1. Morning walks. Even the ones that are gloomy and icy and cold. This week we saw two osprey in a giant tree next to a pond and a small herd of white tailed deer in the cemetery. And yes, we walk through the cemetery some times — it’s big with lots of giant trees, an owl’s nest, a series of wide dirt roads that wind through and around. It’s very peaceful and quiet and right next to City Park where we can finish our walk. And if there are ghosts, I think they enjoy being visited by dogs — at least, I would.

2. Making art with Janice and Mikalina. This week I cut out tons of pictures, tried various combinations, but what I ended up with was much more simple than all that.

3. Practice. No matter what is going on, I’m so much more sane and able to handle it because of my practice.

4. Sam. 13 years ago today, we brought him home. Dexter was about seven at the time and so sweet with him. As I scrolled through my Facebook memories this morning, I could see the countdown from the very last time I celebrated his “gotcha” anniversary with a picture of him lounging in the sun on the back patio all the way back until that first day. The last picture was only two months before we’d lose him, but we had no idea anything was wrong, even though I’m sure the cancer was already growing. Looking back, I’m so glad I retired the year before and that COVID meant we were all home together in those final months. As strange as that time was we got to be close and together, all the time. It’s been three years without him, and still I’m so sad today, missing him so much. He really was my shadow my “velcro” dog. Once you’ve been loved like that it’s really hard to be without it. I miss all three of my dogs the same way, and if life were fair, I’d still have all four of them.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. I feel very very very lucky, all the time.

Bonus joy: lounging in the sun in the backyard with Ringo, bran muffins with dried raspberries, green grapes, audiobooks and ebooks from the library, naps, clean laundry, clean sheets, a big glass of cold clean water, a warm shower, a haircut (for those keeping score, that’s two haircuts in the past four years), wool socks, down coats and pillows and blankets, clean pjs, good TV, listening to podcasts, texting with Chloe’ and Chris and Mom and Mikalina, other people’s dogs, birds, how one sign of spring is the increase in bird song, electricity, “real” mail, blue sky, sunshine, friends who randomly text me to tell me they are thinking about me, birthdays, the promise of spring and our garden, the new “magic eraser” feature in my photo editing app, the way Ringo will run back inside when I knock on the window, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

3 thoughts on “Gratitude

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