- Writing and submitting my first 250-word assignment for a freelance writing website. (I made $2.50! KaCHing!)
- Knees. Specifically, cypress knees. Which I saw in Tennessee during my first trip ever to Tennessee to see my super awesome sister in law.
- Cardinals singing in the mornings while I was juuuust barely conscious enough to realise that that's what it was I was hearing and feeling my heart leap with happiness at the familiarity of something I haven't heard since college in Iowa.
- My inability to decide if I'm happy or sad that the small groups of young schoolchildren at the Newseum had no personal memory of the events concerning 9/11, Waco, or the Berlin Wall. I felt like, "they should KNOW this"... and it was just another three dimensional history book lesson to them. Not unlike, I can only assume, how my own elders must have felt about my own reactions to words like "Vietnam", "Kennedy", "John Lennon" and "Lindbergh". Or how their elders felt about any of the things from Pearl Harbor to the Gold Rush to the New World and beyond.
- Colors that lingered and hovered and foisted themselves upon me through a dizzying Virginia autumn. Branches are largely bare now - but the leaves still linger in glittery little piles and flocks that chase the wind around the neighborhood.
- The pecan pie my sister in law made with a much higher nut-to-goo ratio that made it so perfectly sweet and crunchy and hearty without all the cloying pudding-y stuff that poisons my breath for days... the Pie my sister in law made, oh boy, THAT was a damned fine pie.
- Driving west for a long holiday weekend through Virginia and Tennessee and staring at the hillsides covered completely by scrubby looking whiskers of leaf-less trees. The tallest mounds in the distance all had the thin layer of stubble. Not a one went nobly bald at the top and not a one boasted a shimmer of snow. How strange...
- Helplessly observing as my hair went from shoulder length to ear-length in the humidity of Jackson Tennessee. The curls were solid, bouncy, round and resisted all attempts (short of a 2 hour bout of ironing which I had no patience for) at training. My helmet hair did what it wanted. I let it. It was super cute... and it's still cute now. I'm just glad to have a little more length back again.
- Finally, the mournful scolding of my sweet kittycat who went without us for four interminable days. We burst in through the door and she was clearly sound asleep someplace deep in the recesses of the apartment, because it took her a good 40 seconds to notice us. At that 41st second, though, the piteous yowls came burbling towards us and she charged/trotted around the corner with her tail in the air and after hugs and cuddles and a long nap on the couch, she forgave us completely. It's cute when a cat is telling you something as she's hurrying your way, you know? Every footstep jostles her voice just a little and it's so easy to use that lilting texture to insinuate a great deal more poetry to the message than could possibly be there.
The trip was grand, the holiday was perfect, the weather was spectacular and I have the bestest ever family a girl could hope for. We played games, we laughed we tickled and we danced. We took a long walk together, we had delicious leftovers together, we cuddled the kitties and stared at the birds together. It was an awesome Thanksgiving.
To say that I am grateful for this past few days of this November would be an understatement. To say that I am swallowed up with relief at knowing how much goodness there is in my family would be to say that the sunlight feels, you know, kinda' warm.
Thanks, family and world and universe, for giving me these days. You're the best.