Gratitude: A Years Journey

Month 4-

June 27, 2017: A friend of mine was walking past a parking garage in San Francisco, when a woman suddenly accelerated and hit him on his side. He was thrown against a wall and knocked down, breaking his hip, pelvis and wrist in the process. He happens to be disabled and has limited use of one leg. The accident took the other leg and one arm out of commission. When we saw him today, he was in pretty good spirits and expressed gratitude that he still has one good limb working (his left arm)! Such a random stroke of bad luck to happen to be in just the wrong place at the wrong time. One minute he’s headed from lunch to the opera, the next he’s on his way to the ER, 8 hours of surgery and a long recuperation. I am grateful that he will recover and also made me think that we have to be grateful for every minute that we are in good health. We take all to for granted the soundness of our bodies and how crucial that is to everything else in our life and experience. This friend, who deals with health issues and limited use of his body every day, already knew all to well the challenges. Deep gratitude for my beautiful, strong and healthy body…I love every part of it and will try hard to protect and nurture it every day.

June 27, 2017: Reflecting on the body, Maeght Foundation, St. Paul de Vence

June 28, 2017: Moving is in full swing. My fifth move in two years. Getting good at it, but not good enough to avoid the stress and physical strain that accompanies this life event. Today I’m particularly grateful for the movers who helped us with the heavy stuff. Two men, a pick-up truck and a trailer. Loaded a dozen or so pieces of furniture into the trailer, glass table-top in the cab of the pick-up, strapped and padded as best as possible, and slowly drove across town. The bumps, turns and up and downhill climbs of our winding streets in Carmel, created an obstacle course for Alphonso, and he was up to the challenge. I had left all of my clothes in the dresser drawers, and was grateful that they didn’t open up on the road. Everything arrived at the new house intact and in place! An exhausting day, but thanks to my friend Lori, Alphonso and buddies, and my tireless partner Franz, we are almost there for move number 5.

June 28, 2017: At the end of a long day, Carmel

June 29, 2017: Twenty seven years ago today I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Samantha. I remember that day so clearly, with tremendous gratitude for the gift that she was and has always been to my life and to the world. So much of me in her, with added sweetness and a naturally generous personality. Heart-bursting love for her (and her wonderful brother), every day. Happy Birthday my treasure!

June 29, 2017: Memories of Sam and unknown cat, Tampa, FL

June 30, 2017: All moved in to the new place that will be home for the next six months or longer. A relief to have it behind us, all went relatively easily and still speaking to my man ;) Feeling very grateful to have found this place, as the rental market here is pretty icky at best. The lovely house has it all…history (originally built in 1931), a nice renovation with double pane windows throughout (quiet), a French vibe (vive la france), a beautiful ocean view (often muted by fog), and a one car garage (Franz’s must have). This evening I was thinking about second chances. There is a relatively new restaurant in town that most are very hot on. We had a horrible experience there late last year, mostly due to an uninterested, inattentive, rude and poorly trained server. After some good wine and with the good humor we were feeling from our new home, we decided to give it another try. This time couldn’t have been nicer…good food, and very sweet, considerate, friendly service. I guess anyone and anyplace can have a bad night, next time I won’t wait six months to give it another go. Gratitude for this reminder that I can be a little more fore-giving…need to add that virtue more generously in my mindset!

June 30, 2017: A slice of home, Upper Trail, Carmel

July 1, 2017: Gratitude for breakfast! My favorite meal and often problematic when eating it out. Post the move, no food in the new house, so we decided to try a new place in Seaside called the Breakfast Club. So many of the places in Carmel have long waits and slow, spotty service when you finally get in. This is especially a problem at breakfast time when I am always very hungry and not looking for an extended dining experience. Breakfast Club service was so good, friendly, fast and attentive, that it was almost unbelievable. A short wait to sit, immediate appearance of a server offering water and coffee/tea, which were on the table within minutes. And after ordering, the food came in barely five minutes…this place knows how to run a kitchen! Gratitude BC for the great food and excellent experience. Then off to a small pop-up shop featuring products from Provence, in search of a table cloth and a reminder of my beautiful trip. Giselle and Tim are a lovely couple, she is French, who import all the things that I couldn’t fit into my suitcase while traveling. Grateful for the opportunity to chat about my experience over there and for the beautiful tablecloth they carried over for me! The day capped off with gratitude that this move is over, and celebrated with two bottles of champagne. And happy birthday to my patient and lovable brother-in-law Jeff!!

