Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What type of flower.......

Awhile ago I was walking with my sister and she talked about the walk being good for bonding.  I joked that we had been bonding ever since she was born and then I asked her a somewhat silly question.  If you were a flower, what flower would you be?  Now, this is not typically the type of question I ask, so after we both laughed, we gave quick answers.
As it is spring, I chose one of my favourite spring flowers - lily of the valley.  And then I had to come up with reasons.  These may be a bit of a stretch, but here they are, with some more added after a little more thought.  It survives the cold hard winters and comes up beautiful and strong in the spring.  It is behind the scenes, hiding behind the large green leaves, and doesn't strive for attention.  It thrives in the shade, not seeking out the heat.  While it is small, its scent is strong and delightful, reaching beyond its small blossoms.  I don't like heat.  I don't like attention.  I believe that I am strong and I know that I am loved (as I love the lily of the valley).  I believe that my work reaches beyond my classroom and the other activities I do, adding pleasure to those around me.  I'm not exactly small and delicate, but I believe I am doing the work God gave me to do, just as the lily of the valley does.

My sister chose gerbera daisies.  I can't give her the benefit of further explanation, but her initial comments were that they are elegant and yet not expensive.  They come in a variety of colours and make beautiful bouquets.
A could of days later, I was driving (well, being a passenger) with a friend coming back from Edmonton.  She was tiring of the driving and craving some distraction.  So I asked her the same silly question.  What type of flower would you be?  If I remember correctly, she said that she would be an orchid.  Rare and elegant.  Beautiful choice.  If I remember correctly, her brother-in-law in the back seat didn't make a choice.
What would you say?  If you were a flower, what flower would you be?

Monday, May 30, 2011

For today.....

For today,
I am praying for several of my neighbours who are struggling in different ways.  And I am praying for wisdom and peace as I make a decision about going back to work to finish the school year. 

Around the house are piles of books to read, piles of movies to watch, piles of fabric to sew.

One of my favourite things is pesto - and I enjoyed some tonight.  Yum!

What I know for sure is that it feels good to bring order to even a little part of my house.  Just a little part.  But it feels good.

 Outside my window the sun was shining today and there was blue sky.  After last week, I couldn't get enough of it - and felt incredibly grateful for the gift.

I am thankful that I was able to join my family in celebrating my grandma's 95th birthday.  We had a delightful time together on Saturday. 

From the kitchen comes the aroma of pesto pizza.  I cooked my own supper for the first time in months.  Yes, it was an easy supper.  But, boy, was it tasty!

 I am wearing capris. a T-shirt, and a fleece jacket (because even though it is the end of May, it is still quite unseasonably chilly and I'm tired of having the furnace going).

 I am reading three different books:  1) a devotional on the Psalms, 2) a book by Phil Callaway, and 3) Irma Voth by Miriam Toews.

I am going to buy bedding plants tomorrow - and I am so excited about that.  Hopefully I can maintain a sense of reality and restrain my buying.

And my list of 1000 gifts continues -
141) beautiful little birds with red heads sitting in the tree
142) intermittent windshield wipers
143) sunshine after rain
144) the delightful aroma of spring on a warm evening
145) walking with my sister
146) trees full of purple and pink blossoms
147) watching a dog and a child run with delight through the grass (yes, even a non-doglover can find pleasure in that)
148) appreciating the artistic expressions of others
149) enjoying Emily Carr's artwork with 2 of my sisters
150) celebrating my grandmother's 95th birthday

Friday, May 27, 2011

Moments in the Dance

Our lives are defined by moments, especially the ones we never see coming.

"Life is one big moment made up of many tiny moments, and those tiny moments truly do matter most.  Even just the expression on your face may speak to the souls of those who are watching you dance.  Your smile and the light in your eyes may be enough for them to take notice."  Shannon Kubiak Primicerio in The Divine Dance  (p. 42)

Quite some time ago I was driving home from work and heard a song on the radio (love my CBC!).  It was a song by Carolyn Arends - Dance Like No One's Watching.  (It was the beginning of one of my musical addictions.  I love her music and my CD collection demonstrates that.  Oh well, there are worse addictions, I suppose.)  That song spoke to my heart.  I want to dance like no one's watching.  I am a very self-conscious and reluctant dancer (except to dances with "rules") so I envy the freedom others seem to have.  But this song speaks to so much more than dancing.  It speaks to living.  I want to live for the One who really matters, the One who is leading the dance.  I believe I am getting better at this, at being the person God created me to be and dancing the dance He has set before me. 

As a part of this dance, I continue my list of gifts - of the tiny moments that are part of the main moment, of the dance of life.

131) the promise held in wild strawberry blossoms
132) breakfast with a dear friend
133) answers to prayer
134) budding and blossoming irises

135) the delightful aroma of freesias
136) the memories the sweet aroma of freesias evokes - memories of a year lived in Sydney, Australia

137) yet another surprise delivery of flowers
138) the love carried by that gift (thanks M and K)
139) praying with and for friends
140) the sheer delight of crawling into a bed that has been freshly made with clean sheets (I know, it's been said before, but the delight never gets old!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Roses blooming outside my window today

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our window today.              Dale Carnegie
I know that this can be very true for me.  So, my list of 1000 gifts continues today as examples of some of the roses blooming outside my window.
120) sunlight streaming in the window and lighting up my flowers

 121) enjoying Greek food with great friends
122) scrumptious (and that doesn't even begin to describe it) pita bread and dips at Pegasus
123) Saturday morning sewing with great friends.

