Sunday, June 29, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

Sad news this past week, as we learned that a friend had lost her husband to a heart attack. Two weeks ago, my sister's friend suffered an aneurysm and passed away. My favorite all-time audiobook narrator, Frank Muller, died earlier this month as a result of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Tim Russert, George Carlin...the deaths of these two strangers who felt like friends shock us as if we had known them personally. I actually did meet Frank Muller a couple of times, several years ago when I lived in the DC area, and had a brief ongoing correspondence about audiobooks, and I'm so sad for his wife and children and for all the people who loved to hear him bring printed books to life in our cars and as we traveled. In fact, it it is so sad to see these "normal" events affect our friends and family, and even strangers. (I saw a sign outside a local chiropractic clinic about Tim Russert--a tribute in a space normally allocated to advertising the clinic's services. Amazing.)

So I am feeling very appreciative today for Mr. Pug, my family, my canine babies, and, of course, my friends. We have been extremely lucky that we haven't had any major tragedies in many years. Both of my parents are gone, as well as my Aunt Lib who was probably one of the most important people in my formative years. Other losses, but all many years ago. Right now, we are all healthy and reasonably happy.

So let's celebrate life. Here's some of what makes it all worthwhile today:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I keep taking pictures of my hibiscus flowers--they're so darned pretty I cannot resist them. If Georgia O'Keefe had lived in the East when she was painting flowers, she'd have painted this hibiscus!

Fish--see the fishies? Well, we're not exactly in the "Finding Nemo" category yet, but some of our fish are actually living, for a change. Despairing of our ability to raise Koi, since every one we'd put in our pond had died or disappeared, we put a bunch of small goldfish in about two weeks ago. Two miracles: (1) most of them are still living and (2) two of the Koi from last year have reappeared--they have very distinctive markings and are quite a bit larger than the newbies. I have no idea where they've been, or what they've been eating, since we stopped feeding them since we thought they were dead or MIA, but they look healthy and are zipping around with their new friends.

Next, Lucy. I don't know why her eyes look so much like hunks of turquoise in this picture, but she does have very distinctive eyes and maybe this is the best representation after all. Lucy is the quietest and most seemingly mature of the two girls, but every so often she'll clean Buddy's clock just to remind him who's boss.

Finally, friends. Just in this one week, I went to the Noble Knitters meeting at Barnes & Noble and that was just as nice as usual--dinner with some of the NKs beforehand and then an hour or so of sharing and knitting. Then lunch with Debra on Friday--it was her birthday and we used that as an excuse to sit and schmooze for a little longer than we might otherwise. (Fine! It was a LOT longer--sue me!) Then, yesterday I went on a mini-yarn crawl with Nancy, Ellen, Pat, and Marian. We had a sinfully good time visiting Knitch and Needle Nook and then stopping for a sweet treat (a berry scone in my case) at Harvest Breads. By the time I got home, I was positively warm with the friendship I had experienced. Who could want anything more?

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