Posts Tagged With: blessings

 
 

A Short List of Good Stuff Like Love and Sandwiches

It’s Gratituesday! My life overflows with good stuff and I’ve been a slacker about acknowledging that. Here’s a short “list” of some of the yummies I’ve experienced lately.

Carless

Sure I’m without a car at the moment and have to bum rides everywhere, all the time; but hey, people are kind and generous and willing. I discovered Lyft which has bailed me out for a very reasonable price. And my son and his sweet wife have helped out a ton! There’s a vehicle on the horizon so i’m not in this pickle for much longer. Good thing too, because smelling like pickle juice isn’t fun.

Bent Axle

Bent Axle = bummer

Bent Axle = bummer

And yeah, (add tragedy to inconvenience) I bent the axle on my trusty mountain bike so I haven’t been able to ride for a while, but MSH has okayed and provided the funds for the purchase of an upgraded, snazzier, last-me-for-a-lifetime set of dirt and rock worthy wheels. I just have to pick one out and I’m out on the trails again before the sunrise.

The Heat is ON!

Yes, it’s true, summer is here to stay for another three, or four, or five, months and it’s unbearable outside, but I have AC that’s recently been repaired and I can stay inside and keep cool most of the time. Mornings are, sometimes, cooler than the rest of the day so I can knock out the lawn mowing and trimming and other yard work then without risking my life. And, a friend of my son recently gifted me his no longer needed electric mower, which rocks so completely I can’t even describe how happy I feel. I can plug the thing in and zip around the patch of lawn and be done without ever having to curse, throw out my back, prime the thing or wish death on the inventor of the gas-powered lawn mower motor.

Up Close Love and Sandwiches

Good idea.

Good idea.

And, yes, my kids have scattered to four different states, but one of them still lives here in town and just treated me to lunch at Ike’s Love and Sandwiches today, complete with free desert lollipop.  (If you’re local I’d definitely recommend them, on Alma School Road. I hear they’re in Cali, too.) I couldn’t ask for a kinder, more thoughtful son. He always makes sure I feel loved and cared for. Everyone ought to be so lucky!

Long Distance Love

Yup, my girls all live far away, but I can talk on the phone (no long distance charges like it would have been years ago) and Skype/Google Hangout (if I ever get it figured out) and text and get photos all I want. They’re each happy, healthy, and “living the dream” and that makes me happy. Did I mention another “grand” is on the way in November? Can’t wait!

Traveling Writer

There’s a couple of trips in my future. I get to hang out with my extended family for a bit. And then, later on I’ll spend some time with one of my daughters and her family. Here’s a bonus: I don’t have to drive all day or multiple days to get there, I get to fly. Does that feel amazing or what?

Surprise Gifts

K for Kami!

K for Kami!

One of my sisters sent me these adorable earrings. She gets me. Scrabble and me are like tight friends. She rocks. I get to hang out with her real soon, which will ramp up the cool factor of my summer by at least fifty.

Read This

I started reading again. That’s big news! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to focus long enough to really take in a book. Not sure why. But my reading groove is back. Last week I read two books. Yes! TWO! (Check out “Lila” by Marilynne Robinson, her writing puts you walking on the road next to the main character, shivering along with the snow blowing and praying out loud beside the forlorn.)

Volunteer Work

Sure I wake up wondering what day it is, every, single, morning. But, I’m still mostly upright and coherent and able to volunteer two days a week at one of my all time favorite places in the world. I get to rub shoulders with great people, feel centered and peaceful and help people out in really cool ways. I keep praying my back behaves, my health cooperates and my attitude stays positive so I can keep doing that.

Clap, clap, clap!

Clap, clap, clap!

Feeling Blessed

I hope none of this comes across as bragging or anything like that. I just feel super blessed today. In fact, generally I live a life overflowing with things I can express gratitude for. It’s amazing!

You know what? I’ll bet you do, too.

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Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Missed Celebrating an Important Birthday

Photo by Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA (Candles) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA (Candles) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

I missed celebrating an Important Birthday!

Actually, I didn’t really miss it. I thought about it all that day.

I just avoided acknowledging it out loud.

Today I spent time with the birthday girl’s daughter-in-law. We talked about life with Kathy. It felt good and more than okay to say her name; the twinge I usually get when I talk about her out loud didn’t pinch quite so much. Not sure why.

