I loved Sandy. Since she was in Denver, and I was in Washington, most of our communication had to take place by e-mail, but e-mails from Sandy were always a treat. I wanted to share some of the wit and wisdom of Sandy Widener (from e-mails over the last few years) For one thing, there was Sandy’s obsession with the Rockies: (10/4/2007, in response to a congratulatory note about the Rockies/Nationals game) My voice is hoarse from yelling! And you were there! For part of it, anyway. I can't tell you how much fun I'm having (sorry) XXX S (10/17/2007) And that's all for today, except I will point out that the Rockies are in the World Series. You might not have noticed, what with the games on in the middle of the night out there. XXX Sandy (10/18/2007) Hey, Ellen-- I switched our plans so we can stay the night of the 24th with you. That'll be such a treat! I still can't believe that the Rockies you saw with me in Denver are the same ones going to the World Series. Wonders never cease. XXX Sandy (10/22/2007) So, I think we'll try to plan to be at your house around dinnertime on the 24th--maybe we can take you out to dinner before we watch the game (which, I have to tell you, is probably on my agenda--hope it's on yours!) Can't wait to see you and watch the Rockies! (oh, right--and have Katy see a couple of schools, too). XXX Sandy Then there was her incredible ability to juggle so many activities: (5/24/2005) …Til then, I've got 29 award nominee profiles to write for the Ford Foundation, the girls have finals, and JP is in Philadelphia until Wednesday. Sheesh. And we had houseguests for the last 2 nights. Lovely people, though. I wouldn't have missed having them stay. Chase is, thankfully, staying in the NYU dorms this summer July 10-30. Unairconditioned, but hey. Shouldn't children have to put up with some discomfort? We shared the agony of getting kids into college: (3/11/2006) How are you doing? Finally yesterday Chase got admitted to a college, so at least we know she won't be working at Blockbuster next year. American offered her admission into their honors program. That was the safety, so if she hadn't managed an admit there, we were ready to panic. (Okay--I was. Chase isn't talking). The stress of having one's daughter's fate in the hands of others is making me very nervous. How's it going there? Did any of Matt's choices tell him anything yet? XXX Sandy (3/16/2006) I just heard a piece on NPR about a book I've seen but not picked up--Colleges that Change Lives--about small, largely unheralded, great colleges that apparently do just that. Change lives, I mean. There's a new edition coming out late this summer. It sounded like it was full of options for Katy. 1/11/2007 But at the moment, since you ask, I've been writing a bunch of small books for 1st-3rd graders. Quite fun. As for snow--I've never seen anything like this. And today, a huge cold snap is supposed to arrive and then more snow. I'm waiting for the grasshoppers and the buckets of blood. Sorry about the govt job, but I think you're right. It's a good thing. Once in a while it's good to stretch and explore. Not that I do. I just think it's good for everyone else. Although I am--get this--going on a 5-day meditation retreat this summer with a friend in Woodstock, NY. I know. Temporary leave of senses. There is that nagging thought, though, that I really DO need a life other than that of overbearing mother hen. XXX Sandy Of course, as we all know, she was totally dedicated to Katy and Chase, but so much more than a mother hen -- friend, Girl Scout cookie maven, political commentator, loving wife, fabulous cook and party giver, generous and thoughtful neighbor, surrogate mother to countless students and temporary boarders, incredibly talented writer and so many other things. I miss her so much. Ellen McCarthy

Sent by Ellen McCarthy on 27/02/2008