A Season of Gratitude


It started Thursday with the Winter Solstice and the full moon:  the love, the presents, my astonishment.  You cannot go wrong with moonlight hanging over a canyon.  It never disappoints.

Then on Friday, astonishment.  Teachers never expect what I received.  I expect excellence and hope most learn something new, learn that books they will like exist, that they can do more than they ever dreamed.  We do not expect presents.

By ten on Friday, my classroom was covered with gifts and food.  Here is a list of some of the presents I received from my students:

frankincense and myrrh soap

a book about wine–yes, it seems they know me

a 4 by 4 black block that says Love, Smile, Enjoy, Laugh, Sing, Live

two gifts cards from a brother and sister for renting movies along with popcorn

a Picasso scarf

a thermal cup full of almonds–I received lots of almonds

all sorts of homemade candies, cookies, and other goodies

To top it all off, a mother walked into my room and handed me a bottle of red wine with this written on it:  “Our child might be the reason you drink so enjoy this bottle on us, Merry Christmas.”  I am still chuckling about this one.

My daughter and grandson are on a cruise and will get to see several ancient Mayan temples, my son is on his way here and will arrive around noon or early afternoon, I attended a beautiful Christmas Eve service last night, then came home and continued reading a fascinating book until late, and shortly I will make pumpkin bread using Mom’s old recipe.

The moon still shines, hanging in the Western horizon.  I feel grateful.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Juliana

 

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Note:  The Christmas tree my parents gave me decades ago with a skirt, simple fabric brought from Africa many years ago.

 

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A Week of Gratitude (cont.)


Although I intend to continue with gratitude thoughts and lists, this is my last post of this one week exercise.

Saturday’s list includes:

-Cooking for and enjoying the company of close friends.

-Listening to music I love–Angelique Kidjo, Rokia Traore, Cesaria Evora, Conjunto Primavera.

Sunday’s list includes:

-Enjoying springlike weather with birds singing.

-Accomplishing spring cleaning in my xeriscape flower beds.

-Trying a Japanese sauce I never tasted before–yakiniku.  I used it with chicken and bok choy over Jasmine rice.  This included marinating grated carrots in mirin, another Japanese sauce which I especially like.

-Watching a deer disappear through the junipers.

-Enjoying the warm weather from my patio.

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My Happy Mother’s Day


 

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Mother’s Day filled my heart.  First, when I awakened in the morning, I made coffee and opened this computer.  When I logged into Facebook, I found this pronouncement from my daughter:

“I’m so thankful to have an amazing, talented, smart, ambitious, honest woman as my mommy.  You made me the person I am today and as I continue to grow, I see things you taught me passing down to my son.  I’m the mom I am today because of the mom you were to me.  I may not always show it or tell you but I love you so much.”  I nearly cried; I am not a crier.

The flowers arrived Saturday from my son who lives twenty hours away if you drive.  Look at these flowers!!  Fantastic.

Then my grandson gave me a handmade card about 5 by 8 inches with this long note some of which follows:

“Happy Mother’s Day.  I know your not my mom but your my mom’s mom so your a mother so happy mother’s day.  Thank you for giving birth to my mom because if you wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t be alive right now so thanks….Thank you for all the things you do for me.  You always watch me.  Your always nice even when I’m mean and you spoil me.  I love you and happy mother’s day. ”  He is ten.

Then today I received a totally unexpected thank you card with a note from a young man who stayed with me a while last spring just before he graduated from college with an A average.  He was experiencing an extremely painful time then.  His hand written note:  “Happy Mother’s Day!  It has been one year since I graduated from college.  I would never have made it without you!  Thank you for the great help in my most difficult time.  You are the small ray of sunshine that really brings me hope!  Thank you!”  I felt overwhelmed.

The bottle in front of the flowers above is Versace perfume–Mother’s Day present from my daughter.

 

 

Commitments, Hosting Benefits, and What We Take for Granted


Shortness of post is necessitated by the time.  Why bother?  Nearly three weeks ago, I committed to writing daily.  Blogging seemed like a logical means to accomplish this.  I expect others and myself to follow through on commitments.  So here I am writing in the middle of the night.

Tonight I hosted a fund raiser for the Hilltop Senior Center here in Amarillo.  We tried to sell tickets in advance but not all that many sold.  The Director of the Center and I became a bit worried, but continued with planning, hoping some would show up even if at the last minute.  They did.  We had great Mexican food donated by Braceros on Sixth Avenue, wine, my wonderful well water, cheeses, fruit, and cakes.  Even the silent auction proved to be a great success.  However, nature became the real star of the event, nature and my dog Isabella.  Unlike earlier in the week when the wind shrieked to 6o miles an hour creating several days of endless dust, today the wind laid low, the sun shone, and it was hot.  This morning the heat went on and this afternoon the air conditioning as it rose to past 90.  Thirty degrees difference between night and day is rather typical here and some days, like to day, this difference increases to nearly forty.

At dark the stars seem so much brighter out here in the country.  Many of the guests walked back and forth on the patio, looking for different constellations.  People came inside for a while only to go back out and look at the stars and the crescent moon.  What I take for granted daily, became a wonder for my company.  As I write this, I think about all the things each of us take for granted, things we eat, experience, feel daily.  How often do we really take the time to appreciate these things, to realize that although they may be ordinary for us, for others they would be incomparable blessings.  So now as I finish this, get ready for bed, and snuggle into my cool sheets, I will meditate and give thanks to the universe for the wonder of the stars.