note to self – stay away from bananas). He told Margaret Frances Kittles (the skinny cute girl next door) to wait on him after the war. And off he went. The stories that came out of his time in the Navy are fascinating. Daddy was a feisty little guy which I suppose one had to be in a full-fledged war. He was on many a war ship and one that was hit and sunk. His days of clinging to ship wreck for over a week or more before being rescued (That’s my favorite story by the way— sharks were involved. Depending on which way he actually told the story, many were eaten alive by the sharks, and then some days well – the sharks were at bay– :::::smiling at my dad’s stories::::::). He was a cutie-pie in his Navy uniform. He was quite the handsome pup.
Upon his return home from the war he did indeed find Margaret Frances and they married. My mother was so scared about her wedding night that she took her best friend at the time with her to sleep over. Much to my dad’s surprise when he came to the wedding chamber my mother and her friend were there giggling. Needless to say the friend was sent home. Ahem. They spent a wonderful life together. They Jitterbugged at Grant Park, took car trips to the beach. They were always having dinners with friends and later in life enjoying church groups and trips.
Daddy then joined the Atlanta Police Academy and served for 30 years becoming a much respected detective solving many crimes. He gained his famed nickname of Mad Dog when working on the police force. To this day, I can ask an older police officer who is active, if they remember Mad Dog Kennedy. A smile will come over their face; they shake their head ‘yes’ and say “Oh yes – I remember Mad Dog’. I’ve tried to find out just why he has such a rascally name — and I’m greeted with a knowing silent smile. Maybe I don’t want to know. ::he he he:::::
My father is survived by two adopted daughters, myself Kimberly ‘Kimy’ Kennedy and Pamela Kennedy. I’m the youngest by the way (I love saying that). He has 4 grandchildren, Laura and Andrew Davis, and Amy & Allison Reese. He has many nieces and nephews. A big THANK YOU to Southwest Christian Care for all your love and care for both my parents in their final days.
I was a daddy’s girl. He could build or fix anything. He built the loveliest playhouse for us when we were small. It was beautiful. He flew kites with us, let me sit and help him for hours in his workshop. I’m positive that’s why I love going into Hardware stores because it reminds me so much of my dad when I was a little girl. He was larger than life. He wasn’t perfect by any means but who is. I’m not that’s for sure.
After my mother passed away decades ago – he was very lost but found his way eventually. He became a resident at Christian City after suffering a stroke in his later years. He became quite the ladies’ man having a girlfriend on at least every other floor. He was known to still partake in a feisty battle with another male hence I suppose he very much lived up to the Mad Dog title. He was a rascal and I loved him.
‘Separated by death – forever together in love and memories’. Love you Mad Dog.
Visitation will be held Monday at our chapel from 5-8pm. Funeral Service Tuesday April 8, 2014 at 11:00am in our chapel. Internment Resthaven Cemetery, Decatur, Georgia. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Southwest Christian Care/ Hospice, 7225 Lester Road, Union City, Georgia, 770-969-8354. Please Visit our website to extend condolences

When it’s ‘too’ soon…..

I had completely forgotten about this and after telling the entire story to my dear friend – who thought it was very interesting —  I thought it might be good Cocktails at Seven material.

521431_482479785123285_1271919598_nI met a BFF for coffee and chats at The Little Tart (behind Six Feet Under on Memorial Drive — if you’ve never been then GO!!!).  After an incredible latte, people watching, magazine reading, chit chats, scrumptious nibbling on some great quiche and tarts — we decided to meander over to Historic Oakland Cemetery.  One of my very favorite places in downtown Atlanta.  I know I know — are you furrowing your brow thinking ‘my word she’s odd’.  Well let me assure you upfront — I’m completely off the beaten path so to speak.  :::he he he::::

I’ve always loved historic cemeteries and Oakland in particular.  Years ago I worked for Mayor Shirley Franklin.  During lunch, I would meander down to Oakland and pick a nice shady spot on a grave and read for lunch.  It was so peaceful and recharged me for the rest of the day.  It’s very park-like which Victorian cemeteries were meant to be, so that you would sit down and stay for a while.  Of course in my over-active imagination, I would pretend all the deceased were peeking over the old brick wall surrounding Oakland yelling ‘Here she comes!! I bet she sits on my grave today!’.  Call me an 8 year old.  It is what it is.

As we leisurely strolled through the sunny rosemary filled pathways of the cemetery that day, I recalled a first and last date I had years ago.  I was still working for Mayor Franklin at the time.  It was a blind date a friend of a friend.  He had recently unfortunately lost his wife.  I asked my friend was he even ready to step back into the dating pond and she assured me YES.   I was skeptical and for good reason.   But she urged me on – saying he was a super nice guy, very bright and I would enjoy meeting him.  I shrugged, said it was ok to give him my number and didn’t think that much about it.

