Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, 31 March 2008 - Weather potpourri

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for weather potpourri.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it it summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

The last day of March brings eclectic weather. No one is surprised. Only T is delighted.

As I work and write in my studio, I look up occasionally and peer out the window. There, I catch glimpses of Mother Nature's weather parade - like perfect potpourri, it offers a little bit of everything:
  • Morning - very cold, heavy frost, light flurries.
  • Early afternoon - warmer, sunnier, breezier.
  • Late afternoon - quite blustery, cold, snowy (snow globe pretty).
For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, 30 March 2008 - Natural medicine

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for natural medicine - inexpensive antidotes for broken hearts, uneasy minds and troubled souls.

When the wind blows
that is my medicine.
When it rains
that is my medicine.
When it hails
that is my medicine.
When it becomes clear after a rainstorm
that is my medicine.

I add these to the list:

When the sun shines
that is my medicine.
When the snow falls
that is my medicine.
When the rocks sing
that is my medicine.
When the flowers bloom
that is my medicine.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday, 29 March 2008 - Three things

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for three things.

1. UCLA ... the Bruins win the West Region in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, reaching the Final Four for the third consecutive year.

2. Earth Hour ... just before 8 PM (MDT), we turn out the lights and join the Earth Hour movement.

3. An outdoor afternoon: Nearly three hours of bouldering in Ute Valley Park (I am exhausted) followed by a one hour hike (T's reward for being so good while his parents played on the rocks). Why the intense activity? The weather, of course. A cold front will invade the region tomorrow for an extended stay.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday, 28 March 2008 - Good news

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for good news.

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."

"Is it?"

"Yes," said Eeyore.

"However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."

~A. A. Milne

Here's my Eeyore-esque scenario.

First, the bad news.

It snowed this morning, and it's freezing outside.

(Poor T. I want to delay his morning walk. In the same breath, I pray for a warmer afternoon and curse the wintry weather.)

Now, the good news.

No earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or other "acts of God" reported in our region.

(I must always remember that things could be worse, much worse. I decide to brave the cold and take T for a short walk in the park. He's elated.)

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday, 27 March 2008 - Stamina

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for stamina.

Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles. ~Alex Karras

S, T and I usually rest at least one day between climbing adventures. At our ages, we need time to recover. M, on the other hand, recovers very quickly - no surprise since he's 19 years old and a highly conditioned, NCAA Division 1 athlete.

When he returns after a rigorous morning workout at the Academy (drills, scrimmage, weights), M announces that he's ready to rock climb again. We discuss our options and decide to head to the Ute Valley Park bouldering area. There, we'll top rope a few climbs and workout on the overhangs. Then, if we haven't depleted our energy reserves, we'll play on the boulders.

I think I'll do all right. I'm not sore, just a bit tired from yesterday's sport climbs. I'll pace myself and stop before I burn out. I will have to climb smartly, leveraging both emotional and physical energies. Anyway, the weather service predicts snow for tomorrow so this will be out last chance to climb before M leaves (he's flying home Friday after practice).

Update: I end up having a very good climbing adventure. I repeat a climb that I've successfully completed only once. I also ascend the first half of a more difficult overhung route for the first time and make significant progress on the upper section. Now, I am really, really tired. Tomorrow will definitely be a rest day.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday, 26 March 2008 - Falls

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for falls.

Each forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind.
~John Lancaster Spalding

You can't fall off the floor. ~Author Unknown

Whenever you fall, pick something up. ~Oswald Avery

S, T and I finally have the chance to take M (our Air Force Academy cadet) to Red Rock Canyon where he rock climbs for the very first time. I am quite impressed with his performance. He does very well. In fact, M is a natural climber.

Over the years, I've met many people - mostly men - who are true natural athletes. They readily learn and master any sport they attempt. M is one of those gifted people.

I'm a little jealous, thinking about all the times my parents told me not to climb or attempt something because they were afraid I would fall or hurt myself. And, ever the obedient child, I complied.

"No. Get down from there before you fall."
"No. Don't climb up there because you'll fall."
"No. Don't try that because it's too dangerous. You'll get hurt."

My parent's words still haunt me whenever I try a new sport. Ah, the sting of bittersweet childhood memories. Sadly, I feel that my parents unfairly deprived me of valuable athletic experiences just because I was a girl. Or maybe they didn't understand the value of play, of falling down, of getting back up and trying again.

