Archive for December, 2010

Daily Gratitude: Christmas

Sadie & Tree

I’m thankful for family, friends, pets & many blessings this Christmas.

This is Sadie, mom’s dog-child and my four-legged black sister, in front of our traveling Christmas tree.

Yes, the tree is an idiosyncratic choice: Mom and Dad bought an aluminum tree when I was a baby for Christmases away from home, at cabins and at the beach. We lost track of it sometimes in my young adulthood, but mom replaced it with one from an antique store for nostalgia’s sake.

I wish you all a fabulous holiday season as well, filled with as many blessings and as much love as possible.

Posted on Saturday, December 25th, 2010 by Jeri
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Daily Gratitude: Beach House

Today we braved the traffic, which was surprisingly decent, and headed for a rental house on the Washington coast for Christmas. We’re renting a big ol’ house in a little planned community called Seabrook, north of Ocean Shores. It’s lovely here off-season, when it’s not pouring rain, which it is now.

We did this last year, too, in my efforts to find new traditions for Christmas after losing Bryan, and loved the area and the house. It’s big and comfortable, with 3 bedrooms, a media room, a great room with big table and fireplace, and a private hot tub in the backyard. The whole community is right across the highway from a bluff overlooking the beach, where the “Deathly Stairs of Death”, as Zach named them, take us right down to the surf.

My whole family will gather here, over the course of a few days, and it’s great to just be away, with no agenda but relaxing and enjoying the holiday and each other’s company.

I’m grateful for new traditions, and the means and opportunity to rent and enjoy a beach house offseason with my family. Merry Christmas to everyone, and a joyful new year.

Posted on Friday, December 24th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude | 1 Comment »

Daily Gratitude: Teen Boy Squad

I’m very thankful to have the teen boy squad in my life – they add energy & laughter & creativity.

The teen boy squad started out as Ben and Zach, back when Ben was still a teen. It has expanded to include their awesome entourage of friends (my adopted extra sons) to include, variously, Nat, Mitchell, Toryn, Travis. Plus, Ashley likes them, keeps them humble & laughs with them. The adoption is mutual – I get hugs and courtesy and help from them as well.

These excellent, brilliant, geeky young men were a fixture around my Poulsbo house. LAN parties, D&D all night, Halo marathons… many Saturday mornings, I’ve come downstairs and found various large teen bodies draped and sleeping on available surfaces. (I feed them and listen to them, which probably keeps them coming back.) Most of them have taken a non-drinking vow. Most of them treat their girlfriends very well. Most have gone on to college or full time jobs but they stay in close touch. They’re *great* kids.

Tonight many of them came to see TRON 3D with us, and it was a really excellent reunion for Zach and for me. I’m grateful to have them in my life; I learn from them and enjoy their company.
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Note: Where did we get the name? Web comic Homestar Runner has a series called “Teen Girl Squad”, super funny, and the name just morphed from that to “Teen Boy Squad”. The above image is from Homestar Runner’s partner ‘toon, “4 Gregs”.

Posted on Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 by Jeri
Under: friends, gratitude | Comments Off

Daily Gratitude: More Sunlight

Pike Place Sunset

Today is the first day after winter solstice, and is 2 seconds longer than yesterday. I’m glad it’s getting brighter, if imperceptibly at this point!

Even though winter is a bit tough on me, with 3 months of gloom and rain, I’m still grateful for the changing seasons that punctuate our lives.

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 by Jeri
Under: gratitude, weather | 1 Comment »

Daily Gratitude: Love

I’m thankful for love in my life – for the ability to care deeply for others, and be cared for in return. It makes everything worthwhile.

The Greek had several words for love, while our limited English just has the one, and theirs are more descriptive:

  • eros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.

  • storge is natural affection, such as the love of a parent toward a child.
  • philia is a dispassionate virtuous love of friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity.
  • agape is a general affection or deeper sense of unconditional “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros”

I love my amazing family and friends dearly, and hope that my heart never becomes scarred and afraid to care, afraid to hope, afraid to love unconditionally.

I’m grateful for love.

Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 by Jeri
Under: family, friends, gratitude | Comments Off