1. Ringo Blue. It’s his ninth birthday today. He and I have a deal that he’ll stick around for at least another four years, (and that still wouldn’t be enough). He is all the way recovered from being sick and it’s such a relief to see him happily being himself, even (or especially?) when he’s being a jerk.

Flowers from Mikalina

2. Birthday love. My 55th birthday was yesterday. It’s so nice to be reminded in one big wave of all the people who love me, even though they are all really good at letting me know all the time.

Birthday socks from my brother
My heart is a tender magnet (and I miss my dogs — Sam, Dexter, and Obi)

3. Practice, which this week included making art with Janice, meditating with bilateral sound tracks, and Wild Writing with my Friday morning writing sangha led by Laurie.

4. Morning walks. We had a snow storm and frigid temperatures roll in towards the end of the week, so I didn’t get as many pictures — we walked early in the dark so we could beat the storm one morning, and the next morning it was only 7 degrees with fresh snow on the ground.

5. My tiny family, tiny house, tiny life. Eric doesn’t have to work next week because his campus is on fall break. I just remembered that this morning after we got back from the gym, (weekends are my favorite because it means hydromassage chair, hop around in the pool for a bit, then sit in the sauna). He is my absolute favorite person. He and Ringo are out napping on the couch together right now and that makes me so happy. Ringo is so cuddly when it gets cold, makes himself a pile out of blankets and pillows and it’s so cute!

Bonus joy: the cake Eric made me, birds at the feeder, white chrysanthemums — especially the fat full ones with spiky edges like you see in Japanese art and that are wrapped in plastic netting at the grocery store to protect the petals, my general practitioner — her skill and kindness and sense of humor, books, new music, the fancy headphones I got Eric for Christmas that he doesn’t really use so now I do, gingerbread muffins, vaccines, clean sheets, true crime, listening to podcasts, that corner of the couch, twinkle lights, texting with my neighbor, texting with Chloe’ and Chris, YouTube, a new blank notebook, my HappyLight, the sound of the furnace, snow, raspberries, bananas, toast, marionberry jam from Auntie T, the sound of Hendrix in the background during our Wild Writing and what Laurie said about that and how Chloe’ smiled, other people’s dogs — in particular Diego who we see at the cement ponds, all the great places we have to walk so close to our house, being able to use the internet and apps for things I used to have to use the phone or my whole person out in public to accomplish, the pool, prescription glasses, Dana from Scotland who I make talk extra by peppering her with questions because she’s so friendly but I also love her accent, the front desk staff at the gym, training with Shelby and the gang, snow tires, good toothpaste, peanut sauce, the Vietnamese spring rolls from Chili House, being retired, canceled plans, good TV, graphic novels, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

3 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Writer McWriterson

    Happy birthday! You’ve been such a gift to me throughout the last year. It sounds like you had a lovely day.

    I agree with you on dogs. I usually say into their ears, “Please live forever.” I know this is an impossible reality. They are one of the best parts of my life.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      It’s not so much that I want them to live forever, but I also don’t want to live without them, and when they go, the idea that I may not ever see them again (because even though I could choose to believe I will, I don’t know that for sure, no one does) is just…too much.

      I’ve tried to leave multiple comments on your blog but they always disappear — just to say, you are a gift to me too. ❤


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