Anyway, that bit of conversation knocked open a closed door. Which makes it possible to share this song that gut-punched me a year ago.

By that I mean the song spoke right to my heart, my head, my spirit.

Yeah, I’ve kept it to myself for a while now. Well, I did share it with MSH, cuz he already gets it. If no one else gets it, that’s okay.

I had decided long before birthday time that I’d share this on her day. And then I couldn’t. Didn’t. Refused to. Which, looking back, seems selfish. So I’ve included this gem by Sarah McLachlan from Toy Story 2. Listen with your ears and with your heart and you’ll get a glimpse of friendship at its most real.

The relationship Kathy and I had changed me. What a gift she was and continues to be for me. She taught me to love myself, to embrace the weird wonderfulness of me. It doesn’t get much better than what we had. What a blessing!

Happy Belated Birthday Kathy, my friend. No regrets! Love ya!

“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.” ~ Shel Silverstein

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Categories: Friendship | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

A List to Remind Me That the Sun Shines

Aspens. My favorites.

Aspens. My favorites.

MSH reminds me when I start ranting about something and threaten to write about it on my blog, that I always intended for this project to lean toward the positive and optimistic.

Then I remind him that I’m also “keeping it real” which might not always come across as roses and sunshine.

Keeping It Real

How real do I feel comfortable with here on the blog? How real am I comfy with in person? All last month I’ve debated this with myself. And I didn’t write much during that debate. Lost my groove, I guess.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

I felt braver a couple of years ago. Bolder. Speaking my mind came easier. Opening up about my life happened naturally and with less reserve.

This past year, in many ways, I’ve caved in on myself. I’ve tucked in the frayed edges. I keep the strained or raveled seams covered. I’ve inched toward a more hermit-like life. I used to do that during the month of January every year. I saw it as a naturally occurring regrouping and recovery from the two or three-month holiday season.

My January recovery session during the past year stretched into eleven other months. Maybe longer.

An online friend of mine wrote a (somewhat annoying) glowing top ten account of his past year for the following reason:

“Things can get difficult, and you never know when I might need to remind myself that these things happened, and how and what I felt like when they did.” ~ Brad McBride

Good reason to write up a top ten, you gotta admit. Even if it annoys semi-irritable people like me.

I’ve just survived a year (2014) where I needed to remind myself of happier times to get myself through the day or the week.

I’ve also just been through a year (2014, yes, same year) with some amazingly wondrous good things happening. I mean A-MAZ-ING! Happiness like nothing I’ve ever known.

Talk about a paradox.

I’ve felt lost and found, abandoned and loved, forlorn and supported, ready to give up and anticipating greatness, numb and electrified. At times hope eluded me and then there it shone like a stunning sunrise nearly blinding me.

So what would be my top ten good things for 2014?

  1. My oldest daughter’s new baby girl
  2. The volunteer work I get to do
  3. Hanging out with my favorite teenager while driving her to and from tutoring
  4. Spending time with a certain three-year old
  5. Snuggling from a fun-loving one year old
  6. Almost the entire family together for a weekend in November
  7. A Christmas concert extraordinaire
  8. Summer sunrise walks
  9. My family reunion – time with Mom and Dad
  10. Sitting in a high mountain meadow for hours with MSH

See, my life’s filled with wonder and joy. I just forget sometimes. The difficulties can cast such deep long shadows that block out the sunlight in such a way it almost feels like night. I just need to step out of the shade and let the sun warm me from time to time.

Am I Right? Or am I Write?

This blog has been a source of light for me as well. It’s like a conversation I have with myself to sort through things and make sense of the world. So I add a number eleven to my list.

11. This writing thing.

So I’ll keep things real. The good, the ugly, the stunning, the what-the-heck. Life as I see it written down right here just for me.

If you want to follow along, you’re welcome to join me. Just don’t make too much noise. It is morning, after all.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hope, Mental Health, Sanity, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Attempting to Let Go of the Scrappy Turkey

I’d like to introduce you to our turkey, born almost twenty years ago in Oklahoma. He’s looking worn around the edges and the middle. As you can see, he’s experienced better days.

Scrappy Turkey's seen better days.

Scrappy Turkey’s seen better days.

Born into an impoverished life, this turkey brightened one or two Thanksgivings in spite of his motley appearance and bedraggled state.

