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Not bad for a fat girl


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When You Aren’t Looking

There was supposed to be a meteor shower the other night. What could be better than a sky full of shooting stars to wish on? Especially right now.

We headed to the backyard, beverages in hand, to wait. The lounge chairs had their comfy cushions on them, and it was the perfect temperature. We reclined and gazed at the sky.

It was nice, being out in nature, even if our present definition of nature was our suburban backyard. We talked and laughed and all the while kept our eyes on the sky.

Nothing.

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What we didn’t see

At least nothing that either of us could see. We joked that while we were facing South the light show would be happening behind our backs. Maybe it did.

We were out there for almost two hours. Two hours of reconnecting and relaxing and escaping from the reality of our collective lives right now.

Still, no meteors. Eventually the conversation overtook the sky watching and then, it happened! Or, I think it happened. Maybe.

I’m pretty sure I saw a lone shooting star (meteor, whatever) in my peripheral vision. I realized it was like looking for love. It seems that when you try really hard it eludes you, but when you relax and allow yourself to be present without that singular focus, the world opens up.

I think there’s a lesson there. Be present, count your blessings, and those shooting stars will appear in their own good time.


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Thank You Lego

This morning my eighteen year old and I were doing some holiday preparations. I asked him to set up his model train around the Christmas tree, as a nod to Christmas past. He agreed and pulled it out of his closet.

While he was in there, he stumbled across a bin of old legos. He brought it out to the living room, and sat down on the floor with me. One by one he removed partially built (or, more accurately, partially destroyed) models he’s created over the years. There were so many of them.

4da2dc554379966dbb8cd16d4be335a9I recognized the pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, and some of the Star Wars vehicles, but there were quite a few that didn’t look as familiar. “Oh, that one’s from the Mars Mission series,” he would say, or “that belongs to the police set.”

We sat together for a while and looked for specific parts to rebuild a wing, or replace a cannon. It was nice. Really nice.

Someday I hope he has a child in his life who enjoys these legos as much as he has over the years. Someday I hope he gets to experience the simple, yet profound, joy of watching and helping a young person build something special.


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Ten Things to be Happy About

Lila

That little dog makes me happier than she will ever know. She saved me when my world was fracturing. She knit us back together, the boy and me. He went from fearing dogs to loving a dog. I went from hurt and angry to focused on the absurdity of bringing a wild creature into our home with no experience. And she was wild. Those long long walks and trips to the park and weekly training sessions bonded us, all of us, and saved us.

Bright Colors

In art, on buildings, in clothing or decor – I love color. It makes me happy to see color. It reminds me of childhood and happiness and friendliness. Color is upbeat and inviting – you have to feel at least a little uplifted when you’re surrounded by color.

Digital Photo Frames

I didn’t think I would like having one of these, but I received one for a gift, and I love it. I love glancing up from my work and being transported, just for a moment, back in time. The carousel in London, my son’s sixth birthday party, an ocean view in Hawai’i, my boy and his cousins playing in the yard, me with a giant dessert at a friend’s party in Portland. How could I not enjoy that? I don’t have to dig out albums, and each of these precious memories is presented briefly enough that I don’t spend all day going down memory lane.

Good Food

Speaking of dessert… or any food really. I just love to eat. I love the flavors and textures of food. I love the memories made when sharing a meal. I love how food anchors you to a place and time, and by extension to people with whom you share those memories.

Sparkling Chandeliers

The light bouncing around seems to dance. The glitter and glow is both uplifting and soothing, particularly if the lights are dimmed. The refraction is like magic.

Campfires

The glow alone gives off comfort, but add to that warmth and the satisfying pop of the firewood and you’ve really got something. Then there’s the aroma – that scent of being outdoors that draws you near, as long as you aren’t in the path of the smoke. Finally there’s campfire food (of course). Delicious hot dogs, banana boats, and everyone’s favorite, S’mores.

Boat Rides

Going out on the water is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t care if it’s an ocean liner or a sailboat, I love going out on boats. Growing up, my dad had a sailboat, and it was great fun to sit up front and hope for waves big enough to splash over me. I feel at peace on the water. One of my favorite memories is whale watching in Cape Cod. The whales were magnificent, and the wind in my face as I stood in that coveted front position felt like freedom.

Swimming

A dip in the pool is my favorite way to cool off on a summer day. The water not only cools me, it buoys me. I feel supported without feeling constricted in any way. I float and admire the sky – then close my eyes and retreat into myself.

A Good Pen

It glides effortlessly across the paper leaving thoughts and emotions on the page. It records observations, data, and desires. It doesn’t fight the writer and it behaves exactly as it should, recording information for posterity.

First Class Airline Seats

Now granted I’ve never actually been in one, but I believe that if I ever get the chance to try one out it will make me happy. I like the idea of having a little extra space on the plane, as well as a little extra care from the crew. Getting off the place early at the end of the journey seems like a nice bonus as well.