Gracious Gratitude — Day 138

The Brooks Canine Kids Ringing in 2018

The clock ticks down the final minutes of 2017 and I find myself musing on the remarkable elasticity of time. Generally speaking if you ask me where I was and what I was doing on a given date in a given year, even recognized holidays, I’d be hard pressed to recall too many of them. Not that they weren’t memorable, just that they pass as so many do, with fanfare that falls away in a moment’s breath when the next occasion arises.

Not so with New Year’s Eve.

My father used to hate going out on New Year’s. Amateur night, he called it. The other day my mom and I were chatting about our respective New Year’s Eve plans and reminiscing about the way in which our family used to celebrate the holiday. For years, she said, she and my father would dash about on New Year’s — one party to the next. I recall being left home with a babysitter, and when I got a bit older having a friend over for a slumber party and watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve (one particular year resonates still — seeing Blondie for the first time and consuming what felt like my body weight in Fig Newtons).

Finally, one year, my father said — enough. We loaded the car, headed down to our family place in Ventnor, NJ and hunkered down for a seafood feast (often firing up the grill and adding a little turf to the surf of the menu). I can still picture the monstrous steamer — hunkered down across two burners on the stove its squat, glossy-black frame no doubt an ominous sight for many a lobster and clam.

This year I paid homage to my father, firing up the grill, having a quiet hang time with a food friend and now closing out the year hammering out this list of gratitude in front of a lingering fire, surrounded by my dogs.

Life is good.

And so the last list of 2017 …

  • Ending a year of great disruption, dismantling and dilution ready to build on a new foundation and move forward
  • That I never fail to get joy from stopping to look at a blooming rose
  • Waking up before sunrise and watching the day unfold
  • Getting back into the gym
  • Having wonderful friends
  • Missing someone and instead of sitting in sadness and feeling loss, turning my thoughts to sending them love and joy and in so doing feeling saturated with it myself
  • peanut butter
  • Hearing the cascading thuds of fireworks exploding over The Strip and being nestled on a comfy sofa, warmed by a fire.
  • Toasting marshmallows over a roaring fire
  • My new UGGs
Sunrise on December 31, 2013 (left); Sunrise on December 31, 2017 (right) — #GraciousGratitude — Day 137
Branches of a family tree — two stunning roses outside my house — #GraciousGratitude