A blog anniversary, plus the Sunday Gratitude Journal

Holiday lights up the front stepsSix years of this Poe-Query blog, two platforms, 902 posts, and I’m thankful for this experiment. I’m also thankful for all the other people who share on their blogs–Martha, Kelli, T. (a punctuation geek! along with many other wonderful hats she wears), Peter, and Jeannine, just to start. And then the many that I yet to catch up on or find. Yes, sharing.

The other day, I mentioned that I’m kind of crazy for poetry craft. When I started–when I chose the name Poe-Query, I imagined an ongoing conversation about craft. A salon, if you will–a place to stop by and share ideas, approaches, anxieties. (I always have plenty of those.) Sometimes, I think that craft conversation has moved into the forums or onto Facebook. But many thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts and their advice.

I confess: Often I think of some poem issue I’m struggling with (“That would be a good blog post.”) and I don’t write it down. I don’t post it. I don’t share it.

So even if the conversation has moved into other rooms, I will try in this seventh year to do better at investigating, asking, and trying to answer some of the questions that dog me in the middle of a poem in the middle of the night.

And it’s Sunday, the day for the Gratitude Journal.

I’m thankful for the weddings! All the weddings. Cheers! It gives me hope.

I’m thankful for my sons’ help getting the outside lights up–especially the part when my oldest was spreading the lights across the rhododendrons while sitting on my youngest’s shoulders on the front steps. I wish I had a picture of that.

I’m thankful for the Giving Tree at work, and I’m so thankful I was able to find the items the kids asked for.

I’m thankful for the nights I got good sleep. That might sound like a small thing, but it’s been a moving target lately.

I’m thankful for The Far Field and Cascadia Review–two sites where I try to start my day no matter how the night went.

I’m thankful for rosemary in the garden.

I’m thankful for email. Think about it: You can write to your friends wherever they are. They can write back. Yes, I love postcards and letters and the romance of aerograms and the thin blue paper and the excitement of stamps from other countries–but for staying in touch, I’m thankful for email.

It’s advent, and I wanted to take a picture each day of one little surprise–one delight–but I’m not a good picture taker. I don’t slow down and dig into my bag for the camera. But I have slowed down to notice, and here’s what I’ve seen: tiny babies, little dogs, lights on the tree downtown at 4th & Stewart. That doesn’t add up to nine, but I’ve seen a lot of really cute, really tiny babies.

Before a busy week ahead, it’s nice to stop, breathe, give thanks.

Open the door. Open my heart.