Friday, June 12, 2009

The discipline of gratitude

It has been way too long since I scratched out my gratitude here. With my mother being so ill, gratitude is a choice, a discipline. But it is especially important when life seems to be crumbling. More on my mum soon, but for now -- the simple pleasures of the week:

51. Red geraniums hanging from the deck. Bright red flags of cheer.

52. Blue lobelia hanging from the same deck, poised between the red flags with their frilly, jewel-like flowers. The lacy silhouette reminds me of the ocean.

53. Oodles of beautiful flowers ready to plant in the yard. Daisies, Mexican heather, impatiens, petunias are all ready to fill in the gaps in the front flower beds.

54. David Nevue's music. Played by Nevue himself, or played by my daughter, it is the perfect soundtrack for happy or sad days.

55. New floors. Tile that cleans easily and stays cool, laminate that shines in the afternoon light. It beats soiled, disgusting, brown, ugly carpet any day. Wouldn't you agree?

56. Saturday morning farmer's market. Mom and I will head out tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. Care to join us?

57. Responsibilities are slipping off the calendar. A break from the staggering and beloved commitment to speech and debate, no weekly dulcet tones of Mr. Callihan's classes, the schedule has cleared back to Latin and math and a little of this and that.

58. Ultimate frisbee games where the whole family is invited. The grown-ups haven't made it out yet, but how fun to have the whole crew encouraged.

59. Cool temperatures. 66 degrees at 4:00 p.m. in June? Unheard of and much appreciated.

60. Buffs, magpies, pekins and white crested ducks. Just last night, my husband sat on the couch and had a "chat" with them. He called out the window his version of a quack, and they responded in a loud, quacking unison from the duck coop down the hill. They make me laugh, all of them.

The ducks

61. Pasta salad brought over by a dear friend. Bow tie pasta + toasted pine nuts + sun-dried tomatoes + peppers + olives + some yummy dressing. I could live on the stuff. Yumola.

62. Americanos are my new coffee companion. Just a big splash of espresso, some hot or cold water and the caffeination operation is up and running. Iced is especially tasty.

63. The great annual decluttering project. Bags and boxes head to the thrift store donation pile and life gets simpler. Amen.

64. Nor Cal Thunder Basketball. The little family phenom continues to leave it all on the court with a new AAU team. More nice families, more great basketball. We love cheering for #23.

65. Nice Neighbors. Anyone who remembers our property line disputes (that would be Amanda's dad and my mother) knows that we don't take happy neighbors for granted. Since the dark days of ditch digging linked above, Angry Neighbor B has passed away from cancer, and his grandson has had two beautiful children; Happy Neighbor A has finished his beautiful home and moved in and helped us with fallen trees and broken car window motors. Hearing little ones across the road, seeing flowers blooming in the yard of the pristine house next door, well, these are all a little bit of tranquility we receive as a daily gift.

Posted as a part of the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience

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