Gratitude: December 2013

As many days as possible, I list six distinct things for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s December 2013. 

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I’m grateful for vegetarian stuffing at midnight. That Ruby woke me up at dawn. Pink light reflecting off the bedroom door. The third incredible sunrise in one week. A relaxing day to catch up on anything I choose. All the wonderful people in my internet community; including, but not limited to: parents of children dressed as kings and celestial bodies, writers down south, bloggers up north, nature lovers and jewelry makers back east, and adopters of fat Christmas trees in New England.

I’m grateful for the neighbor on the other side of the bedroom wall whom I want to clock for making such obnoxious noises in the middle of the night most nights; I’m grateful for her because I’m sure that if there was a major natural disaster I could convince her and her slumber party guest du jour to play nice on team survival. Clean drinking water. Central air. Windows that open and close. Hammers. Nails.

I’m grateful for the gorgeous soul who told me that she reads this blog to her baby son. Her son. People who read to children. The written word. New moon. Owls.

I’m grateful for my writing class. Time to take a lunch break before moving on to bookkeeping. A safe drive down south and back up north again. That the newsstand had some lit mags in stock. Sleeping through the night without the neighbor’s usual three a.m. animated conversations permeating our drywall. Drywall.

I’m grateful to have been able to be home to receive the new mattress. That Ruby didn’t escape during the ruckus. Spending time writing a 100 word piece of microfiction even though the contest deadline had passed. Washer, dryer and soap. New 450 thread count sheets. Curling up to sleep and giggling with new comfort.

I’m grateful to have been able to wake up at 5am to start work. The way my new necklace feels pretty with my blue sweater. The kind staff at the StopNCafe on the promenade. That they serve breakfast all day. Bottomless cups of hot coffee when it’s crisp outside. Evening drinks with an old friend.

I’m grateful to Andy for going out in the rain to buy coffee and strawberries. The pleasure of reading great microfiction like this. Hours to catch up on some client work. The selection of craftsy treats at the neighborhood art shop. Rin Dawson’s && A Happy New Year Project. My far away pen pal.

I’m grateful for the realization that staying home is best at least one day a week. The way Ruby napped on my lap. Scissors and paper and ribbon and brads — seeing a fun project take shape. Remembering my Aunt Ruth’s old sewing kit and all the embroidery floss I’ve stored there for over twenty years. Seeing more than a hundred little black birds line up on the telephone wires at dusk. Having 15 calorie spoonfuls of whipped cream for dessert.

I’m grateful for a serious talk about writing over breakfast on a gorgeous day. Friends with common goals. Making it to the next meeting on time. A gift night out from a dear, energetic spirit. Her friendship. Seeing brilliant and funny actors do great improv in “The Black Version”.

I’m grateful for a morning to catch up on emails and travel plans. Time to walk four miles. Perfect weather. Brunch with good reading. Abandoning Holidailies. Fleece.

I’m grateful to have made it to Westwood in time for egg nog flavored coffee. A great last class of the quarter. The talent of my fellow students. Our fantastic teacher. Lunch at a special place. Ordering Christmas gifts for the kids.

I’m grateful to have the luxury of exercising my choices. Productive hours. Working with creative people. Ibuprofen. A quick walk. Mostly enjoying what I do for a living.

I’m grateful for a solid day of good work with good people. Mint Hershey’s kisses. My wool coat. Getting an up close smell of an evergreen tree. Time to reflect on a sad anniversary. That Andy arrived home safely.

I’m grateful for Pete Holmes. The comedian on Pete’s show who adorably ends most sentences with, “or whatever.” The Notes app that links from my phone to the computer that reminded me of seeing my first magnolia of the season and the little boy walking fast through the city carrying a violin case in orange football socks. The first magnolia of the season. The little boy walking fast through the city carrying a violin case in orange football socks. The tiny hairs on magnolia buds.

I’m grateful for the dream of the ghost and the piping soup on a cold uncomfortable day. Strawberries. The warm weather that made watching the sunrise delightful. Keeping a date. The Sun Magazine. The work of Esther Perel.

I’m grateful for the second day in a row of journalling during sunrise on the deck. New writer friends to whom I can forward my rejection notices. Drawing the book outline. Fun dinner chat with Andy about story construction. The examples of “I can’t allow that”-moments in Merantau. The exhilaration of learning.

I’m grateful for time to sit with Aida while she does my hair. Presence. Mothers. Anticipating a long break from work. Finally having packed.

I’m grateful for having gotten work done on the plane. A safe travel day. Pre-arranged room service waiting in our room. K’s thoughtfulness in planning the evening. Dinner with my brother, Andy, S., R., Z. & C. Happy thoughts at the start of a good trip.

I’m grateful for time to listen to the Sondeim documentary while wrapping gifts. Dry, warm train-waiting weather. That Bill the car rental guy was waiting for us with a decent van. Making it to Williamsburg. Andy’s wonderful family. The expressive greeting we got from so many lovely, enthusiastic people.

I’m grateful for time to walk around the resort in unexpectedly warm weather. That no golf balls hit me. A wonderful party. So many delightful & smart people to talk with. Girl time chatting with my dearest dear friend. Our hysterical laughter spurred by the accidental high-five.

I’m grateful for sleeping in in comfort. The way I feel about Andy. Having a little adventure with him in a new place. Learning about earlier methods of book binding. Seeing our youngest family members run and play in the rain. Laughing with Aunt Betty.

I’m grateful for help and being helpful in getting luggage onto a train in more pouring rain. A successful airbnb arrival. The boutique on Connecticut. Lunch with A at the old neighborhood Alero’s. A sunset walk in the cold wind. Dinner with a good book at Bardeo.

I’m grateful for the internet guide on how to use a French press. Bloody Marys and bridge walks. The Metro. Sideways snow. My down coat. Bombie and monuments.

I’m grateful for waking up in a wonderful vacation spot on a holiday with my sweetheart. Presents to open. Andy. A wonderful walk in Cleveland Park. Public restrooms. Our beloved Omni.

I’m grateful for an as-planned travel day. Long hours to read short stories. Zoetrope. Karen Russell. Imagines that stay like girls evolving into silkworm moths. Kitty reunion.

I’m grateful for relaxing mornings to work on the package for a kind stranger in Berlin. Relaxed deadlines. Embroidery floss, felt balls, vintage photos, scissors, and glue. A long walk. A date with Andy. Our neighborhood pub.

I’m grateful to live in paradise — So. Cal. in the year 2013. Another date with Andy. Macaroni & cheese and tomato soup. American Hustle. Cleavage and costumes. Winning a chess game vs. my only remaining correspondence opponent for the first time in over a year.

I’m grateful for legs. Hips. Lungs. Teeth. Stomach. All the billions of things that function well without my understanding or input.

I’m grateful for the way Ruby and Ellie follow me. That my brother was born on this day once upon a time. Making one more bookmark. Walks to the post office. A dinner break. Peaceful work.

I’m grateful for Andy’s day off from work. Endings and beginnings. Eating and drinking and breathing and walking and loving. Time to monitor our kitties’ health. Proud, low sun and shadows of trees. Safe, warm home.

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