Category Archives: Gratitude


Image by Eric

1. Another day. I hope there are many, many more, but each one that comes is particular and precious and will never come again in the exact same way. Each one a chance to start over, to begin and try again. Each sunrise proof of life and how lucky we are to have it.

2. Morning walks. Eric was away at a conference for a few days, so for a bit, I got to take all of the walks with Ringo. The moon was still out for the first few, before it started to fade again, hanging fat and bright in the sky. With the time change, it was darker to start but so quiet. One of the things I love about being out so early is it can feel like you have the whole world to yourself. It’s so quiet, except for the water moving in the river, the wind, and the animals, especially the owls.

We also saw a coyote. When I first saw it, I thought it was an off lead dog. It looked like a red heeler or german shepherd mix, but as we waited for it to go past us and its human to catch up, it turned and I realized it was alone and wild. It was headed the other way by the time I got my camera out, so the pictures aren’t great. Ringo was VERY excited about it.

The owls we saw one morning were too high up and it was too dark to get a very good picture, but I tried anyway. It’s one of the best things about going out when it’s still dark — the owls are out and calling to each other so it’s easier to locate them.

3. Spring is coming. There are robins everywhere and more bird song. It’s been cool but sunny, Ringo’s favorite weather for lounging in the backyard.

4. Being able to keep in touch, no matter how far apart we are. Sending pictures and emails and texts, doing video calls or Zoom hangouts, sending snail mail.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. I’d rather have Eric home with us, but the bonus of having him gone is I get to be Ringo’s favorite. I scheduled my surgery for April 5th and Eric is already taking such good care of me, has been ever since I was in the hospital, and really for the last 30 years. Being loved like this is everything I ever wanted.

Bonus joy: getting a tax refund from both Federal and State and the accountant who makes that magic happen, spending St. Patrick’s Day sharing a meal and lots of laughs with friends, the pictures I took of Chloe’ and Hendrix with the horse, the pictures and videos Mikalina sends from Hawaii, Mikalina and Marshall’s smiles, the robins, lunch with Carrie who I hadn’t seen in SO long — too long, the kindness and skill of my surgeon, all the people who have shared their experience in places online so I can find them and make a decision for myself with confidence even knowing I have no idea how things will turn out, so many good books in so many forms, listening to podcasts, comedy shows, new music from one of my favorite groups and the way after I play the album Spotify keeps going playing things that are similar like my own personalized playlist, all the people who love me, training with Shelby and the gang, stretching, Squeezed Vitamin Water, a big glass of clean cold water, a warm shower, sitting in the sun, good TV, a soft tshirt, my flannel sheets, down pillows and blankets, other people’s dogs and kids, purple highlighters, a massage with Dana, raspberries, the way the top of Ringo’s head smells when he comes in from lying in the sun, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.


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.