I have kept a grat­i­tude jour­nal for the past sev­eral years now. The harder times get, the more I work at my prac­tice. It’s dif­fi­cult. Some days I have trou­ble doing it, but I keep try­ing. And I make it a point to find at least one event that hap­pens each day for which I am grate­ful. Even on days when every­thing seems to go wrong and all I can come up with is that I was able to enjoy a nice cup of tea: smelling it, savor­ing the fla­vor, feel­ing the warmth of the mug in my hands, well, that is still some­thing and I can build on that.


This win­ter I have noticed some amaz­ing things. On the day Eric and I were dri­ving the Sub­aru to meet the tow truck dri­ver for the cars for breast can­cer dona­tion, it was par­tic­u­larly cold that morn­ing. Our 13.5 year old car­a­van threw a rod on Christ­mas Eve. A new engine was going to cost a min­i­mum of $2,000. That might as well be a mil­lion dol­lars as far as us being able to afford it. We’d had the car­a­van towed to the mechanic to see why big black puffs of smoke had come out of the front end of our dear Betsy. Once we got the diag­no­sis after Christ­mas, we made arrange­ments to say good-bye to the car New Year’s Eve.

The Subaru’s wind­shield was dirty, so I squirted wind­shield fluid onto the glass and turned on the wipers. Stars of frost mag­i­cally sprang up across the wind­shield from left to right like minia­ture ice fire­works. I had never seen that hap­pen before. It occurred to me that must be how they got that effect on the train car win­dow in the Harry Pot­ter movie when the demen­tors attacked Harry for the first time. I became so enam­oured by the beauty of what had just hap­pened, that I momen­tar­ily for­got that I was dri­ving. Real­ity jolted me back to focus on the road again. I tried to repro­duce the effect later to show Johann, but I couldn’t. The moment was gone.


One of the early morn­ings I had phys­i­cal ther­apy, I was out before the sun came up. I like how still and quiet it is at 6:30am. It’s peace­ful. As I stepped out­side, it started to snow. Every­thing became even more still and quiet as the big, fat snowflakes swirled and flut­tered against the obsid­ian black sky like del­i­cate cab­bage wing but­ter­flies. The flurry came and went so quickly, I almost won­dered if that lit­tle piece of magic had really just hap­pened. Since there wasn’t another soul around, it felt like it had been just for me.

Container Gnome Garden

While I am wait­ing for our gar­den to wake up, Johann and I planted a con­tainer gnome gar­den and enjoyed mini-daffodils. We planted paper­white bulbs. I thank­fully found the last two boxes on sale. I never get tired of watch­ing a plant send up ten­der leaves, then the flower stalk. I look for the buds to form and watch with antic­i­pa­tion as the flow­ers slowly open and fill the room with their lovely scent. I checked them every day. Once the paper­whites were in bloom, I couldn’t resist smelling the flow­ers each day while I had the chance.

Christmas Cactus

When I bought my Christ­mas cac­tus, I delib­er­ately chose the one with the most closed buds. I wanted to be sure I would have plenty of time to watch all the flow­ers open and enjoy each one, which took a cou­ple of weeks. Once the Christ­mas cac­tus was in full bloom, it was stun­ning. Spring is com­ing.

Christmas Cactus Heart

Sleeping Garden