Sunday, September 13, 2009


September 13, 2009

I fit this morning's dog walk in between downpours, and Willie and Teddy pranced happily along really appreciating the loamy smells that follow a good drencher. I ended up putting Willie on the leash a little earlier than I expected because he was certifiably sidetracking, and I wanted to make the loop before I got caught in the next wave of storms and would have to blow myself dry again before Sunday School. We turned the corner onto Charlotte Lane, and Teddy paused (pretending, I suppose, that she was a bird dog). I followed her gaze and saw what looked like a smallish flock of songbirds pretending to be buzzards. I immediately thought that I had come across of game of birdy charades, and they were acting out the vulture scene from The Jungle Book (I don't remember the scene exactly, except the vultures had bangs that covered their eyes and Liverpool accents) or maybe they were doing impersonations of Wallace and Junior from Hank, the Cow Dog. I watched a little longer, and they were indeed, lurking, hopping on one foot then the other, and circling something in the middle of the road. I don't know a whole lot about songbirds, but I am pretty sure they don't usually dine on road kill. Our trio moved a little closer, me hoping to catch a glimpse of what they thought they had captured; Teddy and Willie hoping the birds were so intent upon their flat breakfast that they would become a couple of mouthfuls for the dogs.

Alas, they flew off before Teddy and Willie had a chance for a schnacken, leaving my line of vision clear. I discovered the intrepid birds investigating the roadkill had found something even better: a Lunchable. I think I saw a bottle of Ripple in the ditch they were going to wash it down with.

No, that story wasn't a set up just so I could use the word ripple (especially because that would be as a noun and not a verb). Actually, the whole rest of the post is about how a tossed stone can send out ripples. Back in July I told you about a College Station church (A&M United Methodist), where some of Erin's friends and doctors attend, planned to commission an anthem in her honor and memory. I got an update on that event this week. The composer, Dr. Dan Forrest, and Sterling Allen, the Music Director at A&M UMC have started tossing texts around and find Erin an absorbing and motivating subject. The world premier of this chorale work will be Sunday morning, January 24, 2010 at 8:30 and 11:00 with Craig Courtney conducting. If you would like to support this effort with a donation towards the commissioning, you can send
a check payable to A&M UMC and memo'ed to "Buenger Anthem Commission." Checks can be mailed to A&M UMC at 417 University Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. The absolutely cool thing about this giving opportunity, is that if (when) the church exceeds its commission needs, all the leftover money will go to a permanent arts program honoring Erin to benefit children like her who love to sing and create through the arts.

Lanyards are also continuing to ripple, splashing enough that I have had to drive traffic over to the website that I have set up for Erin's Dream Lanyards (and Manyards). I am launching two new lanyard lines and a new manyard line this week, so you will have to remember to click over later in the week and check it out.

Last Friday's lanyard workshop at the house was a great success again. Magician and performer, Robby Bennett drove up from Houston to make a lanyard, perform some sleight of hand for the kiddos, turn down my offer of tamales, and talk about some of the logistics of putting Erin's Dream Lanyards in the lobbies before and after his shows. Locate the next odd Friday (September 25) on your calender and make plans to come and string some beads. If that doesn't work think about the 9th or 23rd of October or the 13th or 27th of November. If we can't coordinate schedules, just give me an email, and I'll come to your place, on your schedule. I have at least two new groups who can't make it to my place that have started their own lanyard workshops. Thanks Terri, Amy, and Michelle.

Not only have things gone great on the "making" side, but there was a mini-bead drive yesterday at The Bead Fountain. Thanks Jennifer and all of you who donated a string of beads to our cause. There is also a tentative bead drive sponsored by the Holy Cross Youth for Christ group from Holy Cross Lutheran Church. When they launch, I will let you know the details. We are also sending an increasing number of our creations to homes all over the country (I shipped 30 to Indiana and a dozen to Michigan last week). I have a couple of specialty venues that I will tell you about as I nail down the details.

I have to say, that all the do-gooding inspired me so much that I have started my own little project. When I was a kid my grandmother collected Green Stamps. This was a double win for me, because she let me lick the stamps (mmmm, tasty) and put them into the little booklets AND she often let me use some of the stamps at the Green Stamp redemption store for little gifts for myself. Albertson's has their own version of green stamps (on a more limited basis). You get little (non-lickable) stickers with each purchase and you can collect and redeem them for cookware.

My idea is to collect the stickers and redeem them for pots and pans and give them to Phoebe's Home/Twin City Mission to help people who are trying to start new lives. If you shop at Albertson's and are throwing your stickers away or declining them at the check out, grab them for me. It will give me a double thrill. I love to stick them in the little booklet because it reminds me of my grandmother, and I will love to get freebie cookware for people who literally don't have a pot to cook in. If you like this idea, pass the ripple on.

Also tune in to Doug Vance's radio show Family Affair, on 89.1 KEOS this Friday from 6:00-7:00 where I will attempt to talk about Pediatric Cancer Awareness month for the fourth year in a row, but this time without my wingwoman, Erin, by my side.


  1. hi vickie. this is amazing - these ripples from the amazing erin's life. of course you'd be proud of the amazing erin no matter what size ripples were still being created in her wake, but i hope all of this makes your heart smile..

    a little off topic - sometimes when i read your posts i think of these lines from suheir hammad's poem about rachel corrie (who was killed defending palestinian homes in gaza from being demolished):
    And the ocean will miss her gaze. Palestine will miss her heart, but mostly her family will miss her breath.

    only instead of palestine it's more like "and bryan, texas and the childhood cancer community will miss her heart"

    i'm jealous y'all got downpours. we only got threat of something.. i do enjoy the desert, but i'm a girl from places where it rains, and i do miss my rain.

    have a good week.

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