Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
~ Karl Barth
If we were having coffee, I would be thrilled to see you again. It seems as if it has been a while since our last coffee chat although I think it’s only been two weeks. I’m not sure why that feels like a long time, but maybe in blog terms it is. Hugs if you’re accepting them.
How are you? What have you been up to the past two weeks? Have you gone on holiday/vacation? Traveled anywhere? Seen anything new? Have you read any good books or watched any good films? Gone on any splendiferous walks? Grab a beverage, have a seat on the porch, and tell me all about what has been going on in your life since our last chat.
I haven’t watched any films lately. M and I have started watching season three of House of Cards. We watched the U.K. version way back in the 1990’s, and this one is just as intriguing as the original. Maybe more so to me because I’m more familiar with the U.S. government than I am (or was) with how things work in the U.K.
I finished reading Shaman. Last time we chatted, I wasn’t sure I would because I found the book to be slow, almost plodding. I hung on, and eventually the plot did pick up. I liked the earthiness of the characters (even in their grossness) and the story of the clan and the shaman’s apprentice, Loon. I also enjoyed Loon’s sense of humor and practicality. Would I recommend it? Oh, I don’t know. If you’re looking for a book that will slow you down and not rush to gobble everything up, this would be it.
I am currently reading Assassination Vacation. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show recently interviewed author Sarah Vowell about her new book Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. Our local library system doesn’t have the new book so I picked one of her older books. I love history, and Ms. Vowell’s writing style makes it fun. I’ve seen her writing described as “smart, funny, soulful, and even educational” (Nick Hornby, quoted from Amazon.com). I am thoroughly enjoying the book. It’s a fast read, filled with interesting tidbits. The main topic is the assassinations of U.S. Presidents Lincoln, McKinley, and Garfield. A few years ago I read her book The Wordy Shipmates, about the settlement of Massachusetts by the Puritans in the 1600’s, and learned a lot about the Puritans and those who came here on the Mayflower.
If we were having coffee, I would recommend a recent blog post by Katrina Kenison titled this (good) life. Visit the link when you have time to read, and maybe, when you need a spot of calm to help you recharge your batteries. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and wisdom.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an interesting couple of weeks. Two family members were hospitalized, and last weekend we took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit with one of them. My father was the other and he was in and out for a quick procedure that didn’t solve his problem, but at least he’s home and doing as well as can be expected. We are in wait and see mode with the other family member and will probably have to take a few more trips to help out while he’s in rehab for physical therapy and when he goes home.
My health reached a “you must make up your mind” point. Not a crisis exactly, but a hard push. I had another CT scan and started a round of antibiotics that left me ill and injured (with tendinitis, of all things!). The good news is that the surgeon I was seeing has more or less washed his hands of me, having decided I do not have what he thought I had, and he has referred me to yet another doctor. I am not sure I’ll go, but the appointment is made and I have time to think about it. My gut instinct for now is to let my body do its own healing without the outside help of modern medicine.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am doing restorative yoga, and meditating twice a day. I spend as much time outdoors as I can. Life is good.
My focus now is on gratitude, healing, the present, and the positives in life. I am grateful for my recent experiences, and for the way they have helped me work through fear, worry, and my tendency to be negative at times. I am grateful for all the wonderful advice you all have given when I asked for it. I am becoming — or rather, I am — the author of my own life instead of a passive participant, and that is something else to be thankful for. I have discovered that possibilities don’t expire, and that I don’t have to be trapped by what I think of as me because that me is not Me at all.
If we were having coffee, I would switch to lighter subjects at this point. It’s hard to explain epiphanies. Words don’t suffice, do they?
I received a summons for jury duty this week. “Ugh,” I thought (and probably said out loud), when I saw “summons” on the envelope, and knew right away it involved jury duty. I’ve done my duty many times in the past. They always seem to find me within a few years of moving. I don’t understand it. Many people I know have never served jury duty. I spent three months on a grand jury in Georgia, followed by a month of regular jury duty right after that due to a computer glitch that sent all of us on the grand jury right back into the system and a judge who said, “Well, you are all here now so you’ll have to stay.” I served jury duty time (usually it’s a month) in South Carolina and in Illinois. I was summoned in Ohio, but M and I were on a sabbatical and living in another state or country when that happened. My jury time starts in September and goes for a month. I’m hoping there won’t be much to it. Rumor has it that our local district attorney prefers plea bargains over going to trial.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to the Chincoteague Blueberry Festival this weekend where I will wander around the artists’ booths to soak up (and maybe purchase) some art, listen to some music, and eat some good food. After that, I’m headed to the beach for some fun and relaxation in the surf and sand.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we are in need of rain again. The rain keeps missing us, breaking up and soaking those north and south of us. The ground here is cracked and parched. Trees are drooping, and we have to water the gardens to keep things alive. The positive aspect of all this dryness is that the biting insects have disappeared and it is safe to walk outdoors without suiting up or dousing oneself in insect repellent. I spent a couple of hours outside yesterday, walking, swimming, and just relaxing on the deck. I was even able to walk out to the dock, something I haven’t been doing much because the woodland trail is a favorite hangout for the deer flies and mosquitoes. The heat has returned, but the humidity levels are low, and that makes it seem not quite so bad.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even the marsh seems drier than usual. The tide still comes in and out, of course, so it isn’t completely dry, but the usual wet, tidal odor that comes from the marsh is almost gone. You don’t notice it until you get to the dock or at the very edge of the marshland.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Frank, of A Frank Angle, and I might have a surprise for you on Tuesday. It won’t be here, though. You’ll have to travel over to Frank’s place to see it. I’ll let you know for sure when I know for sure. I think it’s pretty much confirmed, but as we all know, plans can, and often do, change.
(This just in: It’s confirmed. A collaborative post between Frank and I will be going live on Tuesday morning. Please join us for the fun.)
If we were having coffee, I would see that it is probably time for you to go. I don’t want to monopolize your Saturday or your weekend. Feel free to stay and swim if you like. You are welcome to stay for sunset, too. Let’s go down to the beach at the Point to watch. Sunset is at 8:18 this evening.
Thank you so much for visiting. Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: A delightful breakfast with M; the expansion within that gratitude creates; opening to possibilities; a slow return to a healthier, more varied, diet; my body’s ability to heal itself.
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Put on the kettle, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.