i can't wait just like you can't wait / until we're out past familiar gates / those seven words shook the life back in / so let's just run 'til we lose our breath.

one thanksgiving it took my 6 hours to get through dc traffic, so i got this.

Posted: Nov 23, 2011 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

last year, thanksgiving was this.

this year, well, it will be a bit different.

i’ll be trading concrete garden sculptures for cactuses.

[or cacti. or whatever. they are the same thing and both mean more than one of those desert trees with the spikey needles.]

i’m trading south for west.

and i’m trading a whole bunch of other things for a whole bunch of other things.

i won’t be with the plethora of mckenzies and rankins this year and i wasn’t overly sad indifferent bummed about it until rightthisverysecond.


i am still thankful.

thankful my family will all be together even if i can’t be with them, atop jet skis in the garage or seated in canoes in the back yard under the maple tree with a box of wine and a pit bull.

thankful that next year i will be.

thankful that when i return, the apple will have vomited christmas cheer all over the place.

thankful that tourist season and this “holiday embargo” which has just landed in my lap will only be in full swing for another 4.3 weeks and then us locals can take back a hold on our city.

thankful for the people in my life. and especially the ones who make it better. so so much better.

and thankful for the understanding that letting other people go from my life is simply a part of just that . . . of life.

so grab yourself a box of wine and a garden gnome this thanksgiving and go count your blessings.

i’m betting there are tons of them.

[blessings, that is. not gnomes and boxes of wines. but if you have tons of those, too, then by god you really are lucky.]

i am making this shit up as i go.

Posted: Nov 15, 2011 | Posted by marcy | 0 comments

stress level: approaching the ceiling.

time left to make magic happen: none. zero. zilch. shouldahappenedyesterday.

soundtrack running through my veins: david bowie and queen “under pressure”

[you’re welcome.]

in a little town called high point.

Posted: Nov 9, 2011 | Posted by marcy | 1 comments


you could never understand how incredible this place is unless you went there.

it might be my favorite place on the planet.

maybe even more than all the islands i’ve hop-skipped-and-jumped around in a free bird kind of way. more than the foreign lands with strange accents and funny food which have impacted my soul and made my brain a bit richer just by being different. and awesome.

maybe even more than the house i grew up in . . . which will always be my home, no matter how far away from it i manage to go or how many months it takes for me to get back there.

we said our goodbyes.

and it sucked.

but we will always have 1108 and the love, the memories, and insanity, the eggs and grits, the laughter, the ballbusting, the maple tree, and the twelve stockings on the mantel.

this will always be the place where our hearts feel happiest.

for our Papa.

Posted: Nov 1, 2011 | Posted by marcy | 3 comments


William Roberts McKenzie, Sr.

August 10, 1922 – October 31, 2011


it is with the heaviest of hearts that i bring myself to sit here and reflect on the greatest man i have ever known.

the greatest man i could ever know.

[well, except for my own father. but he’ll understand if i bump Papa up a notch for this occasion.]

i would wrap this all up nicely in a neat little package (and, subsequently, make it far easier on myself) by simply posting here his obituary. but the thing is, that feels like cheating.

this exchange between two cousins sums it up pretty well, though:

marcy: i feel like our lives just totally changed forever.

ashley: they did.


to have known him was to love him. and good God did we ever love him.

when the cornerstone of your entire family is pulled from under you, you almost don’t know what to do. it is more than just a loss of a person very dear to you. more than a loss of his eternal kindness, vast knowledge, and unwavering humor. it’s more than a loss of the comfort in knowing that he was always right there . . . in his chair . . . “not getting a whole lot done” . . . it’s a loss of a piece of yourself.

but that’s okay. i am fine with letting a piece of myself go with him. i wouldn’t even want it back anyway because it is his. and has always been.

to the world, Papa was a man more accomplished than most people could ever dream of being, more successful than most people can ever wrap their head around, more dedicated both to his family and to his community than even seems possible, and simply the single.nicest.person.in.the.entire.great.big.giant.world.

to me, he is the epitome of a southern gentleman. he defines what it means to be a husband and a father and a grandfather. go and google grace and poise and, what do you know, his picture is the first thing you’ll see.

and he whipped up a plate of scrambled eggs and grits that would bring you to your knees.

but it’s time to let him go rest. he deserves a good long eternal rest.

because he spent his whole life taking care of everyone else.

so, to my dearest Papa . . . thank you for setting the bar so so high. thank you for a youth spent running across your farm with the chickens and the fish pond. thank you for 1108 and for giving our family a real home to always go back to. thank you for the scrambled eggs and grits. and thank you for a trillion other things that we could never put into words.

lastly, thank you for hanging in there for one last week at the beach this year. i will cherish every one of those moments for as long as i live. if only i could just sit in that rocking chair next to you for one more day . . .


and thanks for always being the ultimate cowboy. you make it look so very cool.

i love you.