I cracked one eye open, the window was still dark. I gratefully closed that eye, did an internal sigh of contentment, and settled back into the bed, pulling the blanket just a bit closer. Today I don’t have to get up. Today I can enjoy the softness and warmth of the bed a few minutes longer. Tomorrow I can’t.
Outside was brittle cold. Record lows were noted for the record books. I knew I had a busy day ahead, but I had the luxury of setting my own time schedule. I was in no hurry to begin. Twenty minutes later, the sun was just making its presence known. It was time to get the day started, but I smiled as I thought of the extra few minutes I could take today.
Those moments used to be a rare happening. Busy family life always kept everyone on a frantic pace. Now, there is less family in the house. The pace has slowed. There are more quiet moments now. I enjoy the quiet, but yet I miss the earlier life too.
How much difference can there be in just one day? Here’s my answer to that . . .
Yesterday: I began the day with long sleeves and long pants, but by noon I changed into short sleeves, capris, and barefoot.
Today: Layers are needed, warm fleece, soft knits that hug, and cozy socks.
Yesterday: Bright blue skies, winds that played with the leaves still clutching their branches.
Today: Gray skies, dampness that chills, winds that howl.
Yesterday: Lounging on the patio, savoring the warming rays of sunshine while enjoying the final pages of a book, iced tea at hand.
Today: Barricaded in my office, a small space heater to take the chill off, steaming coffee at hand.
Yesterday: During the night, a sheet for a cover, occasionally tossed aside.
Tonight: A fleece blanket will be tucked close to my chin trapping the warmth.
It seems that winter has announced he is back and plans to stay for quite a while. Sigh . . . one day makes a difference.
A few weeks back I received notice from Twitter that I was mentioned in a tweet. Of course, I immediately was curious because I am a wish-I-could understand-Twitter-and-use-it-more-but-I-don’t kind of Twitterer. Terje (Just for a Month) had tossed a challenge my way. Create a list of 100 things I am grateful for. Whew, that’s a lot, but I let the idea simmer in my mind. Then last week Jaana (Jaana’s Writing Blog) created and delivered her list. I knew I had to get started. So here is my list of 100 things I am grateful for:
- my husband
- my son
- a daughter-in-law
- a granddaughter
- a granddaughter waiting to be born
- family near and far
- friends near
- friends from long ago
- a comfortable home
- a teaching career
- connections through blogging
- opportunities for learning
- Friends of the Library sale
- good health
- time to savor life
- ocean cruises
- picture books
- a comfortable car to travel in
- awesome neighbors
- road trips
- having an office for my “stuff”
- professional books
- a son who usually calls weekly
- grilled cheese
- camera in my phone
- nieces and nephews
- blue cheese
- work colleagues
- toasty fires
- Italian cream cake
- visiting family
- new recipes to try
- Draw Something friends
- iPad with photos
- key lime pie concretes at Andy’s Frozen Custard in July
- Thanksgiving with family
- cousins who cook fabulous dinners (yes, that is you Phillip)
- eating out
- pumpkin food in the fall
- bright colors
- husband who keeps everything clean
- coffee with friends
- some time alone (not a lot)
- meeting slicers (17 so far)
- anything with coconut
- a great teacher retirement system
- fuzzy lined moccasin slippers
- granite counter tops
- comfortable patio furniture where I can read and enjoy sunshine
- heated seats in cars
- internet connection
- discovering nature’s wonder
- bead stores
- bead stores with a sale
- blog comments
- Christmas celebrations
- diet cherry Dr. Pepper
- just picked peaches
- river cruises
- freedoms of our country
- down pillows
- watermelon in summer
- computer techs
- teachers who want to learn
- pasta meals
- juicy berries
- cups that don’t sweat
- taking my mom out for a meal
- on-line shopping
- ice cream
- hot running water
- cozy comforters
- NCIS reruns (love Gibbs)
- changing seasons
- finding bargains
- garden tomatoes
- crispy bacon
- getting into a sun-warmed car on a cold day
- dark chocolate
- fleece vests
- appliances that make life easier
- snow days
- snow blower
- ice makers
- fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm when I type
- friendly smiles
- All Write Conference
- a husband who helped me get to 100 items when my brain shut down
If you made it all the way to the end, I congratulate you. Now I challenge you to develop your own list. :-)
Slip the credit card in to the slot, pull it out, wait for authorization. Simple procedure to get gas, one that has been done countless times. Not so simple when the message that flashes includes the word declined.