As an adult , I do whatever it takes to silence the parental no's. Especially with rock climbing where I joyously climb boulders and high rock walls and fall while learning a move or mastering a route. I actually fall a lot, especially while bouldering.

Falling. It's just part of the process. No matter the task. No matter the lesson.

I fall.
I pause, dismayed by the miss.
I slowly brush away the dust, lamenting my misstep, my mistake.
I examine the rock and mentally retrace the move I made.
I determine what I should have done to prevent the fall.
I try again.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday, 25 March 2008 - An attitude adjustment

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for an attitude adjustment.

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
~Marshall McLuhan, 1964

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
~Reinhold Niebuhr, excerpt from the original Serenity Prayer

It's business as usual on my tiny section of Spaceship Earth ... lots of passengers, too few crew members.

Previously, the glass shards and dozen empty beer bottles lying near the sidewalk would have disgusted me for two reasons: first, that people had the nerve to leave them there (idiots!) and second, that no one else had bothered to pick them up (lazy, apathetic neighbors!).

But, this year, I've changed my attitude about litter. Actually, I'm trying to apply the Serenity Prayer to more of life's unsavory situations. So, I gladly accept the responsibility of picking up trash no matter the source or location. It's a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

I tell T that we have to clean up the area before proceeding to the park. I pull from my pocket the extra grocery bag that I carry just for these occasions and carefully gather the bottles and broken glass. I set the bulging sack near the park entrance - it's too heavy to carry while we complete our laps. I'll pick it up when we leave.

When we arrive home, I'll simply dump the bottles in the glass recycling bin that sits in the garage. Now, wasn't that easy?

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday, 24 March 2008 - A real compliment

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a real compliment.

M, our Air Force Academy cadet, is staying with us over spring break. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for us), he has team practice and a conference game scheduled this week so he won't get a proper vacation. We're happy to have him. A young person always enlivens our household.

When M visits, my most important responsibility is to feed him. Fortunately, he is not a picky eater and readily consumes the various dishes I set before him. This evening he tells me that he really likes my apple cobbler. It's my own recipe, of course, inspired by others but bearing my distinct signature.

Then, M goes one step further. He confesses that he likes the apple cobbler so much that he sometimes dreams about it. I'm flattered. That has to be the finest compliment I've ever received about my cooking.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday, 23 March 2008 - Easter irises

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for Easter irises.

No elegant lilies or showy blooms in my garden. This year, only three petite irises dare to show their bright yellow faces amid melting mounds of spring snow. Their appearance delights me. Happy Easter!

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday, 22 March 2008 - Water

Dear God:

Today, World Water Day, I am thankful for the safe, clean water.

Filthy water cannot be washed. ~African proverb
We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller

Please forgive me for taking this vital, life giving resource for granted and for wasting precious gallons. Each time I turn on a faucet or flush the toilet or water my garden, remind me that over a billion people do not have ready access to a source of safe water, making me one of the most fortunate people on Earth. Arrest my carelessness when it comes to wasting water and other natural resources and embolden my actions so they mirror those of a steadfast and caring steward of the environment.

Water – the most basic element on earth. Without water, human life doesn’t exist. And without safe water, neither does good health. For most of us, it’s a short walk to the faucet in the kitchen, or bottled water in the refrigerator. But for more than a billion people – about one in six people on earth – getting safe water each day is no easy task. Women and children around the world walk 200 million hours every day for water – water that often comes from a polluted source.

The effects of unclean water are devastating. Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-borne disease, the leading cause of death and illness in the world. Lack of access to safe water leads to a perpetual cycle of disease, death and lost productivity.

March 22, has been designated World Water Day – an international day of observance and action to draw attention to the plight of those without access to safe drinking water.


For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday, 21 March 2008 - March Madness

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for March Madness.

The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play "Drop the Handkerchief." ~James Naismith

After a long, roller coaster ride regular season, March Madness finally descends upon college basketball fans including S, T and me.

"Already?" I ask, glancing at the calendar.

