Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Gratitude

For small town parades, more people walking than cheering on the sidelines, it seemed. A mile or so of brick street that we covered in what felt like moments, although our Brownie troop had time for at least half a dozen "This Land is Your Lands," several "Brownie Smiles" and a couple "The Other Day I Saw A Bears."

For the restorative powers of the Chicago Botanical Garden on a mild and sunny November afternoon with haze softening the horizon. Mia and Nora searched for prairie grasses and late season berries to fill our Nature Bingo cards, but urns and strangely, squirrels escaped our eyes until the way home when I took a quick detour off Green Bay Road to show Randy the Ravine Bluffs development. A cluster of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, a bridge designed by the master and decorated with one of his signature URNS! With a squirrel on top!

I am so grateful for my big brother Ron whose fifty-third birthday is tomorrow. Dear Brother, I'm sorry I couldn't get you that oil-rich cattle ranch you wanted, but perhaps we can come see you this Christmas season and bring you a little something-something to make up for it.

For director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner (working from the source material of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln) who have made the most inspiring and moving film I saw this year. A familiar figure seen anew and his world so fully realized that you understand his adoration by his contemporaries and you loathe to leave him at the end. Steven, why not reemploy your talented band of actors and your costume "agers," as the credits called them, and make us a few more hours of company with the gentle-smiling and parable-telling man?

I am grateful for the sight and sound of two little girls jiving to Harry Belafonte's "Day-O" first thing in the morning.

For recipes for Squash with Chili Lime Vinaigrette and Pineapple Cranberry Salsa to liven our Thursday table.

For playdates that entertain my children while I plan the menu and maybe, maybe, hopefully, stretch their good socializing skills.

For the sweet anticipation of Volo Bog and the little patches of prairie and oak savanna at the Grant Wood Forest Preserve in Ingleside where we'll hike after the gluttony.

I am grateful for The Mindy Project because it's really funny. 

And I am grateful for each invisible circle of inhale and exhale that fuels my days and soothes my nights. When I stop to notice them, I remember each is a perfect moment that I am happy to have.

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