1. Ringo and Sam. Lounging or playing in the backyard together. Sam turning from black to red, purple, brown in the summer. How grown up Ringo is getting, while still being a little stinker, a punk, a jerk, a puppy. How little he used to be, and how long ago that seems. That they like each other, get along so well, that Sam makes his boundaries clear but lets Ringo get away with so much. The sounds they make in the night. How happy they are to see me. How Ringo knew he was going to daycare today because I packed his lunch and got out his special collar and how happy he was about it. Both dogs messing up the bed under my writing desk, digging the blankets into a pile, a nest, and how I’ve stopped fixing it, am leaving it that way. The way Ringo talks to you, the barks and growls and whines and sighs constituting an entire language. How sweet Sam is, but also so tough when he thinks he needs to be.
2. Strawberries from my garden. There aren’t many, but they represent the possibility of more if we keep at it.
4. Phase four of our front garden project: get rid of all the grass. Phase one was take out a 45 year old cottonwood tree (it was getting dangerous, so we had to, reluctantly…). Phase two was to put in three raised beds, and phase three was putting in a new front flower bed and a bed for strawberries and a memorial garden. Phase Five will be to paint the house (the green is super faded now that the tree is gone and it gets so much sun), and phase six will be planting lots and lots more flowers and vegetables and fruit.
5. My first peony bloom. There were only three this first year, the exact right number, one each for Obi, Kelly, and Dexter.
Bonus Joy: Seeing the contributors page for the first issue of Mabel Magazine, all the familiar and adored faces, including my own.