Small, daily gifts I love the most. I have many “large” gifts to be thankful for but the small ones hit the hardest, in my heart, daily.
I walk out to my backyard in the wee hours of the morning and hear a hummingbird hanging out in the neighbor’s weeping willow… search out and find her (him) … I feel so grateful I have had that moment. Or when I watch a flock of noisy Pine Siskins scavenge through the yard after I had put out some suet. I feel so grateful that I had the money to buy the suet to feed the birds so we could see and enjoy them frolicking in the yard.
I watch the dogs run after a squirrel (stealing suet) and see everyone’s exuberance. … the squirrel safely on the fence and the dogs thinking they are protecting their territory … I feel a moment of joy. Nature is fun and all are safe.
When I look out of my family room window and see the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains, lighting up the Puget Sound in majestic reds … I think, I can’t be luckier than I am in this moment.
Then there is the dusk winter blue light, that is the most beautiful light. It makes me want to light a fire, make a hot cup of tea, pour a glass of wine and just keep looking out my window until dark has taken over. I always feel thankful.
I smell early morning air, and think, “God, it can’t be better than that!” I wave at my much-beloved neighbors of 22 years and think, “God, it can’t get much better than this.” I wave at people at the grocery store that I have known forever and think, “I feel so lucky to have such a boring, enriched life”.
Most of you know, I love my flowers from the moment they bloom until they go to seed. Watching the process makes me so thankful that I have a yard in which to discover these miracles. And I love that I can photograph them and discover all kinds of secrets. When I see my 13+ hydrangeas blooming, I think to myself, “How could I be so lucky?”
The last 4 years have held many nervous moments. Not life-threatening like my sister’s breast cancer (I can happily say she is doing fine) or Heather Von St. James' brush with death before the birth of her daughter.
Losing a job can be life altering, scary, but not insurmountable. I had my crying fits of fear and questioned what my life’s calling really was. I had my family in my corner behind every tearful fear and knew they were cheering me to my next goal, whatever that might be.
I was thankful I had freelance work so we could keep our house and pay all our bills. But I was really thankful I had the extra time off to spend with my mom when she was really sick and we were spending every other day in ICU. I’m so glad I could be here with her when she was at her worst. I have said many times, God gives you what you need and I needed some extra time to spend with my mom.
Then my son and his fiancée decided to move back home to pay us rent, help us out while I was unemployed and give up their temporary, yet expensive independence. Before we all knew it, we were all expecting a grandchild. I was in shock at first, because they were so young. My husband was the most positive of all the adults in the house. He looked at me and said, “many have gotten through this and so will we”. Of course, he was right. Being much older parents than most, we might not have experienced being grandparents. But here we are, and we have had the pleasure of holding, loving, changing diapers of our own granddaughter. From two people who found each other so late in life, that thought we would not be married or ever have kids … I think that is a big reason to be really, really grateful.
We were so happy to welcome our granddaughter, Mason, into this world in October 2013.
So here we are, seeing in 2014 before we can even digest the events of 2013.
Maybe that comes from being “old” … it all goes so fast. Four generations are living in one house, experiencing all of life’s “ups and downs” together. Giving each other comfort in love, humor and support.
Life can’t get much better than it is right now. Or more confusing, messy, congested. And we will cope in gratitude.
Summer Dining :: From Vine to Glass
9 hours ago