If he can help it, S doesn't want to miss a minute of the early rounds while I'm only interested in the fate of my alma mater, UCLA. He says that many "experts" predict a UCLA trip to the Final Four and overall victory. Even Senator Barack Obama's bracket shows UCLA in the championship game. Senator Obama, predicts, however, that the Bruins will lose to North Carolina. (That's okay. I'm still 100% behind his candidacy.)

It's a long march to the Final Four. And, as in any journey worth taking, we'll get there one step, one game at a time.

Go Bruins!

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008 - Spring climbing

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for spring climbing.

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Lewis Grizzard, Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

Spring cleaning chores beg relentlessly for my undivided attention. Today, however, spring climbing wins the battle between work and play. I vow to do twice as much cleaning tomorrow, weather permitting of course.

S, T and I head to Red Rock Canyon to celebrate spring. It's sunny and warm but very windy. As we hike into the canyon, we decide to climb the west wall named, The Whale - we'll be higher up, out of the wind, in the sun.

Also climbing this afternoon are two local "celebrities." They belong to the group I call "the usual suspects" - familiar faces from our climbing adventures. These two gentleman are extra special - they mapped and bolted most of our favorite Red Rock Canyon routes.

The reunion is short but lively - S, my husband the extrovert, ignites the conversation. We share details about our winter climbing exploits, other outdoor endeavors and general climbing news. SG confesses that, this year, his goal is to climb at least 366 pitches - an average of one per day. He's well on his way to achieving this goal. He just bagged his 86th pitch a few minutes ago.

Now, I'm usually good about setting personal goals. But, this year, I have yet to identify a specific climbing goal. Last year, S and I aspired to ascend at least one route on the challenging Wailing Wall (which we did, successfully). This year, I'm not so sure what I want to accomplish in bouldering, in sport climbing.

I do know this much, however: with each climb and with each fall, I want to improve my strategies, techniques and skills. I want to climb each crux with an invincible can do attitude. And, I want to match that can do attitude with the physical strength and athletic ability I've had all along but never fully expressed.

At age 54, I know that I'm no spring chicken. Still, on the rocks, canyon walls and boulders, I've yet to give my finest performance. Perhaps this will be my year to do just that.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday, 19 March 2008 - Vernal equinox

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the vernal equinox.

Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations. It is not much matter if things do not turn out well. ~Charles Dudley Warner

The vernal equinox represents the equality that captures my imagination right now: an equal day and night that starts the parade of much longer days and much shorter nights. I cautiously invite spring fever to infect me, knowing full well that winter hides behind every sunny day and early bloom.

To celebrate this seasonal event, I decide not to spin an egg on the sidewalk to see if it will stand on its own. Rather, I take my trusty gardening tool - the one that looks like a hoe but replaces the single metal blade with three strong tines - and push it into the wet dirt - earth soaked by melting snow. Yes, I'm ecstatic to be working in the garden, even if the only thing I can do is breakup ice chunks and stir the mud.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday, 18 March 2008 - My parents

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my parents as they celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary.

You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back. ~William D. Tammeus

These days, when I think of my parents I imagine twilight - that last golden glimmer of sunlight at day's end. As evening gives birth to a clear night sky, stars emerge from the ebony canvas. The stars, like hopes and dreams, sparkle brilliantly to young eyes and sadly to old ones. I close my eyes and wish upon the most dazzling one.

I saw a shooting star a few weeks after my niece, Elizabeth, died. I think it was her way of assuring me that she was all right in Heaven and that our dog, Y, had found her and was protecting her.

But, a shooting star in my parent's sky means something different. The star's final trip across the Universe celebrates love, light and life. And lessons - the ones my parents taught me over and over again in their odd, indirect ways.

No, Mom and Dad. I won't forget to love others, to be honest and true in the light of day and to embrace life and its opportunities with all my heart. And, if it will make you feel better about me, I will catch that falling star and put it in my pocket and save it for a rainy day ... for all the times you won't be there to remind me.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, 17 March 2008 - A bit of Irish

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a bit of Irish.

There are only two kinds of people in the world: The Irish and those who wish they were. ~Irish saying

It's St. Patrick's Day. A seven-year old Japanese American girl wears something green to school. She knows the strict rules: no green and she gets pinched; wear orange and she has to kiss a boy; her "green" has to be visible to others - i.e., green underwear doesn't count.

She smiles shyly when someone asks her if she's Irish. What a silly question!

