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Sunshine-AwardAs a writer and blogger living in Northeast Ohio, where the skies are, shall we say, quite frequently sun-challenged, I was gobsmacked to receive a Sunshine Award from one of my favorite bloggers, Lois Alter Mark over at Midlife at the Oasis. Aside from being a terrific writer, Lois has won some impressive awards—she’s this year’s Blogger Idol, don’cha know?—contributes, like me, to the Huffington Post, and (unlike me) went to Australia with Oprah. She’s also one of the nicest, friendliest, funnest bloggers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. We crossed paths in real life at BlogHer12, where we both won Voice of the Year awards, and took each other’s photo standing next to our names on the big sign.

I’m honored to accept the Sunshine Award from Lois, and not just because I think she’s all that and a bag of chips. I’m in some pretty august company here; several of the bloggers Lois selected are among my favorites, and I hope you’ll visit her page to discover some excellent new blogs to add to your reader.

A few responsibilities go along with accepting this award. (Thank God walking a red carpet isn’t one of them, since I’m still in a plaster cast.) First, I must reveal seven random facts about myself. I can’t imagine what you don’t already know about me after more than two years of blogging, but here, in no particular order, goes:

  1. I must start each morning with a mug of hot lemon water, otherwise I get cranky.
  2. I was the Lebanese-Syrian princess in the International Festival Princess Pageant in Lorain, Ohio, in 1974, the year I graduated from high school.
  3. I performed in plays in high school and, after graduating, in local community theater productions. I wore a blond Gibson Girl wig in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!, but made do with my own hair as Babe in Crimes of the Heart.
  4. I know how to twirl a baton.
  5. I’ve tap-danced on stage. I’ve also sung on stage.
  6. I tried to make roasted chestnuts one Christmas and vowed never to do so again. Have you ever tried to peel a chestnut?
  7. I’m happiest when I’m looking into my husband’s eyes.*

MarciRich_LebanesePrincess*Okay. You have to allow me one gushy item—this did start out as a relationship blog, after all.

But wait. There’s more. I have to answer these seven questions:

If you could go back in time ten years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

You have no idea how happy you’re going to be in ten years.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rocky Road, but only if it’s from Mitchell’s in Rocky River, Ohio.

If you were to take me on a date, where would we go and why?

I assume by “you” you mean my husband. (See what I did there?) We would travel to Ireland for him, and Sicily for me, because those are places that hold great meaning for us.

Above all else, what are you afraid of?


What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Speak, read, and write French fluently, play the cello, and spend at least five hours each day writing.

What has been your favorite age to be and why?

Every year since turning 50, because in spite of cancer and fractures and surgeries, that’s when I really came into my own…and when I found the love of my life.

Coffee or tea?


We’re almost done, dear reader. In fact, I think this is the best part. I get to choose 11 blogs that bring sunshine into my life (but I’m going to take a page out of Lois’s playbook and round it up to an even dozen). Suffice to say that many of the blogs on Lois’s list are among my faves, too, and I’m glad to discover some that I somehow missed before. I hope you’ll take my own list, then, in that spirit. Here, in alphabetical order, we go:

A Boomer’s Life After 50

Alexandra Wrote

Ann’s Rants

Dame Nation

Darryle Pollack: I Never Signed up for This

Dating Dementia

Empty House Full Mind

Grown and Flown

Lavender Luz

Midlife Mixtape

The Boomer Rants

Witty Woman Writing

I could go on and on, but since I can’t, please allow me to tell you that there are many other fine writers and bloggers whose work I admire, and you can catch them at three of my favorite sites: Midlife Boulevard, edited by Sharon Hodor Greenthal and Anne Jenkins Parris, the dynamic WHOA! Network, curated by Darryle Pollack and Lynn Forbes, and last but not least, Huff/Post50, edited by Shelley Emling. It’s been my honor to have appeared on their respective bandwidths, and I look forward to many more collaborations in the years to come.

Now go forth and spread some sunshine of your own. And Lois, thanks again!