Disclaimer: three weeks away means A LOT of pictures 🙂

1. Oregon. In particular the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast. We’ve lived in Colorado for about 25 years now, in this tiny house for the last 20, and love it here, have no intention of leaving, AND I lived the first years of my life in Oregon and love it there. Luckily even though Eric didn’t live in Oregon his whole life (his Mom grew up there and he finished high school there and eventually met me there in our early 20s, but they were also a military family who lived all over while he was growing up), he spent enough of his life there to know it, his family eventually all settled there too, and he loves the ocean as much as I do — which is A LOT. When we visit, typically in the summer, we can see most of our family AND get to spend time at the beach. Ringo did so good on this trip. Even though we were in the car for three days each direction and we “lived” in five different locations, as long as we set up his crate and there was a deck or yard for him lounge in and a good place to walk, he was fine. He also did his very best to break the “no pets on the furniture” rule every singe place we stayed.

2. Coming home. As much as we love Oregon, the beach and our people and the food and the ease of vacation, it’s good to be home. And even though I missed my peonies, Jen and Nora sent me lots of pictures.

3. Morning walks. Ringo has been doing so good, can go four miles without wrecking himself, and that makes me so happy. I also love that this time of year when I walk with Ringo, Eric usually comes with us. It’s still weird to have only one dog, especially when we walk together so only one of us is technically walking the dog, but there’s also a particular ease to it that I’m enjoying.

4. Reading. Books are my best friends, my greatest teachers. Part of my morning practice is to read a chapter from a dharma book and a chapter from a creativity book. The most recent collection (pictured below) of what I’ve been reading is SO GOOD, highly recommended. I’ll also add Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants to the list, no picture because I passed it along once I read it. Next up and just delivered are Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative and Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom.

5. My tiny family, my tiny home, my tiny life. Vacation, being away from your normal space, stuff, and routine, gives you a different perspective on your “regular” life. And it doesn’t really matter where or how far you go, just that it’s “someplace else.” For me, I can see my experience more clearly from this different perspective, consider it with compassion and wisdom, and see the things I may not have been aware of because they were too close, too familiar. I can more easily connect to my experience with a sense of gratitude and discernment. 

Bonus joy: Luna Sea Fish House halibut fish & chips, LeRoys’ Blue Whale pancakes, baked goodies from Depoe Baykery, Mo’s clam chowder, a big salad, sour gummy worms, hybrid and electric cars, the sound of the ocean, wildflowers, all the birds, coyotes and beavers, herons, washers and dryers, air conditioning, fans, trees, honey bees, recipes, bread, the little ones in our families, vaccines, clean sheets, a warm shower, houseplants, grapefruit bubbly sparkling water, streaming TV and movies (in Oregon, we had to watch commercials and IT WAS AWFUL), listening to podcasts, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.

2 thoughts on “Gratitude

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