July 1, 2017: Breakfast Club, Seaside

July 2, 2017: We went sun seeking to Carmel Valley today, and had a great hike in Garland Ranch Park. There were signs posted about the unlikely, but possible potential of encountering a mountain lion. I have an irrational fear of encountering one of these big cats, and these signs confirmed my fear that it is a possibility! Gratitude to my darling partner for shortly thereafter finding a large stick in the brush and taking that along as a weapon against the beast should we encounter one. My protector!! Happily, no sightings or encounters in our path, and an energetic and invigorating walk through this massive park was thoroughly enjoyed by the two of us. Also have to call out my gratitude, once again, for ice cream. Today we did the unusual thing of going to Safeway, pre-hike, and buying a box of Hagen Daz double dark chocolate bars. There is nothing like an ice cream pop to take you back to the joys of childhood and we sat, on a bench in front of the shopping center, and ate these little sticks of deliciousness quietly and joyfully.

July 2, 2017: Garland Ranch, Carmel Valley

July 3, 2017: Feels so great to be getting back to my daily walks and loving my little slice of mother nature’s path of beauty. Today involved a strenuous and glorious walk from new home to the ocean. About a 3 mile round trip, mostly downhill on the way there and uphill on the way back. For some reason the uphill climb has mostly been towards home for me, over the years and many different homes…wonder what that means! And a very fun little surprise as we topped the hill to arrive home…in our garden are three adorable pear trees, with tiny fruits ripening. A pear sighting is always infused with meaning for me, and this time it’s a sure sign that I’m home! Gratitude for these beautiful pears that we’ll be enjoying soon and to the owners of this house for planting them here, not knowing that a Pear was coming to live in the future! And especially grateful to have such a unique, beautiful and fun last name. Thank you ancestors and the fine folks at Ellis Island :)

July 3, 2017: Pear tree in Carmel

July 4, 2017: It has been very foggy in Carmel for the past five days or more, starting to feel that “June gloom”, even if it’s July! Then mid-day today, in honor of our nation’s birthday, out comes the sunshine. And just in time for the Independence Day celebration Carmel style. Half the town congregates in Devendorf Park to enjoy music, hoola hooping, hotdogs, popcorn and all the other treats of the 4th. I got there just in time to see Mayor Dallas give his opening chat, brief but lovely, and feeling grateful to live in this town, this part of the world, this country. Our extraordinary country may be having it’s fair share of trials and tribulations these days, but as I once told my kids…”feel grateful that you were born in this country and know that if no great act of fortune ever comes to you again, you are one of the lucky one’s and be thankful.”

July 4, 2017: Devendorf Park, Carmel

July 5, 2017: A gorgeous day today from start to finish. Woke up after a 9 hour sleep to sunshine breaking through the fog. And from there it was the kind of day that gives California it’s reputation. More and more I’m realizing how affected my mood is by sunshine, and I’m deeply grateful for every day that is bright and sunny. I’m trying hard to appreciate the foggy days as well, and still happy for the golden rays to warm my body and everything around me! Hard not to be happy on a sunny day, and enjoyed catching up on life from my new home office, a late afternoon walk with a good friend, and watching whales spouting at sunset from our dining table with an outstanding view! This morning as I worked, outside my window were a number of dragonflies flitting about, so many that it got me wondering about the symbolism of the dragonfly. Here’s what I learned…The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors in a light and joyful manner. Gratitude dragonflies for reminding me to be more light and joyful, especially when my nature can tend to heaviness. Light was the theme today, and sunlight and lightness of being are what I seek.

