At night, in the darkness, when everything is still, my brain can imagine anything. As a child, the darkness meant I could construct stories, populate them with characters, progress the plot daily. The moon lit the trees and flowers, the snowdrifts and snow forts, the piles of leaves and stacked logs, turning them into creatures of my own invention. In the night, everything is possible.
I am grateful for every sunrise, every sunset … twice-daily reminders that being alive is a gift.
GrI am grateful for the encouragers. They are the people who listen, pay attention, recognize your dreams. They offer sincere encouragement. They believe in you. They are essential to life. … You know who you are.
In the waning days of this year-long journal, I feel compelled to add one more mundane entry. It’s that time of year when no fruits or vegetables are being picked locally and sold in the markets. We have hydroponic, and some produce that has been stored (apples, carrots, potatoes) but for that taste of garden fresh, we rely on our freezer. Soups, vegetables, fruits, are all stored in our freezer in mason jars, awaiting the winter NEED to taste something wholesome. There is no place in our house to store homemade canned goods. We haven’t dug a root cellar yet, haven’t pushed through the concrete foundation. My grandfather would have, and did, in most of his homes. We rely instead on the freezer and, as Steve said this morning, “What a good investment that freezer has been.”
When I want to relax I grab one of two things, a cookbook or an interior design book I’ve checked out of the library. If I had not been a graphic designer or a librarian or an Imagineer, my fourth career choice would have been an interior designer. I indulge this as much as I can in our own home, but I love learning about the “rules” and the “30 worst interior design nightmares” in books and online. Home interiors inform the work I do creating websites that the owner can move into … I’m grateful for the creative souls who plan, dream, photograph, and write about these thoughtful spaces. Enjoy this article about accessible design by Vanessa Lawrence in Elle Décor. (photo from article, photo by Haris Kenjar)
“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” (Fred Rogers)
I have never seen an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, except the snippets they show now when talking about Fred Rogers. I was 14 by the time it debuted and, with the wisdom of a teenager, I was too grown-up to watch something for children. In hindsight, I wish I had paid attention … he was sharing a vital philosophy. I’m grateful for Fred Rogers and all of the other kind, thoughtful, and caring people who exist throughout the world. I’m paying attention now.
My first job was as a page at the Hennepin County Library. The less formal name was “shelver” lest you think I was paid to be a part of a book. I learned a great deal about books by putting them back on the shelf. I learned even more by working at the front desk in a small branch library, talking to patrons, discussing books, and learning how to deal calmly with irate people. A number of famous people visited the library: there are stories to tell. I received a call-back from the Library and Bridgeman’s (an ice cream parlour) on the same day when I was 16. I will forever be grateful that I took that job at the library. That’s a path I’m glad I’ve walked.
I am grateful to the peacemakers. They are creating the world I want to live in.
I am grateful for this reminder that there are many fine elements of a well-lived life.
Until my mother died, cemeteries were places I thought of distantly, even when we attended a graveside service. A part of my brain wept and a part refused to acknowledge where we were. When Mom died so suddenly, we sort of knew that she would be buried next to my father in her hometown. Even then, there were discoveries to be made. Apparently there was a plot reserved for me and my husband as well. Now my brain paid attention. The end of my life stared back at me in a way it hadn’t before. We looked around at that community of souls with an understanding of inevitability. I am grateful to have a resting place. The cemetery is on a beautiful hillside, far above the town, with a forest of evergreens providing shade and majesty. The cemetery is distinguished by a four-foot neon football helmet, honoring the long-time football coach, not far away from my family’s plot. So it goes.