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.




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




Life sometimes graces you with lovely surprises, the unexpected sunrise, flowers in unusual places, the rarely seen bobcat climbing the canyon wall.  Today, tired, bag full of papers to grade, I entered my house, smelling a puzzling sweetness.  The stage manger of Les Miserable lived with me two weeks.  She left a bottle of red wine, a heartfelt note, and a bouquet, snowy lilies, golden roses, blue bells.  Lillie scent pervades the room.  I walk in beauty.  IMG_1445

2014 in review and HAPPY NEW YEAR

This posts the usual annual report stuff.  Looking at stats always surprises and to some extent dismays me.  What seems the most popular is frequently what I find the least important, food, for example.  I receive a lot of responses to recipes.  Before I started blogging I had no idea how important food is to a lot of people.  What remains most important to me may not be to readers out there:  my writing, travel adventures.  Some of My Ethiopian Adventure posts received a lot of hits and one was tweeted all over Africa.  People from 88 countries viewed my blog.  Still two of the most popular posts were recipes.  Life is always full of surprises and wonders.  May 2015 continue this amazing adventure:  Life.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.