Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

Image by Eric

1. Snow. We got about five inches overnight. The sun is out today and it’s already melting. Last year on this day, we woke up to nine inches — and this is why when you live here, you don’t plant anything in your garden or get your snow tires taken off until after May 15th.

2. Comfort. A hot cup of coffee and cocoa with tiny marshmallows on top, a crunchy Gala apple, getting money back on our taxes for the second year in a row, hanging out and writing with Calyx, down blankets and pillows, a warm shower, a shoulder massage from Eric, a full massage from Dana, grocery pickup, reading, a sleepy soft warm dog.

3. Practice. In particular, I’ve really been leaning in to my writing practice. Taking a class with Natalie Goldberg and rereading all her books is reminding me who I am, how to do this, and also some of the reasons why.

4. Morning walks. The last half of the week, because of the storm that was on its way, was so gloomy. We saw a heron, one of the fox parents, a few deer, and heard some wild turkeys. There are more birds and therefore more noise in the morning and everything is turning green.

5. My tiny family, my tiny house, my tiny life. I can’t believe Sam has already been gone for almost a year. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be ready for another dog. I think I will, (how could I not?), but after raising four and losing three, those losses all coming in what felt like the shortest ten years ever, all from cancer, I’m so brokenhearted and wary. And two of those losses are tangled up with others, losing Kelly right after Obi, and then losing Angela right after Sam. I’m needing a lot more space, time, and healing this time around. I also worry Ringo will be a hard dog to match, as he can be a real jerk. I adore him but it’s just the truth. Thankfully, for now he seems to be fine being the center of our attention, so we’ll keep taking our time, however long that might be.

Bonus joy: watching a movie while I cuddle up in my favorite corner of the couch, reading, writing practice, burritos and tacos, lemons and limes, pancakes with jam, talking with a neighbor about our dogs, seeing neighbors out walking their dogs, flowers, birds at the feeder and in the bird bath, podcasts (I am loving Mike Birbiglia’s “Working it Out,” it’s like a writing masterclass but funny), Spotify playlists (one called “Deep Focus” is one of my favorites to put on while I write), writing at the dining room table (honestly, it took me a long time to get used to this being my “office” but now I’m really enjoying being in the middle of things rather than tucked away in the back of the house), texting with my mom and brother and Chloe’, talking to my mom and dad on his 80th birthday, fresh eggs from Chloe’s chickens, making plans for projects that I don’t actually have to start today or ever, muffins, sitting with Eric in the infrared sauna, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Things are turning green and budding out. This week, we headed over to check out the fox den, the one that is most likely to have a litter of pups, has even been taped off by the city to keep people and dogs from getting too close. As we walked that way, I saw something running out of the corner of my eye and then heard a rustle in the grass just over the ridge we were walking next to. I’m not gonna lie, at first I thought it was a mountain lion, which are around for sure but I’d rather they never got that close. As we got closer to the den, I saw her or maybe him — it was either Mama Fox or Daddy, and they were keeping a close eye on us. They ran along the fence on the far side of the trail, following us, stopping to watch when we stopped. I hope we eventually get to see the babies, but more than that I hope there are babies, and that they are safe and healthy and will grow up to be the same.

2. Feeling safer. I know that this isn’t anywhere close to anything like “over” (if it ever will be) and yet I feel so much more at ease leaving my house even after only one shot. We even made a reservation for a house on the coast in Oregon this summer, a trip to go visit our family after having to cancel last year and not having seen them for two years now — and still, after a full year of being so careful and so wary, it feels like it’s a risky choice, maybe even the wrong one. I sure hope not.

3. Practice. My Wild Writing class is on a short break and I miss it, however I’m so happy that when we restart in a month, everyone is planning to come back and we can start again. together.

4. Writing practice. This one deserved it’s own spot this week. I’m in week five of the class I’m taking with Natalie Goldberg. I’m reading back through all her books and writing more than I have in a long time and it feels so good. As I practice, I catch myself thinking, “oh yeah, THIS is who I am.” I’m so grateful for the reminder.

5. My tiny family, my tiny house, my tiny life. I am looking forward to working with Eric on our garden, enjoying lots of yard time, relaxing and hanging out together. It’s good to have a home, a family, and a life that you don’t want to leave.

Bonus joy: Lasagna, being able to make one for us and one for friends, having leftovers, clementines, tiny snack size cucumbers, daffodils, sitting on the patio in the sun while Ringo lounges in the grass, the way he loves to go out and roll, hanging out and writing with Calyx, texting with Chloe’ and Chelsey and Mom and Chris, cute pictures of cute kids, unlikely animal friendships (like the litter of foster puppies who love to hang out with the resident pig), stray and pregnant mama dogs who get rescued and those who rescue them, books, podcasts, TV, movies, down blankets and pillows, wool socks, laundry, my washer and dryer and dishwasher and refrigerator and oven and computer and TV and furnace and a/c and water heater, the USPS, vaccines, grocery pickup, flowers in the bathroom, warm soft chewy bread, toast, pancakes, a warm shower, electric cars, good neighbors, emergency vets, healthy babies, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.