This is a periodic blog feature I call “grace notes.” It occasionally captures my jottings of incidental gratitude. My hope is that this practice will make me (and you?) more aware of the constant flow of amazing good we are perpetually steeped in, which we are surrounded by all the time. It is here only asking to be noticed and amplified.
So now I am furthering my ongoing goal of appreciating such a continuous, overflowing abundance of random good. I’ve even taken photographs of some of them –mostly with my iPhone– which you can see in this post.
So let’s start this gratitude list with:
- Obviously, my amazing five-week camping trip with our younger daughter to northeastern Canada, followed by an artist-in-residency at Creative Arts Camp in Maine. Both were beyond wonderful. The blogs of July and August were full of all the reasons why, but my gratitude for those special times continues unabated. Newfoundland, the Nova Scotia Highlands, Kouchibouguac, and Baxter State Park are now happiness itself, circulating inside my metaphoric veins.
- Our younger daughter has gotten settled into her new apartment, started her PhD program in Physics with aplomb, has made some friends already, got the desk in the office next to the window, is teaching two sections of college Physics I Lab, and just returned home after her first three weeks to pick up the new bike she bought with collectively generous graduation gift money. There is so much to be grateful for in all this. (In the photos below you can see some of her pottery and books now arranged in her new apartment. I saw them when I dropped her back last Sunday. I’m glad she’s settling in!)
- Our older daughter got a huge promotion in July and is now Policy Office Administrator for the Department of Education for the State of California. She specializes in early learning and care, and is now managing many employees. This is a huge jump for her, and a lot of responsibility for someone her age. They are so lucky to have her! She pours her heart into making a difference for the kids of California, working long hours, and adeptly juggling more projects than I can count. I’m grateful she got an opportunity that utilizes her skill-set so well, and am grateful to know somewhere in government quality people are quietly going about doing what so desperately needs to be done.
- I’m grateful to be home too, to our lovely little church, our local friends, our sweet house, with its garden plenty rolling in, including an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers.
- I’m grateful for the three book groups I participate in. This September I’m doing all three of their books, which is rare for me, since I often skip when not interested, or have frequent scheduling conflicts. I like these intelligent people, and enjoy being around life-long learners. I’m grateful for our good discussions!
- I’m grateful for progress on our local clergy association. We just had the best kick-off meeting ever in my memory of working with this group for 23 years. There are more women now, more genuine affection for each other in general, more ideas and interest in working as a community, more of what brings us together than what divides us. Some new ideas were floated and are going to be done. How refreshing! I’ve nurtured this group for a long time, and what used to be stiff and stilted and frozen, is now officially thawed! Love was in the air, and I felt hope for the world.
- I’m grateful for our quarry swimming hole, even though we didn’t get there are much as usual this summer. It is such a glorious respite– a great escape five minutes from my house. Here’s to being there a lot next summer!
- I’m always grateful for when other people cook for me! Check out those treats below.
- I just love our Farmer’s Market, especially in this season. Talk about abundance and beauty and fruitful endeavor! It is so nurturing in every way.
- Don’t you love those fabulous elephant ears up next to the front of our house? They are new there this year and I just love them.
- Hydrangea are like big bobble-headed smiles to me and make me glad every time I see them.
- I’m totally grateful bright red antique trucks exist. Aren’t you?
- How about graciously languid tea parties with licorice tea and tiny bundt cakes adorned with roses!
- Who wouldn’t be grateful for those fabulous homegrown raspberries shown above? Thank you to my husband for growing them and picking them. They are marvelous.
- Speaking of James, I’ve got to say that I love living with him. And I’m so proud that his new podcast (The Bible Speaks to You) is about to launch in a couple weeks. I’ve heard a few and they are good! He has such a nice, warm, easy going manner, is easy to listen to, has good non-denominal content, that will build over time, and he cares deeply, in an open ended way, about his topic. I’m fully endorsing this project, and you’ll hear more about it when it is up and running, since I think you’ll want to subscribe.
- I’m pleased to say art-wise, that I got into my third national show! A landscape of mine will be up in a beautiful Connecticut museum from October through December.
- And here comes the glorious season of fall, that is so pretty here. Leaves are just starting to change colors, with the whole (hopefully fabulous) display, like slow bursting fire-works, coming on in the next six weeks. I’m eager for all the crisp air, autumnal hikes and the seasonal food too.
- I’m sending hugs to all you blog readers out there! I’m grateful for each and every one of you too… every single day. Thank you for making this blog worth doing. xxx