July 5, 2017: Carmel by the Sea beach

July 6, 2017: Today was a day of service and I am grateful for the opportunity and for the joy that giving returns. No details, but it involved a fun outing with two very deserving boys, a visit to a friend in need and stepping outside my comfort zone. Since my kids have grown up, it’s not very often that I spend time with kids, so this was a real treat and I’m looking forward to getting to know these two better as time goes on. I have always been impressed by the wisdom of children, and my companions of the afternoon were wise beyond their years. My hats off to you two! The evening ended with a delicious candlelit dinner with my partner in crime. The fare included In ‘N Out burgers, fries, broccoli and rose, yum!

July 6, 2017: Bluebird of happiness, Upper Trail, Carmel

July 7, 2017: Gratitude for a wonderful yoga class this morning. I am having a sciatica flair up and a lot of lower back/hip pain. Mentioned this to Krystle at the start of class and she really focused on hip opening throughout the class. Amazingly, by the end of class the pain had really subsided. Namaste! Spent the afternoon, another gloriously sunny day, lounging happily in our very Provencal back yard. It is so aesthetically pleasing to me out there, and I’m grateful once again for the fortune to call this home for a time and to all who came here before me and made it lovely. An kaleidoscope of small white butterflies flutter around the gardens and bees are merrily buzzing around it’s vibrant flowers. The butterflies are so delicate and mesmerizing to watch their delicate flitting from place to place and graceful mid-air dance a deux. Watching them is like soothing music for the eyes. And another reminder of the powerful metamorphosis going on in my life, a new life cycle, infused with lightness, sensitivity, playfulness and transformation of the psyche. Oh the joy of tuning deeply into the beauty of life’s continuous unfolding.

July 7, 2017: White butterfly, Carmel

July 8, 2017: What better way to embody a beautiful lightness of being than spending a few hours at the beach. Soaking in the sunshine, lounging blissfully, digging toes into the sand, feeling the light spray from a crashing wave, listening to the powerful sounds of the ocean, eating a juicy ripe peach, smelling the briny ocean mixed with sunscreen, holding hands with my beau, a salty kiss. Lapsing into a moment of pure gratitude. And that’s all I have to say about that!

July 8, 2017: Peach on the Beach, Carmel River Beach

July 9, 2017: A trip to San Francisco to meet two of Franz’s relatives from Austria for a day of sight-seeing. Other than dense fog over the Golden Gate bridge, it was a beautiful day in the city. Walking part way across the bridge, lunch over-looking the water in Sausalito, chocolate covered watermelon, a ride down Lombard Street and a walk half-way back up, Coit Tower, Ghirardelli Square and Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista cafe. We hit most of the tourist sights and it was great fun. I was grateful to see the city again from that perspective, with it’s beautiful neighborhoods and soft, inviting culture. And it was delightful to meet the two young folks from Austria, with gratitude to them for their excellent efforts at English and patience with my very limited German. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and especially fun to watch Franz revisit his heritage and native tongue. Tough drive home for him and I was grateful as always for his care-taking, focused nature…thanks to a little chocolate and diet coke, we made it back safe and sound.

July 9, 2017: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
July 9, 2017: Sunset, San Francisco

July 10, 2017: I woke up to a foggy morning so spent the next couple of hours writing in bed. So comfy, cozy and indulgent for a Monday morning! Then the sun came out and it was time to get up and on with the day. A good walk, some interesting work, and a long leisurely dinner at home watching the sunset over the Pacific. Feeling gratitude for the pace of life that I’ve been enjoying the past year. Being the master of my own time, and letting my self-driven nature have free rein. It’s fascinating to notice how one thing leads to another, my interests evolve gently, good work bubbles to the surface and a new richness has infused my life. And grateful for the long talk over dinner with my partner. Chris Rock once commented in a stand-up (to paraphrase) that the two most important things in a relationship are that you like to sleep with and eat with your mate. The only issue we have is the longer we talk, the more wine we consume…I believe that I was called a wino tonight! XOXO.

