Category Archives: Gratitude

July Thoughts

Hello, friends. It’s past due time for an update on life and reading. Well, there’s been a lot of life going on, but not a lot of reading for me this month.

July has been an intense month for us filled with too many medical appointments. My focus, and the focus of our family, has ended up being entirely on my husband and his illness. The cancer journey truly is a roller coaster, and the last three weeks have been filled with gigantic ups and downs.

That said, we are still living each precious day to the fullest. Despite physical challenges, we still do as much as Byron’s limited energy allows. We share time with friends and family near and far (mostly on Zoom calls), and we laugh a lot, watch good shows on TV, try out new recipes or take-out food that might taste good to Byron’s chemo-damaged sense of taste, and we cherish our time with our daughter, son, and our precious grandboy.

Byron is reading more than I am right now, and what a potpourri of genres! His current read is The World as We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate, edited by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen. He recently finished the first volume of one of the graphic novels on my shelf called A Man and His Cat, by Umi Sakurai. Before that, he read
The Cat Who Saved Books, by Sosuke Natsukawa. And before that, it was a book he liked so much he bought copies for our kids — Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and The Deep Origins of Consciousness, by Peter Godfrey-Smith.

Early mornings finds me in the garden watering and weeding. I can’t keep up with either, it seems, but it’s nice to be out there. And I have also been working on my project of scanning old slides and photos from the last 53 years!

We are busy with life right now amid the ordered chaos of medical treatments and tests. And we are deeply grateful to our medical team, and to our extended family and friends team, and to our own little family unit team. All of whom bolster us up and help to give us the courage we need to face whatever life brings each day.

A Glimpse of our July in photos: (there are captions to the photos)

Positivity and Gratitude

The year 2020 has been a cruel one in so many ways. It has felt like one thing after another, and each time we think the worst has happened, another challenge pops up that takes even more to deal with…

There. I’ve stated my overall view of this year, but the way I am choosing to deal with it all is to continue to look for the good, the beautiful, the special, and all the little things that bring meaning and happiness to my life. The word I chose for this year is “Gratitude,” and that word has helped me get through the many trials that we’ve faced in 2020. In the midst of the chaos and cruelty, I have been mindfully grateful for so many things. Here are a few of them:

I am grateful for my husband who, in my opinion, is the best person on earth to be quarantined with! I love our long walks and long talks!

I am grateful that my daughter, son-in-law, son, and grandson have all been healthy this year and able to stay safe during the quarantine.

I am grateful that my oldest brother, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 in late May or early June, was asymptomatic and recovered without any damage.

I am grateful for the weekly Zoom calls with my brothers and their wives. We call ourselves the “Famnet,” and share weekly updates of our lives (next week is call #38!). Our parents would have loved this new way of family communication! These Zoom calls definitely beat the family meetings my parents used to hold when we were little…which we dubbed “Gripe Sessions.”

I am grateful for my exercise class and my tai chi class being taught online so I can continue with them despite the restrictions of quarantine.

I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds us. My husband and I have been making a couple of trips a week (short drive) to the coffee shop and then to Fern Hill Wetlands in the early morning hours to watch the geese and ducks, the bald eagles, and the Redwing Blackbirds…and to talk over all of life’s little and big problems while we look out over that beautiful and life-filled view.

I am grateful, this year especially, to be retired, an introvert, and a reader, which made staying home less stressful than so many other people’s months of quarantine!

And I am deeply grateful for the medical people, the caretakers, the scientists, and all the essential workers who have have given so much and helped us deal with this pandemic, and who have cared for our loved ones when ill or dying.

The list is actually endless, I realize now. GRATITUDE was the right word to choose for 2020.  And I already know which word I will choose for 2021, but will talk about that later.

Thirteen Years

Thirteen years ago, I started this blog. It was a wonderful reading world to enter and I was welcomed warmly by so many of you. The friends I’ve made through this blog are cherished.

Book blogs have changed a lot in thirteen years, but the love of reading and sharing with fellow readers hasn’t changed. You have all expanded my world exponentially!

I am grateful for all of you, my blogging/reading friends.