Gratitude, family, and happy holidays

I’m thankful for my family, and I’m thankful to have made it this far through the holiday season.

I’m thankful for spending some time with my daughter, even though she was in town for a doctor appointment. And I’m thankful that went well.

I’m thankful the younger kids and I were able to pile into the car on Wednesday and dash through the cross-town traffic over to the cemetery on Queen Anne Hill and stand in the rain by my first husband’s grave. It was the 19th, and it was the 19th anniversary of his death, and I’m grateful that we commemorated his passing–and his life. When the kids were little, some years they were too sick or the weather was too fierce–or both–and it didn’t seem like a good idea to risk their health.

I thought about how hard it was to face death right before the holidays (when we’re all supposed to be happy). I thought about his parents and about all the families who just lost people at Sandy Hook.

Then we dashed back again through the traffic so my son could go help my mom put up her Christmas tree and I could drive my daughter back up to Bellingham in time for her work shift. How a day travels!

I’m thankful that the Cloudlift Cellars party on Friday night went well. The winery-woodshop was festive, people came, the food was good (I kept telling people, “Go, eat!”), and now more people know about our wines. Starting a small business is all about work, more work, and getting the word out.

I’m thankful for the solstice. The light is coming back on. Slowly but steadily. I’m thankful for the light.

I’m thankful for my nice, long walk Saturday–in the sun! I needed to run an errand, a shopping errand, and traffic is notoriously bad at this store. But the sky was clearing, the birds were singing, and I thought, “I’ll walk.” The whole trip took about an hour and a half. (And the way back, up the hill, was a challenge.) But I arrived home just before the Seattle rain mist started.

I’m very thankful to have my poems posted in Cascadia Review this week–having a new poem online every day from Monday to Friday.

I’m thankful for email–for being able to talk with someone even though they’re miles or oceans away. The old thin blue paper letters were romantic (and the stamps!), but they took a long time. I’m glad we can stay in touch this way.

I’m thankful my daughter doesn’t have to work today and so we can all be together at my mom’s house for Christmas Eve dinner and then share a day of roving festivities tomorrow. Now, I’m off to pick the daughter up from Bellingham.

Happy holidays–all the holidays–to all.

Open the door. Open my heart.