Thursday, November 25, 2010


Dear God:

Today, I am thankful.

Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.
~J. Robert Moskin

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Again, I find it very hard to embrace the holiday season with a joyful heart. It's been an exceedingly difficult year - too many personal losses and challenges. I'm surprised I made it this far without serious consequences. Fortunately, I have my health and, hopefully, enough time to finish my life's mission.

We spent a quiet Thanksgiving Day at home - the climbing gym was closed and it was far too cold to do anything outdoors except walk T around the park. At 11 AM, we listened to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant on the local public radio station, a Colorado Springs tradition. I cooked a simple meal while S watched football and T napped. The day was tinged with sadness - S and I know that T's remaining time with us is very short. I hope he makes it to his 14th birthday on December 18.

For my many blessings, I am grateful.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Snow, Final Harvest

Dear God:

Today I am thankful for our first snow and my garden's final harvest.

Winter arrived late yesterday afternoon. Finally, my colleagues and I sighed as we monitored the plunging temperature on Google weather. Yes, the nearly 80 degree F temperatures last weekend were divine but, alas, too good to be true. 28 degrees F. Now that's more like it.

And the snow. Swirling and whirling around people and cars and buildings and trees and scrub oak. Arriving  just as the rush hour traffic peaked. Hours later, the storm finished her work. Her gift: over three inches of fresh ice and snow covering everything.

This evening, I check the Swiss chard that has been feeding me since June. Sadly, I realize that the hardy plants will freeze tonight, that it is time for my garden's final harvest.

The ceremony is very quick. I carefully cut the remaining leaves with my favorite shears. Then, I wash and roughly chop the leaves before adding them to the homemade vegetable soup that simmers on the stove.

This year's vegetable garden was my best ever. The Colorado weather cooperated, I fertilized the plants monthly and, most importantly, I didn't have the time or energy to fuss over the tomatoes. As a result, we enjoyed a delicious and healthy bounty of fresh organic food: cherry tomatoes, monster zucchini, Japanese eggplant, Swiss chard, strawberries, raspberries, Goji berries, cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers and herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, tarragon, sage, mint, lovage and sorrel).

I think that Dad, an expert gardener in his own right, would have been proud of my results.

For these blessings, I am grateful.