“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


The girl in the giggling picture

This is the giggling girl in the picture - the one next to my name. In the My Profile spot. Yesterday I received two emails (thank you both - you know who you are!) complimenting me on being such a sweet, giggling child, back when I was a child. (I'd never received any comments about the photo, and then two in one day!) Alas, the photo is not me. It is my niece. She is the Emma in EmmaTree. As you can see, she is not giggling in this photo, but that was just a momentary thing. She usually is. She's usually up to tricks. She is (as I told one of the emailers) what I aspire to be when I grow up. Nearly fearless, artistic, creative, smart (she won first place in the only spelling bee she's ever entered, this proud aunt will quickly let you know), athletic, did I say nearly fearless?, sensitive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Not like I was at all, I think, and yet . . . she was a very early reader (like her aunt), she loves puzzles (like her aunt), she loves art (like her aunt). Sometimes when she looks at me, I see expressions I've seen before only in the mirror. She is my mother's only grandchild & the light of my life. (Oh, if she reads this, she will be sooo embarrassed. These pictures are a couple of years old - she's now 11, no longer a child, more sensitive to the ickinesses of us adults.) She was born on the last day of the month in which my father died. He never got to meet her. And he would've been crazy about her! He would've been absolutely delighted with her smarts, her silliness, her beauty, those curls I so envy. He would've taken her to ballgames, he would've attended every one of hers.

As for me, I'd never even been around babies before she was born. Once, a jillion years ago, back when Robert's daughter was just born, Robert placed her in my arms & I said "I've never held a baby before", to which the ever-wonderful, always funny Michael responded "Isn't it AWFUL?". But Emma was always my favorite girl's name, and I always thought if I ever had one of my own - a baby girl, that is - I'd name her Emma, though I kinda figured it would be the name of the next cat I lived with. I didn't even suggest this to my sister-in-law or brother - they came up with Emma all on their own. How's that for serendipity? So I got an Emma, and P.S. -she was ahead of the Emma-popularity-curve by a few years. Which I think will allow her to shave a few years off her age as she gets older because everyone will think she's part of the Emma-boom. (Just like my name - you know I'm not in my 20s because no one named their daughters Deborah after a certain year - we just won't mention the year.)


  1. Had to read ALL of the posts I missed when I was gone. Will sit down very soon and write you a long e-mail and send lots and lots of pictures! Love your pics, you have become MY inspiration when taking photos. Love ya, me

    P.S. What a lovely she is.....I envy the curls myself!

  2. Christy - I cannot WAIT for these pics! SO, SO glad you're back!

  3. What a wonderful girl, Emma is.
    I have always looked at that little picture and thought it was so well done...great expression..great eyes. I had meant to ask you about it, but now you have solved the mystery.

    And for the record, I have a friend named Deborah..she is in her early 30's. *wink*

  4. Boy, evn the serious one of her is good! I love what you did with it too (I imagine that you did the teal?). Very powerful image.

  5. Jaime - me too! Early 30s! That's my story & I'm stickin' to it. Emma IS a wonderful girl, but she doesn't yet know how wonderful. I cannot imagine raising a daughter in the middle of the Brittany Spears/Paris Hilton age - Emma already makes comments about not wanting to get fat & she's a teeny little thing. It makes me crazy! She says she's not "into" clothes very much, and is a pretty rowdy girl, but puberty is just around the corner . . . sigh . . . I just hope she's able to withstand the onslaught of beign cool vs. not being cool, etc., etc.

  6. Paula - Thank you! Yes, I couldn't resist coloring on Emma's picture. I just can't help myself!

    Okay, so now I gotta know - is that YOU in your photo? Whether it's you or someone else, it's adorable! What a happy face! And you are more than welcome.

    :) Debi

  7. i need one of these...an adorable emma photo for my blog so that y'all can tell me how cute, smart, andfearless? i am. i also want to be emma when i grow up... as long as i can keep the hair. wowzers that is a beautiful head of curls! i will always always see emma when i think of you debi. it's just too late to change it now. and you wouldn't really want me to would you?

  8. You know I always wondered about that girl. It really is a wonderful image. I just assumed it was you. I, too, have no children so I enjoy the progeny of my 4 siblings.... and now I am excited that my three great nieces will soon be moving into close visiting range at the end of this school year.

  9. my little guy is 12 ~ it's a magical
    age and well...that is a magical

  10. Maddie - thanks so much for stopping by. If only at 12 one truly understood what a magical age it is. I have a painting called "When Emma Still Believed in Magic" that I painted with hope she will always believe. When she was about 4 she told me a story about a fan that didn't blow air, but instead blew magic, and I could just feel the sparkly bits in the air.



come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .