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This has been a grueling school quarter. The amount of work, coupled with the difficulty of the material covered, has made this one of the most un-enjoyable terms to date. On the bright side however, it is almost behind me. There are papers to finish but by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, m”H, it will be done. And in truthfulness, I have learned a LOT! But I am also looking forward to enjoying my yard (the tiger lily pictured here grows along the side of our garage), spending quality time with Richard, seeing some family, and generally just taking it easy until the next quarter begins in July. But the toughest course of this program will be behind me. This morning as I sit here drinking my coffee and watching the birds and chipmunks enjoy the food and water I “serve” them everyday, I am filled with gratitude that another school quarter is drawing to a close.



Do you remember what they smell like? Remember how neet it was to open a new box and just smell them? And the points were still pointy? Remember looking at the names of all the colors and trying to decide which one was your favorite? Remember wanting them to stay new forever, and at the same time you just couldn’t wait to start coloring? And having to tear the paper back as the crayon got shorter and shorter? Remember breaking them in two so you and your best friend could share the same color at the same time?  What fun! I remember in first grade taking a box of 8 crayons to school with me. Crayons were a staple school supply for years. It must have been my fourth or fifth grade that Mom actually bought me a box of 16 crayons to take to school and I felt so very rich. Even in adulthood I keep a box of crayons in the house. With this last move, my crayon “tin” with hundreds of used crayons was put in a box~who knows what box~and put into storage; an oversight I assure you! I must have been in this city all of five days when at the local grocery story, in the aisle with all the school supplies and knicky-knacky stuff, I spied a box of 64 crayons! Eureka! That box went home with me. And just like when I was a kid, when I got home I opened the box, took a whiff, smiled and started taking them out and looking at the names of new colors, all vibrant, all with the points still pointy, and began to color! I am grateful for crayons. 🙂

I know that this is a photographic diary about gratitude, but today there is no photograph.  I am exhausted and have neither the energy nor the inclination to peruse my thousands of photos (yes, thousands) to find a suitable photograph for this post.  My sweet apartment is full of boxes waiting to be filled as we prepare to move far away from this place.  I am up to my eyeballs in studies for my courses (Marriage and Family Counseling Theories, colloquia/Residency). And worst of all, I am alone. Richard has already started his new job, so he is in Ohio while I continue to pack and study.  The cat is going nuts.  She has been through this before so even though she is blind, she knows something is up and a change is coming.  Did I mention that I’m tired?  I’m lonely, too.  I miss my husband. . .and Mom and Dad, and the kids and grandkids. . . But, despite the “blues” which seem to have gotten a toehold on me, I am grateful.  In these days, having a job is good thing.  Due to the fact that Richard works even though he would love to retire, I am able to continue my studies in preparation for hanging out my own shingle (Counselor) so that when he does retire, and I am my own boss, we will have the flexibility to travel some, to establish our own schedules and do those things that bring us so much joy.  I don’t know how to photograph that–gratitude that Richard has a job so I can go to school.  I wanted to publicize how grateful I am for the sacrifices that Richard is making now so that I can pursue my dream, so at this late hour when I am exhausted and lonely, missing him and my family, I pause to be grateful for his love and dedication to help us reach our dreams together.  Thank you Richard, I am truly grateful for what you do for our future.

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