Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. It’s officially the dark season, even though the upcoming Daylight Savings Time will shift things again for a few weeks. The most recent walk Ringo and I took, it wasn’t getting light until we turned towards home. I was thinking the other morning how cool it is that we can walk out our front door and so quickly get to the river, to the place all the animals are — owls, deer, heron, foxes, beavers, mink, geese, ducks, osprey, all kinds of hawks, bald eagles, raccoons, rabbits, the occasional bear, and this year there was even a moose. We’ve never seen a mountain lion, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t seen us.

2. Firefighters. We’ve sure needed them this summer, more and yet the same as we always have. The Cameron Peak Fire that’s burning here is now officially the biggest wild fire we’ve ever had in Colorado. May all the people fighting it stay safe, along with the homes and animals and humans that live in those spaces, and may the weather conditions shift in a helpful way.

The view from our front porch a few days ago

3. Practice, in particular Wild Writing. Things feel very tense, fraught, so anything that helps me work with that makes me so grateful.

4. Good food. Keeping myself nourished, fed and cared for, helps. Eric made scones this week and my Auntie T sent me some homemade jam. And seriously, Beyond Burger is so much better that “real” hamburger, especially if you cook it on a grill.

5. My tiny family. It’s pretty certain we won’t be getting another dog until spring at the earliest, and that’s only if we can’t go to Oregon next summer. If we go to Oregon, we’ll wait until after we get back. We don’t know if it will be an older dog or a puppy, girl or a boy, but the two most important things are Ringo has to love it and it has to like to cuddle with me. Ringo rescued another baby this week, a stuffed bunny that he found at City Park. It’s one of my favorite things he does, how happy he gets when he finds a toy or a baby on a walk, and I’m so glad that he’s trustworthy enough now he can actually have stuffed toys just lying around the house, waiting for him to play.

Bonus joy: the way the squirrels sneak up on the porch to eat our pumpkins when they think I can’t see them, the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, hanging out and writing with Mikalina, eye drops, having the laundry done, homemade biscuits, crunchy peanut butter Clif bars, texting with my mom and brother, a new baby, onion buns, being retired, the way the leaves fall, clean air and water, the people growing and harvesting food now that my garden is done for the year, knowing Chloe’ is just a few blocks away, being so close to the river, how green our yard stayed this year, the willingness of so many to keep showing up and trying even when it gets hard and would be easier to just give up or go away, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.

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