1. Lingering fall. The color, the weather, and even a few more strawberries.
2. I planted bulbs!!! This is very exciting. It’s probably been five years I’ve wanted to and every year I forget until it’s too late. The lingering warm weather and a lovely surprise from a friend in the mail helped this year. Even so, I still waited long enough that the bulbs I bought were on clearance and hidden in a corner of a garden center already full of Christmas stuff.
3. Walking with Eric and the dogs at Riverbend Ponds. I hadn’t been there in a long time, (we used to go a lot when Obi and Dexter were little), although lately Eric’s been walking the dogs there a lot in the afternoon. We went this weekend, early enough in the morning that the sun was just coming up, and I got so many good pictures.
4. My new favorite shirt. Last year, Amy McCracken, the Executive Director of Richmond Animal League (RAL), Burg’s roommate, and one of my favorite writers and humans, sent me a RAL sweatshirt (covered in Burg hair). It’s one of my favorite things. This year, RAL has some new schwag, and there was a black thermal I really really wanted, but you can only get it AT the shelter. I emailed Amy about it, and she was able to get me one. Today is the first day I wore it, but I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favorites.
5. My tiny family. Eric, Sam, and Ringo keep me going, even on the dark days when giving up seems very tempting.
Bonus joy: leftover Halloween candy, working from home on Fridays, John Jay & Rich in the morning on the radio, sleeping in with Sam, training with Ringo, morning walks with the dogs (they are being so good — although, it’s so dark we hardly see anybody else out so there’s not many distractions, but I’m grateful for that too), seeing the stars on our early morning walks, having something to offer, being able to listen and make space for someone else’s discovery, good tv, good books (so many good books — how am I going to EVER read them ALL?!), lunch plans with friends, texting with my brother, voicemail from my mom even though I didn’t actually get to talk to her, doing good work, a cold glass of clean water, being “90% corrected” (according to my physical therapist — big news considering we are working with a 30 year old situation), good car insurance, good health insurance, a warm shower, a washer and dryer in my house because I can still remember the scramble for quarters and having to lug baskets of dirty laundry to a second location and all the waiting involved, heat, electricity, my new car, the money to pay for all those things because I have a job and so does Eric and we have very little debt, privilege (I’d rather this were more equally distributed, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for what I’ve got), practice.