Looking for gratefulness

When things don’t go the way we expected.

When the person we thought would respond one way, responds the opposite way.

When the things we worry about make us laugh in the end.

Step back a moment. What aspect are you grateful for? What did you learn about yourself? What did the person teach you? What made you laugh? What had to happen for the next 3 awesome things to take place?


Bowling Alleys

Bowling alleys. Laughter and clapping frequently heard accompanied by bowling balls being rolled in various styles, at varying speeds down wooden lanes.

For some it doesn’t matter how skilled you are, it’s a fun reason to laugh, cheer, and take out some aggression on heavy white pins.

For others it’s competition the whole way. Aim for the strike, knock down those last 2 pins.

I met the love of my life in a bowling alley. I’ve always loved bowling and some day I’ll get my 300 game (all strikes).

Valentine’s Day everyday

Feeling a bit of writer’s block – or just not ready to proceed with my story tonight.

Valentine’s Day is about a week and a half away.

It’s not too late to make the dinner reservation or plan what you’ll get your sweetheart as an “I love you.”

But let’s tackle something here: what if the other 364 days a year you remind those you love and care about (in your own unique way) how much they mean to you. A weekly phone call or a nice note. A lunch date or a “tell me about something you’re working on, while I listen and turn my phone off.”

Be someone who doesn’t need a holiday or reason to say how much you care and value the ones you love.


I love selling the beautiful city of Savannah to people all over the world that I have the privilege of meeting each day. I am blessed to work with people who are my friends. I am grateful for the transition I made to the south 2 years ago. I say I love you and I like you to the man I married who is also my best friend.

When I am a quiet billionaire I am still working (as stated in above paragraph) and I am changing the lives of others by helping them get organized in any way I can to serve them.

Watch “Finding Joe,” so you can answer the question.

What is your bliss?

Day 1

As the car pulled away from the loading zone  Jacob was in business mode. My attention was divided. Jacob’s voice was stern and flowed from one conversation to another. When he wasn’t talking he was texting. I’m a successful professional organizer and yet I’ve never been as glued to my phone as my brother.

My brother was talking about business deals, the stock market, his golfing plans as soon as the weather improved. The grieving process had started for me. I had flown from my comfortable immaculate apartment in Savannah to still-chilly-not-Mother’s Day-yet Syracuse to mourn my dead sister and clean out her 3 bedroom house.

Jacob looked over at me occasionally. He furrowed his brow. Did he not recognize me? Did he expect me to be as addicted to my phone as he was? Did he realize what he was avoiding? I exhaled loudly and cleared my throat.

“I’m glad you’re here. I’m sorry I’m so busy right now. I have the funeral arrangements to deal with too.” His mostly salty gray hair glittered in a ray of sunshine through the window.

What is wrong with you? When did you become so insensitive and unaware of your actions?  I screamed these words in silence. I stared blankly at him.

“You okay?”

You get 5 points for asking that. My lips curled into the softest of smile. We use to play a silly game of giving each other points as proof we cared or were having fun with each other.

“I’m ready to go there and start working.” I wasn’t going to fight with him while his driver, Alexander, listened.

We pulled up to the house we grew up in. Jules had bought it in 2000. Our mother’s tulips still came up in the spring. My favorite colors were the pink and yellow ones. I’d collect a few and add them to the daffodils that came up near our porch. I didn’t think I’d be coming back to this house. I didn’t think I’d be coming back; how do I do this without her greeting me?

Alex stopped the car at the end of the driveway. He came around to my door and opened it then fetched me my bags from the trunk. I smirked making sure my brother saw my impressed expression. Jacob needs to learn some gentlemanly cues from Alex. I stared at the precipice of our home 50 feet from me. I started walking towards her, towards my past and only faintly heard my brother call that he’d pick me up at 6pm for dinner.

One foot in front of the other. My vision was blurry from crying.

Here I am, tell me everything.

The Organizer: You Can’t Go Home Again

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” (Ellipses in original.)

The plane landed at 10:30AM. I wore a black wool coat over my charcoal sweater and black skirt with black leggings. My days of wearing heels were over and my black sneakers comforted my stride. I packed my suitcase with the intention of attending her funeral. Before I left my Savannah apartment I tucked her picture into my cranberry leather planner. I needed her with me.

I hadn’t seen Jacob or our sister, Jules in 2 years. Jake was always busy with his real estate firm. Jules had been a successful interior designer up until the murder. When her husband Jeff was killed, my sister emotionally died with him.

When Jacob would call, our conversation was scripted.

“Hello, how is work, it’s busy, you’re more OCD than is healthy, Miranda, you should relax more, Jules no-showed for the party or the gathering. I keep telling Kate to stop inviting her because she’s a lost cause. My response would be asking about my niece Audrey and telling him Jules is still our sister we can’t give up on her.

I rubbed my eyes as the front section of coach stood to disembark. The weather was still crisp in Syracuse. It was March 15th. The sun was shining when I stepped out onto the sidewalk.

I looked at her crying face in our picture and whispered: “I’m here for you. I’m doing this for you. I never gave up on you.”

I exhaled and closed my eyes. I’ll never forget the backwards hug I know I felt. She knew I was there. I opened my eyes and looked into the crystal blue eyes of a man sitting in a black Mercedes. I smiled softly and mumbled to myself, “I’ll work on him for you.”

You can’t go home again, because you’ve changed and so has everything else.

The Organizer: The phone call 2

“She’s dead,” he said in a numb tone. He had prepared himself for this and knew what he had to ask me to do.

I stared into the picture, now a memorial, on the folders. My vision blurred as tears rolled down my cheeks. My promises to reconnect with her were empty now.

“When did she…” I took a steadying breath, “when did this happen?”

“Two days ago, we think. The place was so full of stuff that they had to bring in a dumpster to remove the body.” His words stung so much because he didn’t understand her illness.

I wiped my tears and massaged my right temple. My sister was dying in a room and no one noticed for 48 hours.

“You’ll come clean it out so we can sell it, right?” There it was, the sentence I knew was coming.


“Please. We need you here. You’re the only one who knows how to do this. She’d want you to do it.”

I exhaled. I hadn’t realized I was holding my breath.

“I’ll let you know when my flight lands.”

It was going to be my most challenging organizing project yet.

I would learn her secret in the process.


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