A few weeks later, I got the call, we talked for a few nights via phone, then set to meet at Houstons by Lenox.   Upon meeting him he looked as if he must have surely lost  much weight due to the fact his suit swallowed him the poor dear.  He seemed very nervous which made me question immediately my friends statement of ‘he’s ready’.   I felt so very sorry for him.  He ended up talking the entire time about his newly deceased wife (within the last 6 months), everything from her cancer treatments, to how he brushed her hair, to how they met, to almost every intimate detail I felt I didn’t want to know.  But I sat and nodded letting him know I was listening.  I ordered another glass of wine to help facilitate the rest of the date.  He was lonely. He was hurting.  He desperately missed his wife.  Bless his heart.   After a few hours, I was ready to head home with a call into my friend.

As we stood to leave, he was antsy before me begging to show me something.  I blinked blankly at him not sure what was coming next.  I timidly asked ‘you mean now?’  He fervently shook his head, and said it would mean the world to him to share this with me.  My mind raced as I agreed, I said I would follow him asking the destination.  He said it was a surprise.  :::gulp::::::  WARNING — WARNING WILL ROBINSON — arms flailing::::::

We drove away from Houstons, destination unkown to me — very unsure of what was to happen next and what would be revealed.  I tried to figure out what in the world this poor lost soul wanted so desperately to show me. A complete stranger.  As we neared the Capital and turned towards Oakland Cemetery — I was still very puzzled but happy to see my favorite cemetery.  It was summer so still plenty of light even after dinner.  We parked, groups of people milling around so I wasn’t too very alarmed.  I didn’t get a threatening feeling from him anyway (I have that you know — the gut feelings about people –  it’s that 6th sense).  We walked as he told me she was buried here.  Bing Bing Bing He wanted to share with me where she was buried.  Oh. My. Word.  Intrigued though, because of the cemetery love thing going on, I followed him to her grave site.  A stark white statue of a man and a woman.  He sat looking at her lovingly as he combed her hair.  It was a tribute to his wife.  Forever carved in marble.   Goodness.  To love someone so very much and to lose them.  Painful.  Been there done that myself.

Back to the present moment — as I recounted this story to my bff I had earlier met for coffee — she said after a moment — ‘sort of reminds me of the one you dated who liked to jump into open graves’.  Well now….that’s a whole other ball of wax.  You think?   Ahem.


Feb Book Club! Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral!

988804_10202556216019821_1545390720_nCross-posting from book club —  Have you read this one?  A definite beach reach for sure!

Historic College Park Book Club rocks! You can find our link HERE.  If you love to read and don’t belong to a book club — start one!

Secrety Society of Serendipity


I love a quintessential mystery, especially when it involves a pleasing path or thought. And even MORE SO when it happens right in my own neighborhood.  A perfect pairing indeed.  ::::::turning cartwheels::::::::

Yesterday as I piddled thinking I had an extra 30 minutes before picking up my friend to venture out to celebrate Chinese New Year (we embrace all cultures especially if we love their food – ahem).   I received a text saying ‘On the porch awaiting my ride’ and realized I thought pickup was 11:30, when in actuality it was 11:00.  I dashed out the door (she only lives one house up but I hate to be late) pulled to the curb and walked up to get her (still some ice on the driveway from our recent Snowpocalypse here in Atlanta).    As I reached to open the door, a small white object caught my eye on the ground next to the bush.  And behold the MYSTERY begins.  :::::ominous music playing the background:::::::::  Chuckling at that — it’s a merry mystery not nefarious at all I assure you.   A small dustpan with two little white bunnies (dust bunnies -get it? – oh someone has a sense of humor here).  That alone being all cuteness and such, the card attached by rubber band is where the smile and twinkle in the eye enters like a dancing fairy.  It says ‘Secret Society of Serendipity’.  Serendipity is one of my very favorite words meaning – fortunous happiness or pleasant surprise.  Serendipity is also one of my all-time favorite romantic movies. ::::dreamy sigh:::::::  Well, this one constitutes both of those.  The back of the card reads ‘You make the world a better place and you are appreciated’.  Well heck — that’s pretty darn magical in my book.

We were heading out to celebrate Chinesee New Year and thus my research on finding out about this Secret Society would have to wait.  A Secret Society.  Hm………..

I did eventually arrive home, smiling from our adventures with Dim Sum — and could find nothing on the Secret Society of Serendipity much to my chagrin. Wah!  Secret Societies are just that – a secret.  Like the Masons or the Seven Society at University of Virginia.  All this of course brings up secret handshakes, secret meetings and well…the list could go on for a while.     

