Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thursday 13 on Saturday: Gratitude

Back in the day, I used to post a "Thursday 13" every week, sometimes events, sometimes feelings, sometimes images, sometimes all of that. 

I'm reviving the tradition, even though it's Sunday. This Thursday 13 is about Gratitude:

1. It's a chilly 50 degree grey day today and I've turned on the new propane stove in the living room to blanket the chill. The gas fire glows. I like that so much.

2. JB and I planted tomatoes this morning. We put a 3 x 6 raised garden bed in our small front yard, filled it with organic soil, and were so excited as with a spoon we planted 6 tomato plants (3 varieties), 6 basil plants, 12 marigolds, and 2 zucchinis. This is a tiny garden for sure, but it's still a thrill.

3. I'm so glad that Prince Harry is in love with someone who loves him back. He strikes me as such a decent and nice man--I sense his Mother's influence on the little boy he was when she died.

4. My back: well, I'm still not standing without pain for more than 3 minutes at a time but I'm improved. I'm more active and I'm more social. 

5. I've started physical therapy and was assigned a therapist named Patience. I knew nothing else about her, but I almost asked for someone else solely because her name seemed weird to me. I admit how shallow this is. Turns out Patience is excellent --above and beyond. No promises, but I think I may be able to strengthen my back to a significant degree. 

6. This time of year here in Provincetown is abuzz. All kinds of repairs and fresh paint and new oyster shells on driveways, all ready for the non-stop tourists that have already begun to come. I'm not much into crowds or shopping, but I cannot believe the bay and ocean is all around me. 

7. JB volunteered to help a local motel, not even a block from our house, for a month, putting out a buffet breakfast for guests. They're waiting for the seasonal visa workers Trump has held up. In return, besides her paycheck, we are graciously allowed to use their pool this summer. Since I'm forcing myself to swim as part of  exercise for my back and as a way to MOVE, this is great news for me. 

8. I've lost 35 pounds. More motivation than I've had in years. 

9. I feel so glad about the people in my life. I listen to Donald Trump and his vanity and attacks on immigrants and I know my family and friends would not and do not carry that kind of rigidity or mean-spiritedness inside them. I don't mean this politically--I mean in their hearts. 

10. I have 4 grandchildren who are all healthy, interesting, fun, and unpredictable. JB and I rent a small studio apartment near them and besides for my joy in seeing my daughter Jess, I love when the kids come to visit. I try to keep the place stocked with new puzzles and clay and other entertaining ways. I also always kept a stash of Devil Dogs--what could be a better treat?!--until my daughter forbade me to give these unhealthy treats to the kids. Now I have Oreos and chocolate coins. 

11. My book is written. I love the characters. It's time to send letters to agents and publishers hoping one will ask to see the manuscript. I still have to edit and proof the whole thing, and I have to write a synopsis of the whole story, which is harder than it sounds. But I'm pushing forward. 

12. Mattie is now a 10 month old puppy. I'm unable to walk her (grrrrr) because of my back but boy is she enjoyable. And easy. And smart. We're conjuring up a doggie sandbox for her in the corner of our side yard, hoping we can achieve a dog-friendly plant-saving garden. I'm grateful I can work on the garden, sitting on my stool. :^)


13. I don't say this to brag: I find that most people like me.  More often than I would expect I'm told I'm interesting and fun. I think this is because I listen. I'm interested in hearing and talking about about the big and small parts of people's lives. You can't be a good Counselor if you don't listen, and that's true of being a friend or acquaintance too. 

So all in all a pretty good week. I hope this is true for you too. The USA is a scary mess, that's for sure, but today I'm just happy to be sitting on the couch. 


Thursday, May 03, 2018


How many friends do you have?
How much time do you spend with your friends?
Do most of your friends live nearby?
Do your friends know and are friends with each other?

When I was newly married, in my twenties and starting my career, my then-husband and I had a group of about 15 friends and we all hung out and did things together. A few people in this circle were extra special to me but mostly we all collectively planned pot luck dinners and days at the beach and lazy weekends smoking weed and drinking wine.

Since then, my friendships evolved into more singular connections: people I met from work, from my neighborhoods, from shared interests, from blogging, other parents, sometimes from friends of friends. The common thread now is that my friends are all over the place and I don't have a "hang out" group where I and they just knock on the door and fall into daily life. My friendships are also now more selective, probably because time seems more finite. They are also deeper, and most prominently, at a distance, some folks an hour or two away, some a state or two away, some a country or two away. I don't have that circle that I suspect comes from living and staying in one place. 

I count about five or six people I would  call in an emergency or in whose company I'm comfortable enough that I don't worry about when or how we connect. There's a wonderful comfort in that. But because they're most often not local, JB and I and they have to plan ahead to see one another and that's not the same as a knock on the door or an impromptu cook-out.  

I live in the small town of Provincetown now and I think some deep and long lasting friendships are forming. When we first moved here JB was sick and now I'm slowed by my back pain so that's  slowed our connections but even so,  I don't see that we'll have a circle of friends who are also friends with one another. I am SO lucky to have wonderful interesting people around me, that's for sure. I can't complain, but still, I wish my friends and I wish my Jessica and her family were closer; close enough for a quick anytime drop-by. Close enough to share my chicken soup and lettuce from our garden or to drop off our puppy for a dog-sit. In other words, close enough to be spontaneous.

I'd love to hear about your friends and about your thoughts on friendships....