This multi-kid-crafted guy sat on the kitchen table for the month of November, or part of the month if I remembered too late. Scraps of paper and a pencil or pen sat nearby for scribbling down a daily something each of us in the family felt grateful for. Inconsistent at best, we all threw in a few thoughts during the month. Running up to the actual day of thanks we might’ve thrown in a few extra to make up for what we didn’t contribute during the busy month preceding.

Then sometime during the day, that fourth Thursday in November, we’d reach in to the turkey’s cavernous gallon sized innards and pull out those scraps of paper. And someone would read what our family felt counted as blessings, gratitudes, good things. We’d have a few brief moments of thoughtful gratitude or laughter and then get on to the pie or leftovers.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of those scraps I’ve saved all these years in the cardboard box labeled Thanksgiving decor. Every year when I pull out that box and set out my little scarecrows, faux fall leaves, and wicker pumpkins, I think about finally setting this poor old turkey free. But I can’t make myself do it. Sure, he’s too scraggly and chintzy to set out as a decoration, so he stays in the box. He long ago exceeded his usefulness and cuteness. But memories hover in and on and around the fowl little guy. How do I let him go?

Maybe this can count as a memorial of that brief span that our homemade turkey spent time on the table reminding us of the blessed life we lived. Especially since that life, at times, seemed held together by paper bits and cardboard tubes and empty milk cartons. Sometimes life still feels that way, taped and glued together, barely holding on, scrunched and crumpled and not so magnificent as in other, better days.

How do you let go of symbols? At what point can you say goodbye and let that be good enough?You’d think it’d be easy to toss this barely recognizable turkey. But nope. Can’t quite do it.

Maybe it just isn’t time to say adieu. Not yet. Not this year. Maybe next November.

I’ll try to remember to set him out on the kitchen table next year, albeit rougher and scrunchier. And then, I’ll set some scraps of paper nearby and a pencil. I’ll toss in my gratitude, and ask MSH to do the same, and visitors, too. And then, after reading all those scraps on Thanksgiving day, maybe then, I can let him go.

We’ll see.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s Missing?

I wrote this post on Tuesday. Specifically for Gratituesday. And then I couldn’t make myself finish it, or push the publish button. I suppose because it’s the kind of irritating writing I don’t like to read, especially when my day-to-day life seems composed of nothing but uphill struggles and crap to muck through.

Let’s be honest here, shall we?

It’s not always easy to see past difficulties and troubles in life and count blessings or feel grateful. Why is that? Lack of perspective? Lack of sleep? Lack of understanding?

The inability to feel gratitude, to notice and appreciate the good and great things about my life occasionally overtakes me and then I feel miserable.

Sometimes, on Tuesdays I feel almost like I’m bragging, although I don’t mean to. Sometimes on Tuesdays I feel embarrassed by the abundance I have in my life.

And then sometimes on Tuesdays I struggle to find something I feel grateful for. And then I feel ashamed that I could feel that way.

Just one tiny spot on the planet where poverty thrives.

One tiny spot on the planet where poverty thrives.

By any measure, particularly on a global scale, my life is one of riches, comfort, ease, wonders and glorious blessings. Even the poorest person in my city is better off than most of the world. Compared to eighty percent of the people on this planet I am a wealthy person.

Maybe I need to convince myself when I’m having a bad day, when the bills pile up, when the troubles I face feel extra daunting. If that’s the case maybe I should look at what’s missing and what’s not missing in my life.

Missing:

  • I’m not homeless.
  • I’m not hungry.
  • I don’t wonder about fuel to cook with or light at night.
  • I don’t fear reprisals if I voice my opinions or disagree with authority.
  • The air I breathe isn’t contaminated or polluted or making me ill.
  • Little restricts me if I choose to travel.
  • No major disease riddles my body or challenges my health or life.
  • Access to all sorts of information isn’t restricted or filtered.
  • I’m not persecuted for my religious beliefs.

Not Missing:

  •  I have food in the pantry.
  • Clothing choices abound, as do shoes.
  • Clean running water comes into my house with ease.
  • I’m safe in my neighborhood and in my city.
  • A variety of transportation is readily available.
  • If I really need medical care I can find a way to get it.
  • I’m able to communicate with extended family easily and quickly.
  • I can read and write, and so can my children.
  • Growing up I had two parents and siblings and everything I needed.
Not my neighborhood.

Not my neighborhood.

