Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

[Buddha]

From last Friday through Sunday, my gratitude built with each passing experience. Starting with pre-conference activities like coaching sessions and the afternoon as a volunteer in the vender room, I grew in knowledge, confidence and fullness of heart. Friday evening’s keynote speech by Heather Summerhayes Cariou (Sixtyfive Roses) inspired us all as she recounted her memoir-writing experiences, and encouraged us to tell our own stories. Saturday and Sunday were filled with educational sessions, luncheons, open mike night and a closing address by Mary Gordon Spence (Finding Magic in the Mundane). After it was over, those of us who stayed to fly home on Monday met for supper and an effervescent discussion of our experiences.

Speaking of the mundane, while I was shoveling snow this morning, I decided I needed to fill my larder in case I get seriously snowed in so I headed to the grocery about 6:30 a.m. Mary Gordon’s speech came back to me as I browsed the produce. I doubt that I’ll ever shop for groceries again without thinking of her story about making a list according to letters in the alphabet. I’ll also never sit down to write without remembering those magical few days in Austin. Thank you Susan, Peggy, and all you other inspiring women who each now own a piece of my heart.

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