"No, of course I'm not Irish!" she remarks.

Everyone gets the joke. Everyone laughs.

She is obviously not Irish by birth. She is, however, about as Irish as a Japanese American child can be in post-World War II America.

She's a smart girl who can readily locate Ireland on the atlas and quickly find St. Patrick in the encyclopedia. She has read stories about leprechauns, eaten corned beef and cabbage and searched for four-leaf clovers in her grandmother's lawn. Once, while accompanying her father to the nursery, she saw a real shamrock plant. And, every year, on St. Patrick's Day, she wears green.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday, 16 March 2008 - Seasonal ownership

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for seasonal ownership.

Accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

This morning, as slushy rain pelts us, T and I carefully navigate icy, snowpacked sidewalks on our way to the park. I notice his high energy level - he's actually pulling me along - and praise his enthusiasm. During yesterday's hike, T often lagged behind especially when the sun peeked out from behind the gathering storm clouds.

T is definitely a cold weather dog. Actually, the more I think about it, S, T and I each "own" a different season.
  • S is a child of summer who favors the blazing July and August sun for hiking, biking and climbing adventures. He also chooses the hottest hours of the day to work outdoors. He tolerates winter because he wants to enjoy a variety of strenuous athletic pursuits (i.e., activities like shoveling snow or showshoeing during which he works up a healthy sweat despite the cold temperatures).
  • T is a child of winter who loves to hike in the snow despite near zero degree temperatures and bone chilling North winds. I've never seen him shiver from the cold - must be his dense Labrador retriever fur and Colorado pedigree. In summer, he can't shed fast enough (i.e., I can't brush him often enough). To stay cool, T demands frequent "wet downs" with the garden hose.
  • True to my Piscean nature, I am a child of transitions: winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter. I literally melt in summer and freeze in winter. In summer, give me cool mornings for gardening, afternoon shadows for comfort, gentle breezes throughout the day, a wide brimmed hat and an extra dollop of 30 SPF sunscreen. In winter, give me layers of warm clothing, thick wool socks, pots of steaming herbal tea, a Charles Dickens novel and a stack gardening catalogs.
For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday, 15 March 2008 - 54 years

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for 54 years.

Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again. ~Menachem Mendel Schneerson


Oh my, not another one!

Yes, it's here and there's nothing I can do about it except sing, Happy Birthday to me.

I add another year to my personal tally. Remembering the recent deaths of friends and acquaintances, I wonder if year 55 will be my last. Most likely it won't be but you never know. In any event, as I've noted before, I am probably well past my halfway point, unless, of course, I live beyond age 108.

S, T and I celebrate simply.
  • A long hike along a local trail (it's too cold to climb or boulder).
  • A plate of perfectly cooked linguine bathed in a rich sauce that I make from five ingredients: red onions, bacon, olive oil, salt and pepper (thank you, Mark Bittman).
  • A glass of my favorite beer, Tommyknocker's maple nut brown ale.
  • A UCLA win over Stanford in the final of the PAC-10 basketball tournament.
  • A phone message from my favorite sister.
  • A surprise email message from my very best friend from high school.
After returning home from our hike, I see that the daffodils are pushing through the soil in the front yard garden. In California, daffodils always bloomed on my birthday, which is why they're my favorite spring flower. In Colorado, however, they simply announce their presence. Right on cue on March 15.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday, 14 March 2008 - A mountain view

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a mountain view.

If you can see the ocean, the ocean can see you.
~quote from Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer

I extend this quote to the mountains because, in Colorado, the mountains not the ocean inspire me. I have a perfect view of the Front Range from my west facing kitchen window. I study the peaks daily while T leads me around the park. We're a short ten minute hike from the National Forest boundary.

Yes, this quote makes perfect sense. If I can see the mountains, the mountains can see me.

Still, I struggle to explain this revelation and its implications. I need more time to digest its overt and subtle meanings before I can translate them into words.

In the meantime, I will watch the mountains watching me.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday, 13 March 2008 - A bit of lucky weather

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a bit of lucky weather.

Here is a summary of today's crazy weather:
- Morning snow.
- Noontime sun.
- Afternoon gusts.
- Nighttime storm.

The weather. As climbers, S and I are obsessed with the weather. The worst forecasts involve precipitation. You can climb in the cold and wind, but not on wet rock - it's unsafe for obvious reasons and you can damage the route if the sandstone isn't completely dry.

