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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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There are women out in the hallway right now, trying on a wedding dress.

Yes, -one- wedding dress. The office next door does wedding dress designs, and from time to time they'll be clustered outside my office with a model in a dress, pulling and tucking material here and there, critiquing the shape, the essence. I'll often pretend I have an errand just so I can get a closer look at the dress. Today, someone's perfume permeated the hallway as I stepped out, the fragrance drifting all the way down to the end of the corridor. I love working in this building; there's always something interesting going on somewhere. :-)

Lissa called last week to say hi; I got to talk to Teddy, too. It was wonderful hearing their voices, but it also made me miss them all that much more, argh. Why hasn't anyone invented transporters yet??

Rafe, Allison showed me the pictures you gave Dave, who gave them to her at FKO...they are great, thanks for sending those! I hope to borrow those sometime for scanning and posting some here.

Last night I had dinner at my sister's and played with Annie up in her bedroom. She proudly showed me her New Bed; she is too big for her crib. Aware that she might lose my undivided attention if I went back downstairs, she asked me if I could stay on her bed for a while. I said yes, and asked for some tea. She made invisible tea at her kitchen set, inquired whether I would like sugar and cream, and generously provided freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. After this fine repast, she got some books out of her shelf and clambered up onto the bed with me. We lay down beside each other and she "read" one of the books to me. I could hear echoes of Ruth as Annie carefully modulated her voice in all the right places.

I found it difficult to concentrate on Annie's story because I was too busy watching her. And as I watched, I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that I had (literally) seen her born...and here she was, practically growing up in front of my eyes. It was hard fighting the impulse to reach over and wrap my arms around in her a huge bear-hug. Sadly, Annie is past the stage where she will passively let me do that sort of thing anymore; she'd squirm out of my arms and impatiently say, "Don't DO that, Auntie Debbie", anxious to get back to whatever activity I had interrupted. So for now, I just hug her in my mind instead.

The girl in the wedding dress outside my office is starting to look tired; she's been out there at least an hour while the observing women comment and tug and adjust.

I think I'd better go offer her some chocolate...

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