It is so much fun to share your birthday with a good friend, one whose birthday is the day after yours. Getting together to celebrate that our lives are still ongoing leaves me feeling effervescent! And honoring all that we’ve added to life’s weaving through the years? That fills me with gratitude. (I especially love when said friend knows me well enough to bring a gift of olives, my favorite food!)
Driving in the car always reminds me how many neighborhoods there are throughout our state, our country, our globe, and how vital each one is to the health of our planet. We want all of these communities to thrive because their contributions to our well-being are essential. When visiting, we encourage conversations about what’s important to them, their pride of place, their families … and we reaffirm how much we care about each other. Strangers? Not for long.
Last night, a dear friend treated us to dinner and live music at Crooners Supper Club. We were fortunate to hear Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw spotlight the music of Stevie Wonder, Mose Allison, and Buffy Saint-Marie. Eclectic, right? Prudence and Dean were both so articulate with their arrangements and interpretations of songs—I found myself holding my breath in order to hear every note.
I am grateful to Mary Tjosvold for creating this incredible, friendly, warm space for musicians and those who listen to and love music. The food is great, the wait staff is top-notch, the three listening rooms are comfortable and cozy, and Mary T is usually there to welcome guests.
And, not least, I am grateful to our friend for understanding how much this evening of music and conversation (before and after, not during) would mean to us. It’s already a treasured memory.
I am grateful for the writing, leadership, and example that Anita Silvey has been for my life. I have long admired her books about children’s literature, the excellence of The Horn Book magazine under her editorial leadership, and her ability to hold an audience enrapt. In recent years, I have been encouraged by her example of focusing on the writing of nonfiction for young readers and especially her books about women scientists. Her biography of Pete Seeger, another one of my heroes, is the best I’ve ever read. Anita is a class act and an extraordinary woman.
After spending the morning in conversation with a friend over breakfast, I realize how grateful I am for those beautiful moments of communion, face to face, soul to soul, strengthening our connection … in ways that email and smartphones will never be able to achieve. Thanks for the camaraderie, friends.
Dear friends brought these tulips to our home for a Game Night last Friday. Our weather has been a tad rainy and gloomy, so dark inside the house that we’ve had lights on during the day. But these TULIPS! They’ve been sharing a light of their own. The metaphor is not lost on me. I am grateful for light from unexpected sources.
I am grateful for my friend Heidi Grosch who is one of the most ebullient, determined, warm-hearted, and talented people that I know. After moving from the US to Norway for love, she learned Norwegian, earned a master’s degree in education, raises Christmas trees, and, oh yes, teaches education at Nord University. Her current excellent idea is CyberBridge, short, daily videos inspiring ESL teachers in grades 1 through 7. Today’s video, singing “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music, is suggested for your classroom (done in sing-along style). Other videos talk about grammar, books to share, and learning activities. And remember, these are done by Norwegians for whom English is a second language. Heidi, you are simply amazing.
This is the point when cabin fever sets in. I recognize the signs. Leaving the house is unreliable. You’d rather have the TV off than on. Your 23 bookcases full of books aren’t tempting you. Cooking adventures are uninspiring. Friends feel far, far away. And then … two of those dear friends stop by with a spring garden in their hands. You are watching it grow every day. Aaaahhhh!
I am grateful for the art of conversation. This morning we shared a delightful breakfast conversation with D.B.and R.B., a client and her husband whom we had not met in person. They live two states away, drove to our metropolis to listen to a friend’s band, and invited us to meet them at the Good Day Cafe. Our wait person was friendly, the food was delish, and we found so much in common with these new friends … that’s the best kind of day. Inhabiting the same space, feeling the energy, observing facial expressions, reacting to gestures while storytelling, building a rapport … there is no online experience that can equal sitting down to share a meal and conversation. Until the next time!
I am grateful for each of you who takes time in your day to read this journal and share your thoughts. Sending you a hug today!