S is usually concerned about the timing of our next climbing adventure, about losing momentum and "sharpness" if we wait too long between climbs. Two days are optimal. He faithfully records the details of our exploits and knows how many times we've climbed here or bouldered there. As a last, last resort, we climb indoors.

Today, as luck would have it (and we really feel lucky), we escape the indoors and enjoy an intense mid-afternoon bouldering adventure and hike (T's reward for behaving while we climb). I don't mind the shortened session - my shoulders and back are still a little stiff (but not sore) from Tuesday's outing. Still, I climb really well and send routes that gave me problems on Tuesday.

As the winds pick up and storm clouds gather, we finish climbing and begin T's hike. We march quickly up the steep grade as the sun begins its slow descent behind the Front Range. Shadows fall across the valley.

I sigh, relieved that we managed to get in one more climbing session this week. Another snowstorm will visit tonight.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday, 12 March 2008 - One crow

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for one crow.

These days, it doesn't take much to raise my hopes for an early spring. In fact, I search for signs daily, often misinterpreting winter ebbs for spring flows.

This morning, as T and I circle the park, a crow flies out of the scrub oak grove. I usually don't pay attention to crows, but this one is different. This one carries a long stick in his/her beak. I smile and, pointing to the bird as it flies overhead, ask T to confirm my observation.

Nest building. It's nest building time.

Surely the birds understand seasonal shifts better than humans. They wouldn't build nests if winter decides to linger. Right?

I am so ready for transition, for seasonal leaps of faith.

Winter to spring.
Then spring to summer.

I can't wait.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday, 11 March 2008 - Sunshine, heat and bouldering

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a generous dose of sunshine, heat and bouldering. Just what I need to banish an infrequent but annoying cough, the last remnant of a late winter cold.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday, 10 March 2008 - 21 years

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for 21 years.

My, how time flies. I just realized that we have lived in Colorado Springs and in this house for 21 years. That's a long time to spend in one place.

I need to think about this milestone for a while. I'm not sure if I should celebrate our longevity or mourn the fact that we haven't lived elsewhere, in other cities, in other countries, in other houses.

In any event, year 22 begins.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday, 09 March 2008 - Seeds

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for seeds.

Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.
~E. B. White

I'm thinking about new additions to this year's gardens. So far, I've collected about two dozen seed packets - assorted vegetables, herbs, wildflowers and flowering perennials - so I'm ready to go as soon as the weather cooperates. I don't know why I bought so many varieties. My gardens are already crowded. After three years, most of the plants now reach their mature size. I rationalize my seed purchases by saying I'll give away what I don't use.

In the coming weeks, I'll need to finish several gardening chores before I can plant the first seeds. As the weather gradually improves, I'll work the soil in my future vegetable and herb garden and amend the clay soil with more peat moss, sand and cow manure. I'll trim and feed dozens of flowering perennials, aerate the soil and mulch the sunniest and hottest areas with a mixture of pine bark and leaves. And, I'll look for the season's first daffodils and irises - hopefully I'll see their cheery yellow and purple faces by Easter.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday, 08 March 2008 - Important women

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for important women.

This International Women's Day is a chance to reflect on the status of women in our societies, honor the extraordinary women whose courage and determination have shaped our lives, and rededicate ourselves to the ongoing challenges facing girls and women everywhere ...

The United States must lead the world to end these inequities and injustices, and when I'm President, we will. Every night I'm home, Michelle and I tuck two little girls into bed. And the reason I'm in this race is to help build a world where our Sasha and Malia and every girl is loved and safe from violence; where every woman is empowered; and where every person has the chance to reach for his or her dreams.

~Senator Barack Obama, 08 March 2008

Today, in the spirit of International Women's Day, I honor and thank all the women who helped shape my character, opened doors and windows for me in academia and business, believed in my writing talents, recognized my leadership potential, encouraged athletic pursuits and inspired a diversity of goals and dreams.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday, 07 March 2007 - This political season

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for this political season.

In this extraordinary political season, richly infused with Senator Barack Obama's messages of empowerment, I refuse to sit idly at home and merely watch the election spectacle unfold around me. No, this year, I need to be in the arena, in the fight. I need to live my credo: that every little bit helps, that one person can make a difference. Fired up. Ready to go.