June 10, 2017: Fruits of the Vine

July 11, 2017: My cellphone was missing for about 2 hours today. For about half of that time, I thought that I’d left it in a store, but when I went back there, it was nowhere to be found. Alas, when I returned home, the second time, there is was sitting quietly on a sofa. Gratitude to my phone, and also for the great luck not to have lost it! These little devices that we have become so wedded to, where so much of our lives and daily conveniences are stored, that put information, music, conversation, communication, entertainment, and much more in our hand…and we take it so for granted. I guess it’s time to slow down a bit and be more thoughtful of my movements and belongings. Overall a beautiful day, and spending my first night alone in the new home. Feeling very comfortable and grateful for our good fortune to have found such a lovely nest.

July 11, 2017: Reunited and it feels so good!

July 12, 2017: It seems we have a pair of pet blue jays that share this property with us. I see them almost every day and it’s funny to watch their comical antics. They are always poking around the backyard or on the roof, one likes to sit in the same spot in an oak tree, the other is very mischievous and poking one thing after the next. They don’t seem at all afraid of us and will come very close, it seems as if they are observing the strange new beings that have taken up residence on their home turf. I saw one eating a snail the other day, kept pecking at it and finally pulled the meat out of the shell. They want to swoop down and steal our snacks, but so far haven’t gotten up the nerve to do it, or were scared off by Franz’s tossing pebbles at them. I’m grateful to share this home with two fine and friendly blue jays. Woke up this morning with a sharp pain in my shoulder blade, not sure if it’s a yoga injury from last night’s class or something totally unrelated. Either way it hurts a lot, especially when I’m driving. So this evening indulged in a little self care and took it easy on the exercise. A little TV, time on the couch, letting my muscles rest…gratitude to every muscle in my body. I know that I can be rough on them from time to time, and indulging in self care and love feels right!

July 12, 2017: Salinas, CA

July 13, 2017: Gratitude to the Henry Miller library and the stalwart inhabitants of Big Sure who are finding ways to carry on despite their beloved coastline being shut by nature. The main artery through Big Sur, and the second most visited tourist destination in the state of CA, Highway has had a tough year. Numerous landslides over the winter, failure of a bridge on the northern end, and finally the worst landslide in the history of the state closing off the southern end in May. That last one buried a portion of the road under 80 feet of dirt and rock and extended out about 250 feet into the ocean. That’s a lot of rock, and sadly it is unknown how, when or even if it can be restored. The Henry Miller library has moved operation to Carmel until they can get back to Big Sur, and are continuing their annual International Short Film Festival. My first time there and wow was I impressed. We saw four short films, by budding filmmakers from Norway, Kosova, and Switzerland. Short films are under-rated. Lot’s of fun to watch and all four were excellent and highly entertaining. Gratitude to these film-makers, to the Henry Miller Library, and to the resilience and camaraderie of this community.

July 13, 2017: Henry Miller Library, Carmel

July 14, 2017: Bastille Day, France and all things French! Beautiful countryside, delicious wine, outstanding food, macarons and meringues, pastis, the language, deserved arrogance, perfume, lavender, pastis, the seaside, the artists who were born there or drawn there for the light and the aesthetic, Provence, Paris, Lyon, Monet and Giverny, a wonderful memory of Perpignon, the style, champagne, Reims and the crayeres, brie and all the smelly cheeses, pastis, champagne…I love it all and am so grateful for the lingering memory and sense of fulfillment and richness that lives on in me long after a trip there has ended. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite…vive la france.

