Suddenly gaggled


There’s this fantastic thing that happens whenever I fly into Seattle at night.

The approach is always from the southeast, and I start watching for the city about 25 minutes before landing, as soon as the captain announces “our initial descent.” Pretty soon, the orange lights begin to twinkle in the distance. We fly over the mountains and the rivers and the black, lightless voids that are the big lakes, until finally, the city is below. I find Wallingford. I find my old college. I find Lake Union and the 520 bridge and the big orange cranes by the piers, and the black, spindly Columbia Tower in miniature.

And my heart sings. I love Seattle.
When I landed, I had no less than SIX messages from my Seattle family, wondering if I was here yet. You know that feeling of being wanted? Being known? Being loved? While I have always known that I am loved by my friends and family, I have spent the past 4 months in relative anonymity, moving every couple of days, never staying in one place for too long. So to have SIX messages from those who love me was extra, extra special.

I have never been one to love a big gaggle of girls. I was not in a sorority, I’ve never lived “in community” with a bunch of other women – and thank God, really. Who wants to synchronize menstrual cycles?

However, I have always had some close, amazing, individual girl friends. Last night, I found myself in a room with four of my best.

And I realized: I am a member of a gaggle of girls.

The fabulous Ms. Mary Hiemstra (my style and etiquette guru) and me:

Me, Ms. Greta Weisman (life support in adorable gift wrap), and Ms. Meridith Dandridge (my favorite sassy/hysterical/badass Alabaman):

Me, and the life partner (hotness personified) Ms. Miranda Drost:

I felt loved and happy. Seattle does that to me.



  1. MJ on January 25, 2008 at 12:57 PM


  2. Miranda on January 25, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    I LOVE THIS BLOG! I too have avoided the gaggle like a terrible disease. Even when I see a gaggle coming down the street, it is obligatory that I cross to the other, safer side. Did I spell that right?

    Last night made me proud. Love it! Thank you for being a beautiful connector, Annie. I wouldn’t know nor adore any of those women without you in my life. You are a Connector – praise the Lord!

  3. Christina on January 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    That feeling you described, the one landing in a plane to Seattle, I do the same thing everytime I land in Boston. Makes me misty-eyed just thinking about it.

    Alas, I have no gaggle. Would a singular gaggle be a “gagg”? I don’t even have a gagg. Enjoy it :)

  4. Anonymous on January 25, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    miranda’s so cute with blond hair

  5. jjkissinger on January 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Welcome back! Will you be at church on Sunday? Can we please please PLEASE see you?

  6. My name is Annie. on January 25, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Anonymous, I love you. Miranda DOES look so cute with blonde hair! Or red, or brown, or hot pink.

  7. Allie, Dearest on January 25, 2008 at 9:12 PM

    Synchronizing menstrual cycles. Tellllll me about it!! Sadly, I am not an alpha-female, which means I get my period every 29, no 26, no 33, no wait..22 days.

    You look hot as fire in these pics, though, so I guess I’m gonna have to say that Seattle is pretty good for you! Have fun, but not too much, because we’re expecting you back here pronto, young lady!

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