I wrote on Instagram that in my next life I'm coming back as a Jack O'Lantern mushroom (and then, after that, I might try my hand at being an actual Jack O'Lantern, if I can arrange it). I have hour long lunches at my new job, of which I have mixed feelings. I'd much rather come into work an hour later or leave an hour earlier, to spend just one extra hour a day with my son who is growing up at an alarming rate, than have an hour for lunch. But, I make the best of it. I go on walks, across the parking lot and to the right, where I've stumbled upon a Greenway nestled among apartment buildings and town homes, circling a man-made, muddy brown pond. When you first step off onto the Greenway, the trees canopy a momentarily brick pathway, and everything is sun dappled. The air smells of wildflowers and rotting leaves. There is a wooden bridge, over which I love to hear my steps, particularly in heeled boots. For that hour, name tag and air conditioning and muzak abandoned, I am transported so much further away than my brief walk suggests.
I Am Grateful:
- for raw apple cider vinegar and its multitude of uses.
- for the smell of dirt and plants when they're watered.
- for Brian, our sometimes server at the farmer's market restaurant, who always stops to say hello to Mads on our visits.
- for the sounds Lunchbox makes padding and tapping around the house, snuffling, groaning his contentment, barking his excitement.
- for the butcher at Kroger who takes one of the lobsters out of its tank just for Martigan to look at, and who says such kind things about our son, about children in general, and who shared some of his history with us.
- for the two grizzled men in work vests who send a wandering Mads back to me at the grocery store, telling him, "You better listen to your mama."
- for headache medicine (that works).
- to have someone to call when I have a flat tire.
- whenever my baby giraffe of a niece gets up from a fall so bravely, so tough, without a single tear shed.
- for days spent with Grandma, and for the way we catch each other's eye whenever the kids say or do something particularly funny, and the way we burst into laughter together
- when Mads leaps into my arms and then, moments later, leaps into his dad's arms.
- for Sam Raimi.
- for conversation with women.
- for the smooches Mads and Ella give me as I settle them down in bed.
- to watch movies that scared me as a child and realize they're not frightening at all but silly and fun.
- for big earrings that sway when I bob my head to music.
- for Esther Perel.
- for the smell of fresh-shucked corn and the feel of corn silk.
- for an internet connection at work.
|My menfolk, laying down on the side of the Tobacco Trail to take pictures of fungus.|