All of that reads like fairly basic, and almost silly stuff that just seems commonplace and ordinary. It’s only basic in some limited parts of the world, and even then only in some parts of some cities. The whole world isn’t like where I live and work and play and write. Hardly. I live in a utopia, a wonderland, a bubble.

I’ve heard people say things like, “Oh, real poverty could never happen here in America, not now, not anymore.”

I cringe when I hear such isolated and naïve talk.

To those who think such thoughts I say this:

Drop by a food pantry sometime. Volunteer for a day or two. Talk to a few of the people who come in for help. Open your eyes.

Google this term: “Countries at War.” Enjoy that reading. Or look up “Global Poverty” then look around you. Want a more realistic comparison? Then just ask your search engine to look at  “Poverty in the U.S.”

Sometimes we just don’t see the gloriously green forest all around us because the tree we’re banging our sad little head on gets in the way of our view. I’m one of those most guilty of such behavior.

Blessed beyond measure. That’s me!

Grateful for it all? You’re dang right!

I hope your view turns out as spectacular or better than mine.

~~~~~

“May our effort, confidence and concern for others be the altar from which we pray for personal abundance.” ~Laura Teresa Marquez

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, The World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Story of a Lifetime?

“Eyes may be the window of the soul…but hands tell the story of a lifetime.”

It’s Gratituesday! Have you ever given much consideration to what your hands do in a day? I got thinking about that this morning as I tied the laces on my walking shoes. The more I thought, the more my gratitude grew.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

Brushing a finger lightly across a small child’s brow and around their eyes can lull them past their resistance to sleep. Tickling under a chin, applying a band-aid, wiping a nose and best of all, holding a tiny hand in my bigger hand all fall under some of the most important things and fleeting things my hands have done.

The delicate but firm grasp of fingers holding a needle and thread as I secure a hem brings a singular satisfaction. Likewise slipping buttons through buttonholes while dressing, or grasping a zipper and pulling up, scratching an itch, all provide a sense of self-reliance.

An acquaintance of mine had a massive stroke a month or so ago and now she can’t use her hands at all, for anything. She’s completely and utterly dependent on others for the most basic of tasks. Knowing such possibilities loom for any of us makes me all the more grateful as I hold a hose to add fresh water to the bird bath, or pull a weed, or trim a low hanging branch from my tree, or set a table, hold a fork, turn a knob, or brush my hair.

Cutting an onion, stirring a simmering pan on the stove, washing dishes, scooping ice cream all give pleasure and provoke thankfulness. Kneading bread on the counter, slowly working flour into dough until it gives way with just the right amount of resistance reminds me of the mixed strength and softness my hands possess.

I love that I can put my hands on a piano or organ keyboard and produce music. Equally surprising, a tap from my fingers on a screen that grabs tunes from midair and plays music.

I love even more the feel of a pen in my hand as it writes words on paper. I’m still amazed at how my fingers move across a computer keyboard, automatically knowing where each key is, how hard to press, how to combine two keys for a capital letter, all with barely thinking the words. Who knew hands had memory? But they most certainly perform many tasks repeatedly and with little thought.

hang ten

Hands even speak…

Folding towels, pressing a wrinkle from a collar, wiping fingerprints from a window, pressing a doorbell, turning a key, pushing a stroller, holding a grass trimmer, picking up a penny off the floor. Every movement of my hands so common, so phenomenal, so blessed.

My hands have callouses, short nails, wrinkles, freckles, big knuckles, funny outward curving middle fingers, an occasional slight twitch in the right thumb and rough skin. They also have muscles and strength, a gentle touch, sensitivity to heat and cold, softness and sharpness. They lift, carry, push, pull, hold, caress, smooth, wash, ease, point, repair, plant, perform, clap, rub, press, write, draw, mend, work and bless. And so much more.

Kind of handy, wouldn’t you say?

 

 

 

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Enough and More

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for what is enough and beyond. More than enough. I feel decadent in my joy and can hardly contain it.

Today I’m thankful for sister-in-law who stayed overnight at the hospital with my Mom so that Dad and my siblings could get some rest.

Today I’m grateful for a pediatric receptionist who went three extra miles or more to quickly schedule tests for a sick infant.

Today I’m grateful for a cousin who took time from a very busy weekend and drove two hours so we could spend time together.