So, tonight, S and I attend a meeting for local Democratic candidates and people who want to work on campaigns. We fall into the latter group.

I sip my glass of red wine and interview several candidates. After a few conversations, I realize that most of these people are running their first political campaigns and need lots of help with the basics: elevator speech, marketing messages, fundraising strategies. I think I can help.

I decide that it's in my best interest to work for someone for whom I can vote - the State representative or senate candidate. Others, including people I already know, want me to join their teams. But, I live outside their districts and can't vote for them. S wants to work for the person running for the Congressional seat.

It's only March. November seems a long way off. But, in an election year, a candidate's work continues 24x7. No rest for the wicked or the worthy.

I'm still looking for my place in the political mayhem. When I find it, I hope I can make a difference.

Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday, 06 March 2008 - A good offense

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a good offense.

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
~Thomas Fuller

I am a very healthy person who very rarely gets sick. Very, very rarely.

When I awake this morning with a scratchy throat, I know that I am in trouble. I hate colds, especially their runny noses and headaches. It doesn't help that S has suffered from a cold all this week.

So, I am on the offensive. I adamantly refuse to get sick.

No over-the-counter remedies for me. My cleansing/healing regimen includes: herbal teas, Kombucha tea, "living" homemade vinegar, drops of grapefruit seed extract in orange juice, oil of oregano, saline nasal sprays and a drink made from freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, whiskey and hot water.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday, 05 March 2008 - A cleansing season

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a cleansing season.

Dewdrop, let me cleanse
in your brief

sweet waters ...

These dark hands of life.


Snowy baptisms.
Raindrop washings.
Dewy splashes.
Sips of steamy ginger tea.
Dripping eaves.
I welcome them all
When cleansing season arrives.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday, 04 March 2008 - Daily miracles

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for daily miracles.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy. ~Kahlil Gibran

I am rereading Joan Didion's memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking.


Because I am trying to understand grief. My grief.

Not the prolonged grief one endures after a dear one has died. But grief that results from the realization that a part of my essential self has died. And I want it to come back, just as it was, knowing full well, of course, that it will not return to life, just as just was. At best, I can hope for a reincarnation. But, even that feels like a remote possibility.

So, I am thinking. Not of magic and transformation that come with the flick of a wand or incantation of special words. Too simple. Besides, where would I put my suffering?

Rather, I am thinking of Gibran's miracles because I am trying to understand my pain, my joy. And because I desperately need one. Just one miracle, please.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday, 03 March 2008 - T's healed wound

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for T's healed wound.

Before T and I leave for our regular morning walk, I inspect the site of his surgery. His skin has healed completely - when I rub the area with my finger, I feel only the suture. I make an executive decision: we are going to remove the dreadful Elizabethan collar right now.

This is great news for T and our household. I grab the scissors and cut the two gauze strips that hold the plastic contraption to his regular collar. Then, S unsnaps the "cone." T slips his head through the enlarged opening. The collar is finally off.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday, 02 March 2008 - Persistent prayer

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for persistent prayer.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~Henry Van Dyke, Fisherman's Luck, 1899

Last night, I knew that a nasty blizzard of a winter storm would hit this morning. More winter cold. More snow and ice. Another bout of cabin fever.

Even so, before I went to bed, I prayed for another lovely springlike day so we could take T for a long hike. To no avail.

I will try again tonight.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday, 01 March 2008 - Three things

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for three things: an unseasonably warm and sunny day, a day-long climbing adventure, the year's first bloom.

For a late winter day, the weather is magnificent. The temperature might peak at 70 degrees F (imagine that!) and, although I've claimed this before, I believe today's sky is bluer than blue. I feel sorry for anyone who can't spend time outdoors. S, T and I will visit Red Rock Canyon where we plan to climb for hours, hike for miles and make new climbing friends.

I also want to announce my first bloom of the year. This morning, I noticed one tiny pink flower on the scented rose geranium (pelargonium). Pelargonia don't tolerate Colorado winters, so, in November, I brought my three plants indoors. Also, my find is not as exciting as discovering the first outdoor blossom (usually a crocus). But, when one yearns for evidence of spring, any flower will do.

For this blessing, I am grateful.