I love the idea, that someone, or some group, is spreading joy and cheer.  THAT is the magical part. :::::wiggling toes merrily::::::

p.s. We’ve tried to see if we can pinpoint who it might be? Then we realized we know many people who would do something so wonderful, and then the Serendipity hits us all over again.   :::::beaming:::::::::

970648_10202334229109170_1433796380_n 1506792_10202334229149171_1000893803_n

Is it hard to make friends over 30?

20120715-FRIENDS-slide-F9VL-articleLargeIs it hard to make friends over 30?  I personally don’t think it’s hard.  But I’m very much an extrovert and enjoy people.  Getting to know them, what they like, who they are etc etc etc (said in a very King and I sort of way).

I find that if you join groups with like-minded people, friends are sure to follow.  Like book club, or movie groups, or foodies.  To make a friend you have to put yourself out there.   For some people that’s really hard I think.

Read the NYTimes article —-HERE-—– and see what you think.

Yes it snowed —- and we crumbled. Snowpocalypse 2014

Slide1We live in the South for gosh sakes.  Not Maine or NYC or Ohio or Michigan or Canada — where they are accustomed to this kind of snow.  I mean my lordy, I just stopped wearing flip-flops not too long ago.  And then of course we do the appropriate thing that we do in the South – we panic, wiping out all milk, bread and wine (if you’re smart — always wine and now creamer because I’m just about out – YIKES!).  But we ARE resourceful.  In my case, I walked up to my neighbors house and we had ‘cocktail hour’ because just about the BEST thing we DO in the South is gracious hosting.  And snow is a reason to celebrate.  Actually we can pretty much celebrate practically anything.

I had ventured out yesterday for lunch with a friend at Souper Jenny in Buckhead.  I knew we had the ‘snow alert’ on but it was not snowing at the time so out I tottled along not really thinking much about it. On a side note Souper Jennys is FANTASTIC.  There was a line out the door.  As I got closer to town a few flakes began swirling magically  down from the pregnant sky but once again —  it was just a few flakes.  Snow is very magical to me.  I suppose because we don’t really live in snowy conditions like many of our northern friends it’s a mystery.  Thus we are in denial to a degree when it really starts to snow.  We begin thinking that perhaps it won’t ‘stick’.  Well it did.  And created in a frigid  icy snowy birth was SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014.   And yes, it was celebrated with wine and white cheddar popcorn at my neighbors house at the appropriate cocktail hour after 5pm.   I walked up the hill in a snowy whiter than white winter wonderland dressed in my furry snow boots, forgetting my gloves because I didn’t want to drop my newly purchased bottle of wine, cell phone to document my arctic journey, orange scarf and a parka.  I was equipped for anything — even polar bears.

After seeing the news this morning and hearing of friends stranded all night in cars and thankfully businesses like Home Depot and many others, including homeowners opening their doors to people who would otherwise be popsicles this morning —  the innate goodness of people I truly believe in.  And it shown through wonderfully in this ‘not’ hot Atlanta mess we have found ourselves in.  But do what we do best —- ‘What-ya’ll have to drink’ and ‘come on over — cocktail hour here in the South’.

For everyone who didn’t make it home — sending hope and that someone has helped you stay warm.  xoxo  1453275_10202308416903881_1146363728_n

1780635_10152173586310071_1148510111_n 884_10152273542960695_417485794_n 1044012_10153771299085046_1668600618_n 1425580_10152274048215695_228725268_n 1451374_10152273604235695_1882114592_n 1779132_10152273906015695_1801714841_n 1779299_10152273759740695_355967727_n 1782083_10152274864880695_43129466_n

Keeping in touch

405043_3325662992470_871552893_nA few months ago I thought to contact a friend who I haven’t talked to in a while.  I pulled up FB to pop him a line and started reading down his timeline; I was shocked and saddened to find he had passed away.  I quickly googled his obituary and yes – it was true he was gone.  My mentor my friend my opera buddy my symphony buddy my try a new restaurant my curmudgeon my person to bounce things off of my furface my friend —–WAS GONE.  I was stunned, saddened and angry.   I think the longest we’d ever gone without contact was about a year or so; it had been about a year.  Sometimes we were in constant contact– sometimes we would go a bit.  This was one of those times.

Our history goes back to my first real job.   I worked downtown for an engineering firm.  I was still in college and about 19 I think.  I remember when we first met. I had meandered down to the building cafeteria to nest in a corner, people watch, read and grab some lunch;  he was eating alone.  I was seated at the table a few down from his.  He was much older, bearded with coke-bottle type round glasses.   He looked at me with those fluffy eyebrows and said hello.  I smiled and continued to read my book.  At some point he kept up small talk and we struck up a conversation and have been friends ever since.  He became ‘Furface’ for me.  I became ‘Donuts’ to him.

