Live from Harrisburg

1:06 pm
Here I am at Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business” event. In the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel, it sounds remarkably like a romance writer’s convention (excited women, spring birds chirping…). I don’t know anyone here, so it’s much easier to blackberry blog than to engage–though I guess I’m going to have to engage at some point…I am most looking forward to checking out the governor’s mansion! More to come…

1:35 pm
I’m at the mansion. Its on the Susquehanna river, but built in 1968–so its faux historic. I wish I’d gotten a mani-pedi before coming here. Not only did I not have time, but I spent all Saturday digging and gardening. Oh well.


2:05 pm
The garden is beautiful, but is it organic? Don’t know. Gov. Rendell and the judge (his wife) are no-shows.


2:20 pm
There are incredible portraits in this mansion–nothing too fancy, just paintings of real people who made their mark on this state. I love portraits because they remind us that across time we are all human, we all love, and we all live interesting lives, even if they’re humble and simple. Pictures to come tomorrow when I get back to my computer


3:12 pm
Well, the composters among us have found each other. It’s the great uniter! Now it’s time to head back to the hotel and await the evening awards. We sent the awards people a picture of me standing on my head with yoga legend BKS Iyengar. It’s one of my proudest moments, but I wonder what all these ladies will think when they see it?


4:11 pm
Tonight is the awards ceremony. Thankfully, no speeches are required…and no donations, either! On the one hand, I wish my family was here with me, but on the other hand, the fact that I can totally depend on Lou to keep things running smoothly while I’m away is one of the secrets of my success. I’m very lucky in that way. All the well-wishes via email are much appreciated. You are all with me in spirit–which is probably more fun for you anyway!


9:09 pm
Well, 50 women received a Pennsylvania “Women in Business” award tonight. At first I thought that was a lot of women, but as all their stories unfolded I realized that it TAKES a lot of women to do all that needs to be done here: Whether it’s working in insurance, real estate, or marketing, or helping people to succeed or be healthy, or even helping them to die with dignity, women make the world better. Fifty years ago, I’m not even sure it would have been possible to find 50 businesswomen in this state to honor. In short, it’s an honor to be counted among these women. And I would especially like to thank my assistant, Bernadette Eckhart, who not only keeps everything under control for me, but also came (by her own choice) to be with me tonight. I am very glad she was here.


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog: top 10 reasons I love Pennsylvania…number 11: I think someone here was smoking some weed in their hotel room (it’s a Hilton in Harrisburg—the state capital for Lord’s sake)…the whole hallway smells, and there is a guy with a walkie-talkie calling for someone to spray the smell away. Last time I was in Harrisburg, it was for an anti-nuke rally in…1979? Same smell then as now!

Nice Garden! (Note the solar panels on the roof!)

Nice Garden! (Note the solar panels on the roof!)

Cool-looking dude.

Cool-looking dude.

One day I’m going to do a room in my house with wallpaper like this...

One day I’m going to do a room in my house with wallpaper like this…

Painting of some guy about to get done in by Native Americans.

Painting of some guy about to get done in by Native Americans.

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6 Responses to Live from Harrisburg

  1. Bernadette May 12, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    It was an honor to attend and to hear such inspiring stories, including yours Maria. Watching the photo presentations for each woman and seeing the photos of their children, I thought about how bright the future will be for the next generation of young women (and men) to have such amazing female role models.

    Also, when the headstand photo with Iyengar came onto the large screen, the man behind me said to his group – hey look at that!

  2. Michele Giletto May 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    Congratulations, Maria! It was a proud moment to read about your accomplishment today in the Eastern PA Biz Journal. Governor Rendell made a wise choice in you! I have always admired you from afar and the way you and Lou are raising your two incredible daughters. Congratulations and best wishes as you go forward. Please post the handstand picture for all of us. Sounds great!

  3. Maria May 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks, Michele — actually, I have THREE daughters! 27,12 and almost 3. I will see what I can do about the headstand photo!

  4. Michele Giletto May 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    Thank you for correcting me, Maria! I am watching #2 and #3 grow up. I do not want to leave Miss Maya out of the accolades. I am also really enjoying this blog site. Great job!

  5. EMoore ( May 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm #


  6. Jetsin June 22, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    What a neat article. I had no inlikng.

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