Today I’m thankful for instant messaging that keeps me updated about my Mom’s condition almost constantly. Add in gratitude for two hospitals and multiple doctors who are communicating with each other to do their best for her, which sounds to me like something miraculous in this day of extremely complicated healthcare.

Today I’m thankful that I’ve been blessed to spend a week with my new granddaughter, getting to know her, snuggling her, seeing her thrive and smile. I’m feeling joy beyond imagining. And with that came uninterrupted time with my oldest daughter for long chats, silences, shared amazement and contentment.

Today I’m thankful for a son-in-law who cares for my daughter and new granddaughter with generosity and love.

Today I’m grateful for two other sons-in-law who love deeply and sweetly my other two daughters and two of my other grand babies.

Today I feel blessed and grateful for an extra daughter, the one who married my son and has put a smile on his face that hasn’t stopped since they said “yes” a year ago.

Today I’m thankful for an older granddaughter who shared the eclipse with me last week via texting from miles apart, as we both looked up at the majesty of a blood moon. I felt tied sweetly to her with bonds of family that no one can take away.

Today I’m thankful for a warm Colorado day, where if I could, I’d climb “the mountain” which is what they call Pikes Peak. I’d lay a commemorative rock somewhere safe and sacred and call it my ‘Ebenezer’, my ‘stone of help’ for it’s been a week of blessings raining down in spite of a few scary moments and some ongoing worries.

Life is good!  If I ever doubt it I need only look at this past week and remember.

The Mountain

The Mountain

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

What? It’s Wednesday? Dang it!

What a slacker!

I can’t believe I didn’t post a Gratituesday yesterday. I can’t even come up with a decent reason. Busy. Life. Sidetracked.

Ungrateful?

Never.

Well, maybe on occasion I get grumpy and forget how decadent a life I lead compared to ninety percent of the rest of the world. Shame on me when I do that.

I recognize abundance every day but don’t necessarily mention it online. My journal hears about it. The interior of my car hears my comments and catches glimpses of car dancing and singing I might do when I’m feeling particularly blessed while I’m out and about.

There’s something about putting my gratitude out there for all the world to see that makes it bigger, better, and more real. Almost gives it life, if that’s possible. And so I’ve clung to the idea of Gratituesday since my sister posted one three years ago on Facebook. Tuesday has been like my extra little Hallelujah day.

Six-month old's first selfie.

Six-month old’s first selfie.

So, this Wednesday, a day late, but better than ignoring it altogether, I’ve built a list from this past week.

  • seeing a six-month old becoming mobile, rolling, stretching, reaching, becoming less dependent every day
  • joy clearly visible in the eyes of a physically challenged older adult when music plays and people sing
  • tiny purple wildflowers mixed in among the orange and golds
  • a chorus of birdsong to wake me every single morning
  • the dogs down the street who howl with the fire engine sirens, as if they know some sorrow has occurred
  • an orange eaten fresh from the backyard tree, juice running down my chin, fingers sticky with delight
  • a reliable, decent looking vehicle, new to me since December
  • opportunities to help in a different way than I’m used to or comfortable with
  • warm, clean water pouring out from the faucet at the mere twist of a handle
  • time with my children talking, laughing, texting, sharing
  • a zillion book choices for reading, mental traveling, learning, wondering
  • a red valentine balloon, droopy and deflated, but filled with love of the purest kind
  • a refrigerator full of food, cupboards stocked, every need supplied
  • friends and hugs, support and encouragement
  • wonderful memories to fill empty spaces

And that isn’t even half of the amazement that rocked my world.

I found another rock gift! Cool, isn't it?

I found another rock gift! Cool, isn’t it?

Oh, I know to anyone looking in on my life it would seem ordinary and boring. Maybe it is. But noticing and acknowledging the blessedness of it all makes it extraordinary in my eyes. And that’s all that really counts, isn’t it?

As is my wish every Tuesday, I hope you find happinesses in your life as well.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overflowing

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m more thankful than I’ve felt in ages. In fact, you might be surprised to hear that I fight back tears as I think over the overflowing abundance my life consists of.

Then I wonder if it comes across as bragging or something like it. That’s surely the last thing I want to communicate.

Maybe I worry about that because it’s been a year filled with amazement, miracles, blessings, luck, joy, happiness and most of the good things you could imagine life might hold for a person. It’s been an unusual year.