I laughed at your ‘hippiness’ days of Bob Dylan, Woodstock and the Grateful Dead.  I teased you for attending the funeral vigil of the lead singer, Jerry Garcia,  in Piedmont Park and then hosting a candlelight celebration.  You told me I could not possibly understand the hippie culture; that a sweater wearing yuppie was not capable.  You were quirky, eccentric, liberal out the wazoo, a great chef, curious and a thinker.  You knew how to push my buttons and pushed them every chance you got.   You got me through a very hard divorce, watched my kids grow up, watched ME grow up.  I watched you yearn for the love of your life and gave my advice when asked.  You gave your advice without request.   That makes me smile thinking of how you loved to give advice.

Only years later did I find out the fact that he had given me a ‘nickname’ was a very high significant fondness he bestowed only upon special friends.  I was one of those.  We were special friends.  You were a mentor and someone who I could go to for comfort, advice, silliness – for any reason whatsoever you were there. I may not get the answer or praise or reaction I wanted but the one you gave me was one that always made me think.    I will miss those converastions so much.  However, I can replay over and over our many dinners, brunches, breakfasts, parties, walks, coffees and smile with great appreciation for you.  Richard Gallo. Mr. Atlanta.  Italian.  A runner and lover of life and knowledge. Giver of impromtu dinner parties.  I honor you this day.  You are missed my dear friend.  

You and I will meet again
When we’re least expecting it
One day in some far off place
I will recognize your face
I won’t say goodbye my friend
For you and I will meet again.

—- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Random Act of Kindness — Starbucks Style…..

Starbucks Invests Heavily In Drive-Thru MarketYesterday, I did something I’ve never done before but have heard of others doing.  And it felt FANTASTIC.  Sitting in the line at the drive-thru nearing the window to pay and  receive my cup of joy (latte’), I looked in the rear view mirror watching the person in the car behind me.  Still a few cars away from paying I was able to watch her reading what looked to be a text book.  She looked college age.  She glanced up every now and then to make sure the cars in front hadn’t moved and I would catch a glimpse of her without her head down.  College age for sure.

A thought suddenly occurred to me —– I’m going to pay for her order.  I smiled to myself anxious to get up to the window to whip out my card.   Finally there I grinned a big one to Sebastian (yes, I know his name because I’m there quite a bit  – ahem) and proclaimed I’m going to pay for the car behind me as well.  He beamed right back and said ‘That’s totally cool – you’re the first one today to do that’.   Well just cool beans and slap me with a pecan pie.  Joy all around.

After handing the steamy cup of joy (latte’) I hurried away.  Smile on my face.  I plan to do that more often. It was a wonderful high.  Random acts of kindness completely ROCK.

When your daughter turns 21……..

pinwheel_back_spincrop114“No matter how many birthdays come and go, you’ll always be my little girl”. 

I went to bed last night with ‘The Doodle’ on my mind. I named my daughter Doodlebug before she ever had her given name of Laura. When I found out I was pregnant and it was a girl, the name game began. Her father and I attended a film series that Summer at Woodruff Arts Center – watching the old black and white movie ‘Laura’ with Gene Tierney. The theme song was very moving…. thus we found the name for our Doodlebug. Doodlebug was then shortened to Bug to Doodle to the Doodliedoo when I’m feeling silly (much to her chagrin I think — LOL). But mainly it’s Doodle. She even sports the nickname on the front of her car.

21. Wow. It really does fly by. Sometimes it seems so very long ago (like today) and then sometimes it feels like yesterday when we were catching fireflies, planting flowers, picking out the perfect Halloween costume that was worn for the entire month of October -and then some.  I would rock you to sleep singing Carly Simon’s ‘You’re the Love of My Life’. 

She has this glorious brown wavy hair. Upon birth she was curly headed and adorable. I’ll never forget when she was about two. We were at The Cloister Hotel on Sea Island as she toddled down the beach, completely on a mission to somewhere. She then decided that the bathing suit was too taboo thus over her shoulder it went flying along with a diaper directly after the fact. That little curly headed Doodle sashayed down the beach like a Coppertone ad white bottom and brown tiny body – curly hair bouncing. She protests with a smile on her face when I tell that story now. I think she secretly likes it though.

She’s much more serious than I am even at 21.  She’s now in her senior year of college and doing quite well. I’m very proud of her and who she has become. She’s learning who she is and how all of that works in the world.   She’s growing into Laura. But she’ll always be my Doodle and the stories that go along with that.

Happy 21st Birthday sweetheart. Mom loves you – more than a million red M&Ms. ::::beaming:::::::