Thursday, October 25, 2007

Giving Thanks

My middle child, my Annie, lives in north San Diego County. She and her family are fine, their house is unscathed, their neighborhood escaped the fire and the wear and tear and stress of having to evacuate did not cause her (throwing salt and knocking wood, Annie!) to go into premature labor. I am so grateful, so thankful and just plain relieved that words fail me. And guilty. My family is fine but so very many families are not that I find the guilt growing day by day. I don't know why I feel guilty at reveling in the joy of having my loved ones safe and having their home safe, but on some level I do. To be honest, as great as the joy I feel at their surviving the last few days intact and unhurt, my ache and hurt is as deep for those who did not escape the ravages of the fires. How do you explain one house surviving the wild fire while the other six on a cul de sac are burned to the ground? At least, as I write this, the Santa Ana winds seem to be shifting to an on shore flow, which should bring some help to those amazing people fighting all the fires. I did hear a very scary fact on the news yesterday that more firefighters are hurt fighting wild fires with an on shore wind than when the off shore winds are howling. I certainly hope that is NOT the case this time.

I was reading my friend Bee's blog the other day and saw the following quote by William Henry Channing that she had used in one of her postings. I thought it was so inspiring I decided to copy it here. How lovely to read these words, and how hard to live up to them! Hope you don't mind me using this quote, Bee!

" To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, burry never, in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony."
I have been working hard on gathering images for my Caffeine Chronicles journal. I could say it has been such difficult and hard work, but hey! It is a project involving coffee shops! I get to go to a different coffee shop every day and try out my favorite drink at each place, as one must purchase something at each one, as a sort of users fee! I love coffee shops! Each one has a personality and each one's vibe is different. some are cozy like a well-worn pair of slippers, some are hip and edgy, some are utilitarian. There are country style coffee shops and urban ones, slick and sleek ones, frumpy ones, cold and uninviting ones and some even feel more like art galleries than a place to grab a cuppa joe. This is turning out to be a lot of fun!

The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and autumn is well and truly here. My dad always said he loved autumn best, of all the seasons, and I have to admit that as I grow older, I am more and more fond of it, too. There is something about a blue sky in October that is especially beautiful. Perhaps it is because I know that I might not see another for months at a time as the weather in the Pacific Northwest is almost as dreary as folks from other parts of the country claim. Whatever the reason, an October sky with brilliant-leafed trees in the foreground thrills me more deeply than even a pear or cherry tree in full bloom in the spring. I have never outgrown the joy of wading through piles of leaves on the sidewalk, listening to the rustle they make. I love the smell of autumn. For someone who is not all that partial to the color orange, I sure do love to see a tree in blazing orange and yellow!

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