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Monthly Archives: January 2012

I woke up this morning and through the slats in the blinds I saw brilliant red. I hopped out of bed, ran to the window, and drew open the blinds to be greeted with another breath-taking sunrise. I sat back on my bed and watched as the crimson reds spread into pinks and eventually golden rays. Another day is born. I sigh deeply and am profoundly thankful. Life is filled with all things good and bad, but with each sunrise new opportunities abound. What will I do with today? How will I act? What life-altering decisions will I make? Will I make the most of this day? Will I squander it? Are there hidden gems of kindness waiting to be harvested? What will today bring? I am profoundly grateful for another day to live!

*******This blog has few readers, but it is special to me. Blogging regularly about gratitude nurtures the attitude of joyous living. I will have to take a hiatus from this site however, as the pressing demands of grad school are mounting. I will be back once I finish this quarter, help my child who is expecting her first child in early March, and get through one of our busiest and holiest holidays, Passover. In other words, I’ll be back in April. If so moved, and if time allows, I may add a post here and there, but I won’t be here regularly till the spring. Meanwhile you can keep up with me on my primary post, Inspired Living, where I will continue blogging but on a much reduced schedule. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you in the spring-time again. 🙂 Enjoy the winter months!

This little critter has visited me regularly this week. I hung suet out for the birds, and some bird food to attract cardinals out on the window ledge. I was hoping to see a few of our feathered friends up close and personal — and besides, I didn’t want them to starve during the cold weather months. One morning I heard scratching and scraping outside our window but when I opened the blinds there was just this little guy feasting on the banquet I left for the birds! I knocked on the window but he didn’t budge, just raised his head, looked at me, then went back to his eating. At first I was a little miffed, but he is so cute, how can one stay angry with the little fellow (assuming it is a male; it could be female). After our first introduction, he (or she) has come back every day to taste the goodies. Now s/he scratches on my windows, climbs the screens, or sits and waits patiently for my attention. Ours has come to be a delightful relationship, one that even Richard thinks is charming. I really like my little friend, as long as there is glass between us! I marvel at the surprised nature presents to us if we just pay attention and enjoy.  I am grateful when wild ones pay a visit.

 

***For more on this squirrel, check my primary blog, Inspired Vision.

I am a firm believer that each of us has gifts and talents that if used to their best, enhance the beauty that surrounds us. Some folks are gifted artists and craftsman. We see their work hanging on our walls, or wear their wares either as clothing or jewelry. I am grateful for the craftsmanship of the many artisans who use their talents to make the world a more beautiful place.

 

2011 was a year filled with upheaval and stress. A move from Maryland to Virginia, and then another from Virginia to Ohio, each dwelling smaller than the one before, necessitated storing most of our belongings in a storage unit far from where we now live. As if that was not stress enough, unexpected losses and illnesses of loved ones contributed to the jumble of feelings. Things got out of whack. For this year I have resolved to get my life back into whack (whatever ‘whack’ means.) Part of the process involves getting out of the apartment everyday and increasing physical activity. This is more of a challenge in winter when grounds and road surfaces are coated in snow and ice. Living in an apartment complex however, does afford some amenities that make it a bit easier to work toward my goals. The gym is free to all residents, so this year I’ve begun to come here and use the treadmill. Thirty minutes on that and I feel like a new person. As I get more in shape, I will use some of the other equipment, too, but a daily treadmill workout is great for now. I am grateful for gyms that have the tools that help us shape up!

 

 

I shot this photograph about an hour ago. The building is in the complex where we live. I have resolved to get out of this apartment and into the fresh air every day this year! But we are in the middle of a winter storm, it is cold, deep snow is getting deeper. On the other hand, many people brave the snow and cold, so I pulled on my boots, grabbed camera and coat and headed out for a walk. I shot some beautiful photographs, but by the time I returned home, I was more than ready to hunker down for the night in my warm, inviting apartment. There is something safe and secure about one’s home. It is like a cocoon at times, a soothing and nurturing place to be. While I sit here though, thoughts begin to swirl through my mind. There are many homeless people in the area. Some folks may have a home but maybe their heating is inadequate. Some have to work out in the cold in order to protect the community from itself (sad, isn’t it.) So many scenarios run through my head of those who are cold, hungry and lonely on a night like this. I hear the wind howling, and imagine the compounded suffering when it occurs in the cold. This minute, I do not know how to help, how to be a part of the solution to homelessness and hunger. But I will think about what I can do. Why? Because to whom much has been given, much will be required. We who can have a responsibility to those who can’t. It seem our nation has forgotten that. I am humbly grateful for the gift of warmth on a cold night, and I will seek ways to share the warmth so that someone else will get a respite from the cold.

 

 

Jacob and Genevieve absolutely love each other! I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with either of them, but when I see them together it thrills me. Jacob lives in Chicago and Genevieve lives in Pittsburgh, but their parents (my children) are intentional about visiting each other from time to time. I watch these two and am reminded of how much I enjoyed my cousins growing up, even though we are scattered across the country. I had no idea how much joy I would get from watching my children’s children bond with each other. Before the end of the year, there will be more children to add to this mix! More joy! More bonding! More grandchildren! More cousins! I do not know what any of us did to be so incredibly blessed, but I know without a doubt that I am incredibly grateful for my grandchildren, and the gift of watching them bond with each other!

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