Thank Yous, Regrets, Ramblings

I spent the week before Christmas crying over the death of our dog Millie. She was sixteen and had a number of health problems. I knew she would pass at some point, but it still hit me hard. When I feel great loss and / or depression is when I work on my gratitude. Oh, I still grieve …and I am tearing up as I write this, but I am counting my blessings at the same time.

Millie, thank you for letting me be part of your life. Thank you looking for me in the house when you awoke from your naps. Thank you for going on walks with us and letting us see you enjoy life. As a youngster running loop de loop patterns in the backyard. Rolling in the grass. I am left with many memories of your happiness.

There were other deaths. Another old dog passed a few months before. He was our little proud man Dash who enjoyed barking at the t.v. (usually at animals or cops on Live P.D., but once at Lady Gaga).

My cousin Steve lost his long struggle with cancer in October. I am sorry we both let years pass without contact. I am grateful for your later attempts to keep us 15 first cousins in touch with each other.

My gratitude to loved ones near and far….A goal for 2023 is to let people in my life know how much they mean to me.

I am thankful for the flamboyant…

Poinsettias at Target

And The Subtle…

Native Green Poinsettia In My Backyard

I am thankful for a cat in my lap while I watch t.v.

Thank you to the cold…

A cold weather snap in Central Texas forced our family gift exchange into a more traditional holiday home visit instead of the usual covid protocol parking lot gift exchange of the past few years. Masks were worn and we had the best visit in a long time.

And the cold weather kept another family member from bringing our presents until after Christmas, giving us a wonderful post holiday visit.

Thank you to the mighty

And the meek

Green Anole in Backyard

Thank you to books and of course, authors

Thank you to my writing group members for the laughter and love and for sharing your expressive gifts

Thank you to my sister and fellow bloggers out there. I love the support you give me and I love that you are sharing creative selves and your interesting lives.

Thank you to C. R. X. for your independent spirit and your smiles.

Thank you to D. Mc. for putting up with me and loving me despite my eccentricities.

Thank you A. B. for being my long haul and long distance friend.

Thank you to a.m. radio for playing the oldies with good beats and with lyrics I can sing along to…”I love rock and roll…put another dime in the juke box baby!”

I am thankful to the longer days and the songs of birds.

Estoy tan agradecida!

(I am so grateful! from my Spanish phrase a day calendar for Dec. 29th)

(All photos taken by the author in December of 2022)

Natural Associations

I have written about certain plants that reminded me of family members (purple spiderworts for my Mom and madrone trees for my Dad). Deciding to follow this line of thought, I made a list of family members and friends. Next to each name I wrote the name of a bird or birds that I most associated with them. For example: Daddy- vultures, ducks, pigeons. My Dad got a kick out of telling a story about a neighborhood boy who lay out on a driveway, motionless, trying to attract vultures. And, when my daughter was young, my dad would enjoy going to Zilker Park with us to feed the ducks and pigeons.

My Dad Feeding The Pigeons

Next to the name of a very dear friend I wrote crows, because of her many recent crow encounters. I also wrote cartoon birds because she draws whimsical birds.

Whimsical Birds Courtesy Of A. B.

My next list was mammals and quite a few people had dog or cat next to their names. Some were more specific, such as hunting dogs for my Grandfather Johnnie and chihuahuas for my Great Grandmother Tee.

Great Grandmother Tee with Palsry, Neva, and Big Shot (1934)

I started a new list, Reptiles and Amphibians. I have not completed that one yet. And I started a list of categories: plants, trees, flowers, insects, fish, rocks, fossils, geographic features, and constellations. I tend to enjoy associations with the natural world. But, the possibilities are endless. It might be fun to see what kind of music or books or cars or art you associate with friends and family. This could be a fun icebreaker at a get together. Or ask people what animal they associate with themselves. It may be very different from what others associate with them.

Have fun with this!