Counting Blessings

This is Monday, and Monday is the day I take an account of how much progress I’ve made in the week. I have not made much progress this week, though I keep plugging along. So I thought I would take accounting of a few other things, like the multitude of blessings that grace my life. I couldn’t possibly list them all here, this would go to several volumes. A selection, then, of the things that make my life wonderful.

I am grateful for knees and hips that work the way they’re supposed to, without too much complaining. How blessed I am with both a strong heart and a strong back. I am grateful for the multitude of dogs and cats that fill my life with love and hair and chores and vet bills and kisses and snuggles and enthusiastic greetings. I am blessed even with the snarky little bug-eyed girl who was supposed to only be a houseguest but seems destined to stay forever.

It is a wonderful thing to have the Friends of Planned Parenthood Book Loft in my life, to know and be able to share the truth about a mission that brings health care to women of limited means, and which works hard every day, harder than any other organization anywhere to prevent the need for abortion.  I am so grateful for the friends I have there who have shown me great kindness and have given me hope that there if life after 90. And the books, I almost forgot, I am grateful for the towering stacks of books we laboriously sort, clean, read and price. And read some more.

I am so grateful for my son, who has grown up strong and tall and smart and charming. Every mother loves their child, but I really like mine too. He is funny and helpful, articulate, gifted, a little lazy (how insufferable would it be if he were perfect after all). He is excellent company. Nothing I’ve achieved in life can compare to having brought him thus far.

And his half-sister, my chosen daughter, Tai is a great blessing to us. Her life is both full of conundrum, yet she is triply-blessed with three extraordinary children. She is a loving and generous person, an excellent mother and sweet and thoughtful daughter. If I was a help to her growing up, she has repaid me in so many ways.

This is the busiest week of my year, the days leading up to our AKC dog show, of which I am grand pooh-bah. The club is made up of wonderful folks who entertain my wild ideas with good humor and work their asses off every year at this show. They celebrate the successes and shrug off the less successful experiments. They make dog shows fun. And I am incredibly grateful to the extra 25 percent of exhibitors who found their way to our show this year. Of course, I can’t take the credit if the numbers are up, but it is my fault, I think, if they are down. Thank God they are up.

I’ve been blessed with the greatest “dog friends.” It doesn’t matter our differences (and often they are substantial) these are the people who are steadfast, loyal, affectionate. There’s my astral twin in California (who always knows the right thing to say), and my Republican friend in Connecticut (who has been so patient with me) and our old friend in Wyoming with her herd of Chihuahuas and chins. It makes me smile just to think of her laughing. There’s a whole pack of excellent hound people, and my wonderful veterinarian– who is an equally wonderful friend, confidante and co-conspirator.  And of course, there’s Sandy who is at the Book Loft, and in the Kennel Club and my sometimes traveling companion to dog shows and other adventures. My life would be so much less without her.

There are Chessie people and Foxhound people and Boston Terrier people and IRWS people and Afghan people and Basenji people and Dachshund people and Scottish Deerhound people and well, see this would go on and on and I’d still miss a few. It’s not just dogs that have made my life an incredible tapestry (where’s the lint brush?) but all their people too.

There are other friends as well, non-dog friends, like the baker who leaves bread on our doorstep, and his beautiful, vivacious wife. We love the bread, but even if he gives up baking, we will go on being grateful for their friendship. Then there’s the perpetual renegade politician, a man with so many great ideas, I’m not sure he can ever be elected, but I go on hoping. And my friend Martha, full of amazing stories and wild notions, she who is always up for a road trip or a treasure hunt through the Goodwill outlet.

Oh the Goodwill outlet, I am so blessed to have the Goodwill outlet, provider of antique books and marble pastry board, old globes, silver picture frames, funny old oil paintings, Limoges plates, pine needle baskets, and so much more winnowed out of heaps of junk piled high on tabletops, and always a great source of entertainment.

Chief among my blessings would be my dear friend who I met through Chesapeakes but who has stood next to me through all kinds of thick and thin, not to mention Christmas tea and glass blowing classes, her guest at the theatre, countless lunches, family crises and the agony of lost dogs. A kiss to you my dear with my greatest thanks.

Though we all complain about spending too many hours on that great time sink, Facebook, it is really quite an astonishing phenomena. We meet people we never would have met otherwise and they enrich our lives. We can stay in day-to-day contact with the people we left behind (Hello, Terri! Hi Sheryl!, Bob Brown, how are you?) We are able to reconnect with old friends, thought lost forever. I spent my childhood in three countries on two continents, how magical for me to be able to reconnect with Trisch Rambo and Simon Connor and Josette Gaudet and Susan Marchbank and Norma Travers and Ruth Lapp and Heidi Wasch and Nila Murray and Anne Clements and Marilyn Pridham and Stephen Dawson and so many others, but most especially, Jeanne Mackenzie, whom I knew in high school,  but who is now, much later in our lives, a deeply cherished friend. That goes for you too, Dave. (That’s her husband, you know.) The return of these has made my heart very, very full.

How grateful I am to still have my mother, and how grateful I am that my mother is my mother. Everything I am in life I owe to her. Except the bad parts, those are my own. She is smart, outspoken, strong, passionate, courageous and funny. If I’m half the woman my mother is that is an extraordinary gift right there.

I am blessed with the grief I have at the loss of my beloved father, and of my beloved stepfather. The white-hot ache that marks me is testament to what  great love I had for them, and how profoundly their love affected me.

Finally (yes, at last) I am so grateful to be an old married woman, for the guy sleeping sprawled across the sofa. I am grateful that he loves me when I am not lovable, I am grateful that he does the hard stuff, I am grateful to know the Chinese word for toilet paper. I have a life that is full of laughter, an excellent companion, two decades worth of shared jokes, memories, stories, heartaches, triumphs, Chinese fortunes, quiet moments and loud ones too. He is always in my corner, and I am the same for him. What greater blessing is there than these?

(If I’ve missed you this time, it’s just an accounting error, you know that you are in my heart.)

The target number for today is still 63. I walked 3503 steps.

Number of pounds to lose this week: 2

Number of pounds lost this week: 0

Cumulative number to have lost by this point: 12

Actual cumulative number lost: 17!

Number of steps to have walked: 40,000

Actual number of steps walked: 35,284 (heck)

Cumulative number to have walked: 200,000

Cumulative number walked: 260,614   (98.5 miles!)

Consumed:  yogurt with granola, banana, chicken salad sandwich, cottage cheese with sliced tomato, omelet with swiss cheese, toast, three segments of a Toblerone bar, cup of hot tea with milk.


One thought on “Counting Blessings

  1. I love you! You are a wonderful mom! You have helped in so many ways. To read your kind words brought tears to my eyes. I love you and thank you for helping me to stay strong. You have been a positive influence. Love you!

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