1. Morning walks. As it is spring, three things are unfortunately true about taking a walk: you have to go out really early to catch the sunrise, this is our rainy season so you also have to closely watch the forecast and many days avoid the dirt (mud) trails, and it’s tick season (we just found the second one in two weeks on Ringo — so gross!). Other than that, they are still one of the best things.

2. Our garden. Just when I thought our irises weren’t going to do as well this year, I noticed an explosion of buds which will lead to so many blooms. All of my peonies are growing inches every day and also promise many flowers. My friend Janice gave us more raspberries plants and one day when they feel comfortable and settled in, we’ll have actual berries. In the next few weeks, we’ll do the real work of cleaning up and planting our vegetable garden. Everything is so green right now with all the rain. It all just makes me so happy.

3. Family group texts. I got added a couple of days ago to one updating everyone about my uncle’s recent hospital stay. My mom’s family had twelve kids and then there are various spouses and kids that have all kept in contact so it’s a lot of people to keep in the loop when something important happens. I didn’t have everyone’s numbers saved in my contacts and a lot of them didn’t have mine so it was hilarious watching us all try to simultaneously take part in the original conversation and figure out who the heck we were talking to. I’ve managed to get all but four of the numbers sorted and saved. I had to learn to not interrupt people as an adult, that not everyone had the same conversation style as my family. I wasn’t being rude (but people took it that way) it’s just that in my family to be able to say anything and be heard, you had to gauge when someone was just about finished and talk over the top of them. If you waited until they were done and quiet, it was too late because someone else would already be talking and you’d lost your chance.

4. Being alone at home. Sometimes I wish I were more social, more adventurous, more extroverted, but I am SO not. And really, at the end of the day, I’m okay with that. 

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. Four years ago today, when I was working my last week at CSU, I posted this on Facebook: “Went to my CSU office yesterday to bring home my plants and clear out most everything else. It felt so good taking that step. In my own often quiet way I’ve been planning this exit, dreaming of this letting go for almost ten years. I can trace it back to that awful year when both Obi and Kelly were diagnosed with cancer, and that next unbearable year when they both died. I looked at my life then and realized I wasn’t fully living what was true for me and vowed to change that. Mostly what I want to share is that real change often takes a lot of time and effort, and you don’t have to want or have a large, loud life. Having a small life that is wide and deep and quiet and slow is just as valid.” Still so true, maybe even more so.

Bonus joy: the weekend, dark chocolate covered walnuts, taco salad, finding both ticks on Ringo before they had been there long enough to do any damage, listening to podcasts, watching good TV and movies, making Eric laugh, cooking together, crows, other people’s dogs, credit card awards, a massage from Dana, making some progress on cleaning up my office, being able to do what I need for myself, curly hair, texting with my brother and mom, making art with Janice, checking in with Chloe’ and Mikalina and Chelsey, other people’s gardens, redbud trees, peony tulips (I need to get some of these), the farmer’s market, the food truck rally, being able to go to a movie theater again, trying new recipes, sitting in the backyard or on the couch with Eric and Ringo going nothing, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

3 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Writer McWriterson

    I can identify with so much of this.

    I love how you’re in the photo with Ringo.
    My father was one of twelve children.

    “Sometimes I wish I were more social, more adventurous, more extroverted, but I am SO not. And really, at the end of the day, I’m okay with that.” 100% YES.

    We found two ticks on our dog Buddy in the last month, so we’re being extra cautious this spring.

    Thank you for sharing everything you’re grateful for each week.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Yeah, I tried to get him to take a selfie with me but that was as close as I could get 🙂 And whoa! Are you close to that family? And the ticks! Gah. With Ringo’s allergies we don’t want to use any of the preventatives but it means we have to be so careful and diligent, using a lint roller and the tiny combs every time we come back from a walk. Thank you for being “here” 🙂 ❤

      1. Writer McWriterson

        No really. I have a close relationship with the daughter of my father’s sister. That is all. It is very complicated. I told my dad that his childhood could make an excellent novel or film.

        Oh, man. That’s a challenge. My parents’ dog has allergies as well, but she tolerates the medication.

        I am so glad to be “here.” ❤️

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