Sunday, December 5, 2010

Looking for Messenger Spirits

Laura with fox image on bench, Middleburg VA
Until now couldn't mention in casual conversation-because it was too special and too out of the ordinary...On the night of October 27, Laura's birthday, as I was heading up our road in the early darkness,  a fox crossed the road near the pond, then paused and seemed to look back at me.  How often do I spot a fox-three or four times a year maybe?  Laura liked foxes. Like owls, which were another of her favorite creatures,  I think it is the wise part of the fox's persona that appealed and still does.  She did a project on foxes in third grade which still hangs on the wall.  She drew them.  In keeping with Native American ideas,  foxes have become a kind of "messenger spirit" for me
Later that evening at the cemetery, as we kept our vigil, I spotted a shooting star.  Another symbol of nature I associate with Laura, especially as she is often remembered on a theme of stars.  How often do I see a shooting star?  Walking the dog at night I do see them maybe four or five times a year.
But to see both a fox and a shooting star in the same night and on her birthday as well?  It leaves no doubt that Laura will sometimes send the messenger spirits to me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A picture of contentment

Found!  A photo of young Laura in an oceanfront Cape May restaurant.  Happy, focused, pleased... with that touch of a smile...a picture of contentment.  How the seaside light plays on her hair and reaches across our cozy table setting.  You can enter into this space and take a little piece of this peace for yourself, if you click on the photo and get the larger view.

Laura would have been 16 on October 27.  

What the heart has once known, it shall never forget. ~Author unknown

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer scramblings remembered: Acadia

Porcupine Islands and schooner Margaret Todd

The scene on Cadillac Mt

"...and the tourists were held back, while President Obama and his family walked around the top of Cadillac Mountain."   Maybe you heard something like that recently in the news and saw a photo of the first family as they took in the sweeping view from this must see spot in Acadia National Park in Maine.   Immediately, it sent me back to that August evening in 2003 when all of us, with dogs, joined other milling tourists on the wide Mt. Cadillac summit.  Children hopped about the gently bumpy summit slabs,  photographers poised their cameras, people chatted and struck up new acquaintances; all awaiting the sunset in this Acadia National Park tourist ritual.  Photos taken that evening that once seemed so ordinary, and quickly thumbed through, now invited closer examination and provided an acute window into memory.  To get the flavor, just click on any one of these photos for a closer look.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three years today

Laura Stiles   October 27, 1994  -  December 22, 2006

Beloved daughter, sister, niece, and friend: the tears will never cease, that you had to leave us.

Please visit Laura's caringbridge site which has been updated by clicking here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A rainy day Lemonade Stand

I was pleased to do a fall-themed Alex's Lemonade Stand at Supercuts in Boonton yesterday.  Thanks so much to my helpers:  Claire, Peter A, Carmen, Alec, Mallory and special thanks to Sara who helped so much with publicity activities as well as setting up the stand.  It was a rainy day (raining all over the Northeast) but we still raised a nice sum and got to chat with a number of old as well as new friends who stopped by.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A fall-themed Alex's Lemonade Stand

I think Laura would have liked the paper  this flyer is printed on.  The paper is called "Acorn Alley" and I think it has that little touch of whimsy so like what Laura incorporated into her drawings.  (If you haven't gotten here from the caringbridge site, please also see and our online page for the stand at
Local residents, you can see the flyer in places like the Plaza Restaurant in Del's Village; A&P; Metro Pet- and more (when I get there...)

If you would like to have a closer view of the flyer, just click on it.