Immediately the mind goes into a panic mode. The heart races, blood pressure rises, the bottom falls out of your stomach. What could be the cause of this? Has someone stolen the credit card number through air waves? Miles from home this is not the message one wants to read.
Another credit card is used for the gas, so we can continue the trip, but I must also begin the task of finding out the cause for being declined. A quick call to the customer service number on the back of the card sets the mind back at ease.
“Did you purchase gas in Apple City, Minnesota this morning?”
“Did you just now try to purchase gas in Bethany, Missouri?”
“So sorry for the declined purchase, but everything is fine now. You may use your card. I will put a note on your account that you are traveling.”
“We will be home later this afternoon, so our travel is almost over. Thank you for keeping an eye on our account.”
A moment of panic, followed by relief. It is comforting to know that someone is watching for unusual activity.
You just never know where you might find your next slice of life. Sometimes they blow in and land on you. Sometimes they crawl up from underground and invade your space. They even startle you as you calmly are eating lunch. As the title stated, you might find a slice hanging on the back of a bathroom door.
It was lunchtime, my husband and I were hungry, so we began the search for some place to eat. We were in Kansas, where the road was long and not very populated. Finally, a small town appeared and as we drove through we spotted a coffee shop advertising sandwiches. We stopped.
The menu was written on a board over the counter. The daily special was blank. I inquired if there was a special for the day.
The owner said, “Monday comes with it’s own set of troubles, we don’t need to add to it by having a special.” Interesting attitude I thought.
So we chose something from the menu. I went to the restroom to wash my hands and discovered a new way of looking at things.
Once lunch was over and we were back in the car, the lists I had just read pushed me to think of creating a few phrases that were just for me.
Savor the sights around you.
Enjoy the company of the one(s) you are with today.
Bask in the delight of others.
Share a smile.
Make a discovery.
What thoughts would you add? You just never know where you will find a slice! :-)
A growl erupts from my husband and he flies out of his chair into the backyard. The first time this happened I wondered what horrible thing had occurred in the yard. I discovered it was a small four-legged creature taunting my husband.
Early morning, catching a few rays of sunshine
If I sit really still, no one will notice me.
Here I can keep an eye on what’s happening in this yard.
I need to check out this new land.
Running, clapping, chasing only sent the bunny into the bushes. This called for a new plan. The hose was brought into action. Bunny did not like the hose! It bounded out of the yard to escape the spray.
The dreaded hose!
However, either it has a short memory or it is a new one who is back and exploring the patio. I guess the war isn’t over, yet.
Fall has it’s own special delights that it brings to our world. Beautiful colors light up the landscape with the warm colors of reds, oranges, and yellows. Cooler temperatures allow us to add a layer, whether it’s to our bodies or our beds. We look forward to this change of season, but sometimes summer snaps its head and reminds us that it is not ready to depart.
The blue sky with billowy clouds called us to enjoy a bike ride down the paved path of the Frisco Highline Trail. The colors were just beginning to creep into the foliage. Sunlight caught the silver sparkle of web lines overhead. Humidity pushed its way into the ride and wrapped its arms around me, but I didn’t let that slow me down. Pedaling created a breeze to savor.
The world went into s-l-o-w motion when I saw it flying toward me. A teeny tiny, neon green worm (?) was riding the breeze and headed straight for my face. I turned my head and bike trying to miss it. Whew! That was a close one!
I pedaled on, but something was on my sun glasses. I thought it was a hair. As I pedaled, I pulled off the glasses and found myself gazing at that neon green worm frozen to my glasses. I guess it wasn’t a close call after all.
I stopped my bike, because of course I needed a picture of this little critter. Multiple shots were taken, but they all came out blurry as it scurried across and around the lens of my sunglasses. Finally I blew a puff of air and it vanished.
Look down along the bottom edge of the lens to see my hitchhiker.
I looked down at my neon green shirt. There were several more little worms hanging on for dear life. A quick shake of the fabric sent them away. Fortunately I wasn’t that far from the end of the ride, I could just imagine/feel the worms crawling around on my damp skin and through my hair. I needed a shower to rid this creeping feeling!
I was not the only one with green hitchhikers. My husband had several spots of green stuck to his face and shirt too. I just hate these hazards that Mother Nature sends my way.