July 14, 2017: Paris, France

July 15, 2017: Spent awhile today just sitting in my backyard. Shoulder still not good, so have self imposed exercise moratorium. And really enjoyed watching the clouds going by in the sky. A deep blue sky with all different sorts of gorgeous white clouds. Big puffy ones, light feathery bands, stripes and circles, and all so beautiful against the intense blue of the sky. Watching them move by fast and creating constantly changing designs, very restful. Gratitude clouds for the simple entertainment. Then in the evening, my visuals moved from sky to water. Went to see an amazing film named Saltwater Buddha, a brilliant adaptation of the book by Jaimal Yogis. Jaimal was at the screening, such an impressive, warm, deep individual, and the film-maker is to be commended for a beautiful interpretation of his book. Gratitude once again to the Henry Miller Library for bringing Jaimal and the film to us, and for all they are doing to enrich our community and beyond.

July 15, 2017: Sky over Upper Trail, Carmel

July 16, 2017: Gratitude to my new favorite massage therapist. A friend’s high recommendation put me in touch with Michael and I was grateful to get an appointment on a Sunday. Arriving in an unusually great amount of pain (shoulder/neck), I immediately felt in a healing place and turned myself over to his healing energy. He combined flowing massage with acupressure, chakra balancing, energy channeling and just overall great vibes (he called it the woo woo stuff). The results were outstanding and I started to feel my joy returning. My body relaxed and started to heal itself, and a felt a renewed sense of balance and calm. Deep tissue work and deep gratitude to Michael and my friend for sending me to him. Spent the afternoon relaxing in my nurturing backyard, watching whales spout in the distance. Heaven!

July 16, 2017: Carmel, CA

July 17, 2017: Thanks to Michael’s healing powers, I was able to keep my date with my CASA kids to go rock climbing. Really a lot of fun for all, and a nice afternoon with these two beautiful children. My heart aches for what these two have been exposed to and the unfairness that has so dramatically impacted and disrupted their young lives. And it’s truly amazing to me, and wonderful, how resilient and adaptive kids can be…in many ways they are so much better able to cope with change and adversity than adults. A strange and awkward role for me, but I’m learning every day and grateful to have the opportunity to advocate for them and I hope that I can be helpful. As CASA reminds us, it’s not about us, it’s about the kids, and being able to ease their course and enhance their lives (even in a small way) would be a great gift to me. Also grateful to be feeling better and able to do a little rock-climbing myself, wow is that humbling!

July 17, 2017: Sand City, CA

July 18, 2017: Helped my friend Liz with an art outing that she offers to corporations as a leisure activity when they do conferences out here. About a dozen folks in the insurance business, or with spouses in that industry, visit her magnificent house and gardens for a half a day of infusion into her special blend of art, nature and spirituality. I really enjoyed participating, instructing, guiding the timid, assisting, and immersing myself in her rich environment. Gratitude Liz for taking me in as a friend and mentee, learning so much from you! I felt my edges softening all day. Another healing massage with Michael, this time my color was Brilliance (really not a color, but all about sparkle) and my Guiding Master is Isis, who reminds us to find balance, female power and play and in our lives. A great reminder to me that I’m on my path, and in the path of beauty every minute…just a matter of noticing!

July 18, 2017: Monterey, CA

July 19, 2017: A long day of travel that all went very smoothly. Gratitude to the travel gods and all the people in the industry that enabled me to cross the country so easily to see my beautiful first born! Today included an Uber, the Monterey Airbus, Delta flight from SJC to Minneapolis, wine in the Sky Club, Delta flight from MN to LGA, and another Uber. And even with a short delay on the second flight due to weather, I arrived on time, give or take 15 minutes. Stepping outside at Laguardia, I was hit with a blast of that good old NYC humid air, it’s been awhile since I felt that. Reminiscent of a steam room in Carmel and you don’t have to pay for it ;) Happy to be back in the Big Apple and so happy to see Sam (and Phoenix)!

