Gratitude

The Peas

Grandpa always wore a three piece suit with a white Oxford shirt. In the heat of summer, he removed the vest. In the winter, when he went on his daily walks, he added a topcoat and a fedora to his outfit.

Two blocks from his house was a small grocery store where my brother Mike worked as a manager.

Every day, grandpa, in his late eighties, walked to the store to visit Mike and to pick up an item or two.

Blueberry Day

One of our favorite summer days was blueberry day.

We’d put on old clothes, our straw hats, then gather our baskets and make our way to the Jones’ Family Farm in Shelton. We’d hitch a ride on the “berry ferry”, and be driven out to the blueberry bushes.

Blueberries are easy to pick and practically popped into our small baskets. When our small baskets were filled, we’d dump them all into the big basket and fill that up. The camera was always on hand.

After the picking, we’d drive to Huntington Center and have lunch and dessert at Sassafras Restaurant.

Jingle Bell Run

We live on a quiet street. Each house is surrounded by a wooded acre. Our only excitement is watching small wild animals frolic in our yards.

On the first Saturday in December all that changes. The Community Center holds “The Jingle Bell Run.” The first year of the run, about thirty people participated and they were probably the committee members.

This year hundreds participated.

On the morning of the event, everyone registers at the Community Center and gets a number and a necklace of bells.

College Turkeys

Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.

Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.

As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.

A Beauty All Its Own

I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.

Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.

Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.

Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.

Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.

Honoring the Good Past

There’s something about a very old photograph that really draws me in. Perhaps it’s the black and white monochrome world that looks oddly “at a distance” – as if that’s the best that could be done at that time – almost like a dream.

I like to see how people are dressed and I try to sense how it felt to be in that place at that time. Did the air feel different?

Thank You Earth Geniuses

I was born into a prepared place here,
Where geniuses leave their marks,
That everything is better still.

Thank you you who first sung a song.
Perhaps the birds led the way.

Thank you you who first baked a pot from clay.
Perhaps fiery stones led the way.

Thank you you who first made a word.
Perhaps the call of sheep led the way.

Thank you you who first picked berries and nuts as food.
Perhaps you watched the deer and squirrel.

Swishing Thru Fall Leaves

I love walking thru fall leaves.

Not just walking thru them, but really kicking them up into the air, like wanting to see them fall again and again – to float gently down, swaying this way and that, living a little poetry for a minute, something myriad generations before had admired and enjoyed.

Looking for the Missing Glasses

My wife lost her glasses. They were missing for over 3 weeks. Each of the four of us in this home tried looking for them several times over – we just could not find them.

Then I tried something different. Instead of telling the universe, “Oh my, the glasses are missing.” I said out loud, “Thank you for showing me the glasses.” I hopped into the future with the end result being the glasses were in my hand, and being thankful for that too.

The Unseen Owl

Out of the blue came the hoot of an owl.

Sometimes this happens in my back yard. Sometimes in my neighborhood. Sometimes I think it follows me.

It was a very pleasant surprise - three long, slow, low hoots. A pause, then it repeated. A pause again, then it repeated again.

It calls up in me the feeling of the deep woods. Where there are wise animals, knowing old, huge oaks, and the feel of soft, moist dirt underfoot.

The woods are alive with mystery and quiet surprise. At any moment there could appear a deer, a chipmunk, or a giant, black crow.

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