Gratitude in an odd autumn

I was thankful to spend yesterday with family. I didn’t get to text or talk with my middle kid, but I found out later that both my daughter and my dad did. We had a kind-of surprise visit from our oldest son and his fiancée (it’s always good to have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge). Then it was dinner with my husband, daughter, parents, and my sister and sister-in-law, who hosted. All we needed to bring were wines and the homemade dinner rolls.

It’s been an eventful fall, starting with a knee injury on Labor Day. Thus, rounds of physical therapy appointments. I’m thankful for P.T. and for walking. At the same time, I was participating in a poem-a-day challenge and signed up for two classes at Hugo House.

At the end of September, it was the LiTFUSE poetry workshop–one of my favorite annual events, for which I’m deeply thankful. This year included master classes with Chad Sweeney and Ellen Bass, plus classes with Elizabeth Austen. But the afternoon before, in my last-minute packing, I caught my cat eating part of a flip-flop–the disposable kind from the nail salon. That shall be known as the most expensive pedicure ever. I confiscated the slippers and tossed them, hoping the damage hadn’t been done.

We spent October hoping that any foreign material would work its way through the cat’s GI tract on its own. Harvest came and went. Halloween came and went. By the beginning of November, it was time for kitty surgery–and six vet visits in six days. I asked if I could pay in wine, but no go.

To recoup some of the vet bills, I’ll be working at the winery on Sundays throughout the holidays. I figure that to approach breaking even, I need to sell 25-30 cases of wine (that’s a lot of wine) or 1300 copies of In Both Hands (that’s really a lot of poetry). And for the folks from Office days, I’ll have the pamphlets of prose poems about the content management system that shall not be named (for the curious, they involve wolves, vodka, and one and zero fish).

If you want to take a break from the rest of the holidays, stop by: Cloudlift Cellars, 312 S Lucile St, Seattle.

Gratitude on a gray Monday

Yes, the week was that full. Some good stuff and some not-so-fun stuff. Let’s start with that:

Last week was a tough time at work–new situations, new challenges and responsibilities. And I often feel like I’m falling down or I can’t catch up. But in my best moments, when I get a chance to step back, I’m able to see how all of this is an opportunity to learn new things–and I’m grateful for that. Keep stepping back…

Now to the good, or more fun, stuff:

I’m thankful for good weather over the weekend and all the people who helped us bottle white wine–nearly 170 cases.

I’m thankful for a fascinating afternoon with the poets yesterday–talk of psychology and playwriting and Brazil (the nation, not the movie). Invigorating.

When I came home, this car was parked in front of my house.

Author license plate

Writing on both sides of the brain? And a cyclist? Who? (I was thankful for the chuckle, and I’d still love a chance to say Hi and talk with the author who’s driving the car.)

And yesterday marked our 14th anniversary in this house. I remember so clearly moving in–out of the old house and into this one in a single day–not packed enough in the morning, many truckloads, our cat Spike  panting as we were stuck in rush hour traffic, racing off to Jamie’s High School Baccalaureate and then coming home to unpack the kitchen and prepare for a graduation and a graduation party the next day (and Spike, having survived the commute, insisted on roaming outside and spent the night stuck in the laurel hedge). Festive times.

Since then, two more children have graduated from high school, and I feel thankful.

Perfectly, kids came for dinner last night and we reveled in a fabulous evening of food and wine and moving-in memories and walking up to the park and climbing up the water tower, complete with a lovely sunset and a lenticular cloud over Mount Rainier. (It looked just like a beret–mais bien sûr!)

I’m thankful for my sister teaching my middle kid to drive–and to parallel park.


Open the door. Open my heart

7 days to NYC

In a week, I’ll be in Midtown Manhattan, and on March 12, I’m reading at Cornelia Street Cafe, along with Sarah Sarai and Margo Berdeshevsky.

I’m so excited to read at Cornelia Street Cafe–because about a gazillion years ago, it was the first place I went (after my first dance class from Jocelyn Lorenz), just for a coffee drink. And I’m excited to read with Sarah and Margo. And yes, I’m also a little nervous.

But this week, I’m also thankful! It’s Sunday, and it’s time for the Gratitude Journal:

Yes, I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel East, visit friends, and share poetry.

I’m thankful for yesterday’s Hugo House Write-O-Rama–for getting to share short-burst writing with people and for getting to sit in on a session with Karen Finneyfrock.

I’m thankful–again and always–for my book club. Last night, a discussion of The Picture of Dorian Grey.

Every morning, I’m thankful for hot coffee and my cat.

I’m thankful for my husband’s cooking–lots of cooking–and for the impromptu and very fun Sunday dinner party he created tonight. Discussions of fermentation, green energy solutions (cost-effective green energy solutions!), fitness, etc.

And now, the laundry…

Open the door. Open my heart.