Gratitude for miles and miles and years and years

I am thankful for Mom, and for getting to celebrate her 80th birthday! I’m thankful my sister and I were able to throw her a party–and that her brother and his wife were able to make it over from Eastern Washington. Man, it was fun!

Really, what can I say after that?

I’m also thankful for the opportunity to read at fogdog gallery. It was a fun evening, with a good crowd and many beautiful paintings, photographs and sculptures in the gallery. A visual feast!

I’m also thankful that I found the gallery–being navigationally challenged–and that it didn’t rain. I’ve learned that I’m not so good at driving on I-5 in the dark in the rain.

I’m thankful for a safe ride up to Bellingham and back–in the rain–and light out most of the way. I’m thankful for the longer days.

Looking back, it mostly hasn’t been an easy week (except for the reading and the party), but a week of gratitude for small things–coffee, warmth, getting things done.

And there’s so much more to do.

Open the door. Open my heart.

Gratitude, snow & gone

I posted a photo of the Italian Garden last Sunday, in our first snowfall.

Here’s what it looked like later this week.

Italian garden under snow

I’m thankful for the snow–the way it changes the world.

Rosemary in the snow

I’m thankful for T.’s account of walking through the snow and White Mountain icing.

And now that it’s melting, I’m thankful for the wet/dry vac Tom brought home from the shop. I’m thankful the roads down the hill are clearing–and we still have power!

I’m thankful for yesterday’s sun so bright I needed my shades! The whole week was supposed to be like today: rain rain rain rain rain. And then a little sun. But yesterday was blue and bright and gorgeous. It was a beautiful day for my second cousin’s Bar Mitvah service.

I’m thankful for him and his journey and for a chance to gather with our family and share in that passage.

Thankful for a poem acceptance this week. This morning, I received two rejections in less than half an hour (wow!), so I keep reminding myself of the acceptance that came on Wednesday.

I’m thankful for the hummingbirds.

I’m thankful for hearing Suzanne Vega on the radio this morning talking about Carson McCullers. Back in 1985, I was reading The Lonely Hunter and Carson McCullers’s stories and novels. And in the early fall of that year, at the Folk City 25th Anniversary concert, I heard Suzanne Vega for the first time. Two big influences in one Sunday morning, before coffee.

Snow day, and thankful the power came back on

Kale under snow
The Italian garden in Winter: Kale under snow. I took this picture early, before the snow began to fall thickly and covered everything completely.

Yes, we have snow! And yes, it’s lovely. Crunch walking, and all the branches limned in white, trees looking fluffy.

Winter pansies in the snow
And some winter pansies...

And the power was out only for about three hours. It wasn’t even dark out, although the light was getting mighty gray. Then just as Tom built a fire in the fireplace,  juice! Light, heat, and an oven–what’s easy to take for granted until it’s gone, even for a little while.

I’m thankful for the chance to read at The Elliott Bay Book Company yesterday, and thankful the reading went well. John had his harmonica and shakers, Stephen had his kids’ megaphone. And we all had poems.

I’m thankful for my book club and another fabulous meeting plus discussion on Saturday. (We’d read The Submission, by Amy Waldman.)

I’m thankful for waking up on Tuesday and hearing a song by Penguin Café Orchestra on the radio. It was a piece I choreographed to back in the ’80s. A tender nostalgia to start the day.

I’m thankful for all the ideas and inspirations, no matter how quick or small. And persistence. I could work on that more, but I am thankful.

Finally I’m thankful that my cold is slowly going away. Good-bye!

And as I look out at the snow glittering under the streetlights, I’m thankful for the City Light workers and shelters and blankets and everyone who works to keep everyone warm.

Open the door. Open my heart.

Gratitude in the glorious long days

I’m so thankful the days are getting longer. Bit by bit… And one of these weekends I’ll need to take the lights down.

But this weekend, I’ve had the Bad Cold. I’m thankful it wasn’t the stomach flu again. And I’m thankful for pharmaceuticals. I know I shouldn’t be (and probably shouldn’t take them and shouldn’t support that whole industry), but they enabled me to have a few active moments yesterday and a good sleep last night.

I’m thankful for that good night’s sleep (now that my nose is running again).

And I’m thankful I got to spend time yesterday with friends who were in town for MLA. They had a busy schedule, but they were able to fit in some time for a little lunch at Café Presse and a jaunt to Open Books and then back to The Elliott Bay Book Company for coffee and more books. A great afternoon (sponsored by cold meds).

I’m thankful for morning pages, where I have time to reflect and think through problems and honestly face the scariest parts of my day or myself and the most daunting aspects of any poem I’m trying to write. Some mornings, it’s all blah, blah, blah–but some mornings, I learn things, find new ideas or new directions that can help me and help my poems.

I’m thankful for optimism–and inspiration! With a little blue in the sky this morning.

Open the door. Open my heart.

Gratitude journal, thankful for a new year

The old year ended with a whimper, as “the Christmas flu” caught up with me for New Year’s Eve–all day. I’m hopeful that I’m past it now.

I’m thankful that the whole family seems to be past it. (Can you be thankful and cross your fingers at the same time?)

I’m thankful for my cat–who is often an incredible jerk, doing everything he knows is wrong repeatedly, but yesterday spent the whole day with me, sacked out on the bed in a show of loyalty.

I’m always incredibly thankful for a new year. I love beginnings, fresh starts. Heck, even a Monday gives me that clean slate thrill. But the first day of a year is a doozy. Exciting!

I’m thankful for the time I’ve had off from work, including some time to write.

And looking back, I’m thankful for 2011 and all its new ventures. Now, onward!