July 19, 2017: Phoenix, Brooklyn, NY

July 20, 2017: Spent the day with Sam, and a fun and beautiful one it was. Started with a couple hour clean-up of her bedroom. Not the most fun thing to do, but very meditative when you have the time and don’t need to rush it. We made major progress and it is always fun to guide her gently on the path to decluttering and neatness. Then a 5 mile walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan, with a stop at the start for an iced coffee ice-pop. Given the 90+ degree temperature, the popsicle was divine, and feeling grateful for the gentrification going on in Bed Stuy that is improving my daughters neighborhood and giving us artisanal frozen treats around the corner. The walk took us over the Williamsburg bridge and to the Lower East Side. First time in Manhattan in 3 or 4 months, and gratitude to the city of my birth and center of the universe. I love it, am thankful it is taking care of my daughter now, and glad to be visiting. A very enjoyable dinner with Sam and Alison, great company and lively conversation. And then amazing ice cream at Morgenstern’s. Waited in line for nearly half an hour at 11pm for ice cream…and it was worth every minute.

July 20, 2017: Williamsburg Bridge, NY, NY

July 21, 2017: An exceptional dinner at Gramercy Tavern tonight with family. I’m grateful to GT for many things…first for embracing my daughter and recognizing her beauty (inside and out) and many talents (one of which is her generous nature and open embracing of all types of people). And gratitude for making me feel like a queen every time that I come in. They have an extraordinary ability to create rich dining experiences and make it seem so relaxed and effortless. I know that it’s not, and send my gratitude to the many, many people who work so hard to make it seem easy and wonderful to the rest of us. And I am grateful for my family, Lisa, Sam, Jeff, Jackie, Steph and Franz…amazingly we all behaved nicely and had a fabulous, nearly six hour dinner. Way too much wine (+pastis, champagne, and madeira!), copious aounts of delicious food (including homemade pastrami, incredible GF muffins, fluke and grapefruit ceviche, trout, pork belly, cheese, and a lavish array of desserts, and a joy-filled evening. Peace, love, food, wine, family!!

July 21, 2017: Gramercy Tavern, NY, NY

July 22, 2017: A trip down memory lane today as we headed out to Port Washington for a visit. A walk along the water, a quadruple scoop of Ralph’s Italian ices (to share), visits to a few of the old favorite stores on Main Street, sitting by the harbor for awhile and then a glass of wine at Louie’s. Going back to the town where I lived for 20 years, raised my kids and lived parts of each year with my mother, brought up deep feelings of gratitude and nostalgia for all the experiences and memories from those years. Been gone now for over 2 years, and feel very comfortable with my new and reconstructed life, and loved being back in the town that nurtured me, my kids and my mother for so many years. A little sad for the time that’s gone by, a lot sad for the loss of my dear mom, and grateful that the universe launched me without too much difficulty into the next phase of my life. Dinner with my great friends, Vicki and Walter, and so much fun to catch up with them. I’m glad we had the opportunity, especially after I totally whiffed on the day/date for our get together. Oops, and thankful to them for understanding. I really do think that strong friendship can withstand the test of time and distance, and grateful to my girl Vic for her patience, love and support over the years. XO to Vic, PW and all whose lives touched mine over there.

July 22, 2017: Port Washington, NY

July 23, 2017: Spent a lazy, relaxing, and fun Sunday afternoon in Manhattan with my best friend and partner. A rainy start to the day put us in the mood to just amble slowly through the day, with no particular plan in mind. The kind of day that the Big Apple inspires where you walk out the door, turn in a direction, and let a day of interesting sights,encounters and experiences unfold. This particular one included a delicious yogurt pot in Pret a Manger, some shopping that yielded a sweet pair of shoes from Agnes B (very French), wandering through Eataly (very Italian), a stop in the Museum of Sex “gift” shop (very kinky), a walk around both Union Square and Madison Square Park, and a lazy, late-evening night cap in the lovely and homey Library Bar at the NoMad Hotel. Feeling grateful to my old neighborhood for once again opening up it’s bounty and brilliance to me. I was particularly curious to spy a gentleman shining glassware in Eataly. He used a spinning machine, similar to a shoe shine device that I’d never seen before. Glass by glass he dipped each into the polisher and then checked the results before placing back on the shelf. Made think once again about how many people participate in the process of creating enjoyable shopping and dining experiences for the rest of us. Gratitude to each and every one of you who contributed to our beautiful Sunday!

