Gratitude: August 2014

As many days as possible, I list at least one (sometimes up to six) distinct thing(s) for which I’m grateful. The list is archived monthly. Here’s August 2014.

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I’m grateful for the way the girls meowed when they saw me pack my suitcase. Making it to the curb at the stroke of nine. An on-schedule flight. Gogo in-air wifi. Those fellas who made me laugh in the airport. Seeing Mom and Dad in person again. Making it home safely despite the rain and Dad’s poor eyesight.

I’m grateful for the chance to sleep in late at my parents’ home. A pleasant dinner out. Buffalo sauce.

I’m grateful for being able to add story notes to my journal during church. Hearing Dad hum along to the songs even though he hasn’t been able to sing in recent years. Pleasant brunch company. Meeting my parents’ friends. That the nice artist and shop keeper reopened his store just for me so I could shop for Sam. The anticipation of seeing my niece and nephew later this week. And my brother.

I’m grateful I get to read one of Colette Sartor’s fabulous short stories, “F-Man,” in the latest issue of Carve Magazine. Colette Sartor. Carve Magazine.

I’m grateful for my hoodie and socks and flannel pajamas. Leisurely mornings. Coffee chats with Mom. Dinner with both of my parents. Bread and house red. That Dad is feeling better. Walks under tall pines. Seeing that dog pull on his leash toward his papa.

I’m grateful for Andy who greeted me at the taxi door ready to pay the tab, ready to carry my suitcase, ready to hug me long and hard on the street. Arriving safely at home. Cuddles with the kittehs. A day to research lit mags. New Pages, a single source for many good literary magazines. The energy to unpack.

I’m grateful for Robin Williams’ performance in Moscow on the Hudson. The World According to Garp. The Fisher King. Dead Poets Society. Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams.

I’m grateful for invigorating feedback from my writing coach to help revive a story draft. My hope that the piece can get better. The way that procrastination manifests in often hilarious ways, like a sudden urgent need to check the system preferences on my Mac and the subsequent business of testing out the dictation feature.

I’m grateful for the happy memories of two weeks ago with my parents, brother, niece & nephew. A few good days of work generating financial statements for kind people. Lunch at Stout. My shopping mate, and her help choosing a long overdue purchase. Starting the weekend with ones I love. A summer night on the deck with candlelight, music and laughter.

I’m grateful for the life of my aunt, Darlene DeHoog, for the sound of her voice, gentle, imprinted in my memory.

I’m grateful to wake up, pain free, to the sensation of Ellie-cat silently plodding up the mattress towards my face. A morning to read five stories. Booth. My functioning computer and car, internet connection and fuel. Fresh bread. Designated times and spaces to collaborate on challenges. The right to be vague.

I’m grateful for wonderful company on the way to & from Laguna Beach. Tapas and discussions of writing. Hearing an author speak about his life’s work. My friend’s kind introduction. Having those gorgeous lines from Keats quoted to me. Knowing it was Keats. Keats.

I’m grateful for two relaxing days to sit with the story I’m rewriting. Finally being able to fall into the world of the new scene it needs. A fruitful discussion with Andy.

I’m grateful Susannah Conway’s Instagram project: August Break, 2014. The hundreds of people participating. All the inspiring blogs to browse through. New insta-friends and the snaps from their worlds.

I’m grateful for the cross breeze upstairs.

I’m grateful to be able to read a newly published story, “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others,” by Lou Mathews in the New England Review.

I’m grateful for another miles-long walk. Airbnb. Bruges. London. Plans. Encouragement.

I’m grateful my copy of Law and Disorder: Stories of Conflict and Crime has arrived so that I can see how “Lamb” by Colette Sartor ends.

I’m grateful for Lisa Mecham’s essay on writing: My Writing Process – The Blog Tour.

I’m grateful for the liberty and the quiet of five to eight each morning.

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