A normal year for me usually feels like a mountain climb above the tree line without extra oxygen and the food and water nearly gone. Throw in only gray rocks for scenery and a dark ominous sky, then add hundreds of switchbacks and no end in sight to the hardscrabble. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but like most of you, my life isn’t a walk in the park every day.

Sure, I manage to find the hidden and the obvious good and happy things in a year like that, but that doesn’t negate the daily battle or the toll it exacts on me.

So to have experienced an unprecedented year of abundance in almost every facet of my life stuns me. I’ve included a few photos of recent beauties and wonders that might just barely begin to explain, where my words fall so pitifully short.

I only hope you find your life at least as richly filled with the joys of life as I have this past year.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

My ABC’s of Gratitude

Authors. What would I do without all those books they write?

BIRDS… my favorite morning musicians.

alphabet

(Photo credit: Jim Davies)

Color. Can you imagine living in a black and white world? Or missing even one color? Imagine no reds. Bizarre.

Dancing. It’s a big reason I fell in love with MSH. He’s good at it and makes me feel all dizzy and ditzy and graceful.

Erasers. Do overs. The chance to try again when I mess up. Most of the time, life is full of second chances, and thirds, and fourths. And luckily, I’m surrounded by patient people.

Friends of all flavors and styles. They have gotten me through some sticky situations, made me laugh and kept it real.

Gardening, another way I manage to stay in touch with nature, feel self- sufficient, de-stress and marvel at life’s miracles.

UWM alphabet

(Photo credit: 2fs)

H

Home. The one place I most want to be. It’s where I feel safe, known, cared for and accepted no matter how unreasonable I get.

Ice cream or frozen custard or gelato. I’m an equal opportunity frozen dessert imbiber. One of the pure delights of life when I was a child and still delectable as an adult.

Immediately I think of my two oldest kids, whose names start with J.  There is true JOY.

That’s the first letter of my name, one I’ve always been proud of for its quirkiness, its double meaning, and its spelling. The word Kami in Japanese is 神 which means diety, God, Spirit or even force of nature. Powerful! I like it!

Alphabet Blocks

(Photo credit: PMillera4)

My other two kids names start with L. Ah, sweet Love. And MSH’s name starts with L, too.

Music, music, music. Every kind, loud or soft, kicky or lulling. Life without tunes is gray and stark.

Nature is my balm and cure, my link to sanity. Time spent outdoors will bring me more peace in less time than almost anything else I can do.

O

Oklahoma. I lived there almost five years The weather was a bit scary at times. I wasn’t a fan of the tornado warnings, but the people made up for it. They’re some of the nicest I’ve ever known. Made me feel like family.

Parents, mine specifically. Were they ever patient and long-suffering. They never gave up hope, at least not that I know of. Lucky me, lucky siblings, too.

Quiet time. Solitude. Opportunities for my mind to wander and for clarity to settle in.

Alphabet

(Photo credit: Khalid’s Work)

R

Relatives. Yup. That big spreading family bush, as a friend of one of my kids called it after visiting a family reunion. In-laws, parents, cousins, crazies, sisters, grandparents, nephews, brothers, uncles, nieces, grandbabies, seconds, twice removeds, the uncertains. What a party!

S

Smiles. I especially appreciate those shared smiles, similar to inside jokes or you-had-to-be-there-moments. Those smiles remind me I’m not alone, that someone “gets me” and that they understand my quirkiness and worries.

T

Time with my best friend. No telling how much of it there is left, so every minute, every day, feels like grace and mercy and hope rolled into one.

U

United States is my homeland. Call me dorky or naïve. But people keep wanting to be here, in spite of all the nonsense. We’ve got it pretty dang good and I feel blessed to be a US Citizen.

Alphabet

(Photo credit: james.swenson13)

Volunteering, serving, sharing, caring, paying it forward. It’s all the same package that gives back more than I put into it. Puts a song in my heart and puts my own life in perspective.

Words. Words are my favorite artistic medium, whether in writing or reading or talking or listening. Words rule!

X 

When treasure hunting, X marks the spot where the good stuff is hiding. My life’s map is dotted with intangible, priceless treasure.

Y

Yard. I have a yard, a space for gardening, trees, a patio table and chairs, a patch of grass and some privacy outdoors. If I want to wander out back in my PJ’s in the morning, no worries.

Zany, silly, nonsensical behavior, coupled with a few good belly laughs, makes nearly every day an adventure and a joy.

Categories: Gratitude, Joy, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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