July 23, 2017: Eataly, Manhattan, NY

July 24, 2017: We checked into the NoMad Hotel yesterday for one night. It is now my favorite hotel in NYC. I love nothing more than a great hotel experience, and the NoMad exceeded expectations. The second room was perfect, and they were very quick to accommodate my noise concerns with the first room backing onto the elevators…a non-starter for me in a hotel room. The new room was very quiet and beautifully decorated. Wood floors, gorgeous rugs, extremely comfortable bed and linens, relatively spacious, big, bright windows and excellent coverings to block the light at night, and a very clean, very well appointed bathroom. A rush of gratitude washed over me the minute that I walked into this room, and I was grateful to the front desk for not making me push for the third room (too often the charm). My delight with the NoMad went beyond the room and a great nights sleep. I enjoyed their well equipped gym, a perfect smoothie post workout, accommodating a late check-out, and their beautiful public spaces which were especially perfect on a gray NY day. I spent the entire afternoon sitting in the Library Bar, a gorgeous salon of rich woods, elegant rugs and lush velvet upholstery. It served as my home for the day, a place to write and entertain…with first an old friend, and then my daughter coming to visit me there. Gratitude to the NoMad and great hotels everywhere. I’ll be back!

July 24, 2017: The NoMad Hotel, NY, NY

July 25, 2017: Old friends and new phases were strong themes today. This visit to NYC, I’ve had more of an opportunity than usual to connect with old friends and today that continued. I saw my dentist of 30-something years who I’ve known since we were house-mates in a summer share in the Hamptons and he had just started his practice. Had lunch with an old friend who I met when she was a customer of mine twenty-something years ago. We had lost touch along the way, but would connect every few years, and today spent a very enjoyable two hours catching up on past, present and future. A very dear woman and I wish her all good things for her life, and that we not wait so long till the next time! Another doctor/friend, who has been in my life, and enriching it, for 10+ years. Such a kindred spirit and brave, brilliant woman, and I’m grateful for her care. Last, and surely not least, I met a pair of former work colleagues for cocktails. I’d spent many hours with these two over the years that we worked side by side (literally). You could say we had shared the good, the bad and the ugly, of the work world as well as well as much laughter, many meals, personal ups and downs and life. Much love and gratitude to all of these people who once again touched my day, my life, with their warmth and humanity. As I spent caught up with each of these folks, and shared in brief some of the details of my new life phase and adventures, my gratitude for the joy this phase is bringing to me grew with each retelling. As I looked back on the past few years, retold some of the key events that had seemed random at the time, I realized how much it all made sense and had led me very clearly to where I needed to me. That realization in and of itself is a thing to be very grateful for.

July 25, 2017: Thank you for trying…Fifth Avenue, New York City

July 26, 2017: A gorgeous day in Brooklyn. Started off with a vigorous walk from Bed Stuy to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Today I noticed how nice the neighborhood is becoming, and am grateful to be getting to know the borough that raised my parents and is now nurturing my daughter. The gardens themselves are spectacular, and I’m grateful and honored to be a sponsor and help support and protect its awesomeness. Today, the water lilies are in full bloom and the first thing that I encountered when entering the gardens. I was surprised and delighted to see this Monet like water garden here in Brooklyn, and spent some time soaking in their beauty and the sunshine. Then past lush gardens of flowers and kale, the fragrant roses with busy butterflies and bees buzzing and flitting, and finally to the Osborne Garden with it’s cherished crabapples. Sat for awhile by the tree we have dedicated to mommy and daddy, and reflected on them, their lives, love and how much I miss them. I was touched by the robins and cardinals coming near, the espaliered pear tree nearby, people stopping to share the trees beauty, the abundant crabapples, and the reminder of these two beautiful people who I’d too often taken for granted. Bursting with gratitude and love and grateful for the magnificent day to enjoy. Drinks with an old and dear friend, and another lovely dinner with my beautiful daughter were the cherries on top of a very sweet day.

July 26, 2017: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, NY