 124) laughing with friends
125) crackers and cheese
126) the life-giving smell of a warmish spring night
127) red-winged blackbirds flying over the reeds
128) frogs croaking
129) enough breeze to keep mosquitoes away
130) celebrating communion with my church family

Friday, May 20, 2011

1000 Gifts

And the list goes on.....
90) free concerts
91) birthdays
92) bouquets of flowers delivered to the door
93) tables full of bedding plants in the greenhouses
94) water bottles
95) grandmothers
96) great news from the doctor
97) vanilla
98) cinnamon
99) curried chicken quinoa salad (Thanks, S.B.)
100) toasted almonds
101) exploring somewhere new
102) gerbera daisies
103) fresh basil
104) working together with other people
105) surprise visitors
106) toothpaste and toothbrushes
107) loved ones rejoicing over my good news - "Hallelujah" says my dad.
108) surprise gift of a pedicure
109) the warm feeling caused by catching a glimpse of these toes
110) the satisfaction of finishing a book
111) the eagerness and anticipation of beginning a new book
112) cards made by small children
113) a small child inviting me to play with her
114) reading glasses
115) friends doing for me what I am currently unable to do for myself
116) thanking others
117) finishing the dishes
118) the sweet feeling of resting my weary head upon a soft pillow
119) anticipating the joy of creating things with fabric

Thursday, May 19, 2011


…hope is a fundamental part of the human condition, a characteristic inherent in our species.  …..I have come to think that hope may be the missing and defining element of our natures.  Because we have the ability to contemplate the future and compare it to the images our imaginations conjure, and because of our stubborn un-uprootable expectation that the machinery will continue to function, we have hope.  Anne Giardini in The Sad Truth About Happiness  (p. 62)
Hope.  Such a powerful word.  Such an important word.  While I like the quote above, it is missing something very important.  The real reason we can have hope.  And that is that we are NOT alone.  God is with us in all circumstances.  Not only that, but God is the giver of hope, the author of hope, the reason we can feel hopeful.
Hope.  My Facebook profile picture is a picture of a pillow (much like the one above, but in a different colour scheme).  It reads "Hope."  I am so incredibly grateful that God gave me a spirit of hope as I walked the detour of this spring.  My hope (yes, I use that word deliberately) is that I continue to walk through life, experiencing and demonstrating hope.

Hope.  Such a little word.  But it certainly packs a huge punch!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Priceless Gifts

Some gifts are carefully thought out.  Some gifts seem to fit exactly who you are.  Some gifts seem to be more for the giver than the receiver.  Some gifts are meant to be re-gifted (but very carefully lest offence be given).  And then there are gifts that just can't be quantified.  This last type of gift is the type that I received recently as I celebrated my birthday.

One of those gifts was time with family.  I was able to celebrate both my birthday and that of one of my sisters (3 days apart) with much of my family.  What a gift.  I don't get to do that very often.  (Too bad our brother, whose birthday is the day after mine, was out of town or it could have been a three for one!)  While I didn't see my brother or one of my sisters, I did talk with both of them and felt their love.  Time with family is truly a blessing.  I was even able to celebrate with my 95 year old grandmother.  Truly a blessing beyond words.

One special surprise was coming back from a small outing and finding two bouquets of flowers outside my parents' house - one for me and one for my sister.  (The one in the picture is mine.)  These were sent by a sister and brother-in-law.  I am truly blessed.

When I returned to my home, my yard was ready for spring.  The spring clean-up had been done by several of my colleagues and members of their families (a total of 6 people, including a former student of mine).  Oh, what a gift that was - and is!  Every day when I see my yard, I am warmed to the depth of my heart.  God has richly blessed me and surrounded me with such a gracious and giving community. 

I share a birthday with a colleague.  Every year we are assigned birthday buddies, people we get to bless and celebrate on their birthdays.  The two of us were assigned to each other, a fact that delighted us all year.  Even though I haven't been at work, we still were able to celebrate together.  (Truth be told, she blessed and celebrated me more than I was able to for her - but that time will come.)  We went for coffee (well, tea for me) and she treated both of us to pedicures.  Now, normally I don't get pedicures.  Not for any special reason, really, just that I don't bother.  And I even chose a colour which, for me, is very bright.  And I like it.  It was delightful to be pampered and to spend time with her.

The best gift, though, is something that can't be bought.  I had an appointment with my doctor and was given the best news ever!  The cancer I had removed was completely contained.  There is no need for any further treatment other than annual checkups for a couple of years.  I am so grateful to God for this result.  I know that, with God's help, I could have climbed the mountain of chemo if necessary.  But how incredibly wonderful that I don't have to.  I have been forever changed.  Not a change I would have asked for.  But a good change.  And now I can move on to the next stage in my journey.  Truly a gift without measure.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For today....

For today:
   - I am thankful for the visits I had yesterday and for the love that was shown in those visits.  I am so incredibly thankful for my community and my support!
   - I am wearing black capri yoga pants and a purple T-shirt.  Yup, yoga pants are my uniform right now.  But it would be nice to find some that aren't black as I believe spring is really here and black is sure hot in the sunshine!  (And, yes, this is what I wore yesterday, too.  Except that I dressed up a bit for my one short excursion of the day.)
   - I am going for lunch with my cousin and her adorable 6 year old.  (How did he get to be 6?)  I am so looking forward to really visiting with her.  It's been quite the month for both of us.  And, since neither of us can cook or do much right now, going out seems like a great plan.
   - I am hearing the silence in my house.  In the past I almost always had the radio on when I was home.  This last month (and more) it has been quiet in my house most of the time.  I have started to put music on more often, but still not the radio.  I'm not sure why CBC hasn't been part of my days lately.  Maybe what's happening outside my house just doesn't seem as important to me.  That will change.  And maybe silence and peace is more what I need right now.
   - In the kitchen nothing is happening.  Well, except for boiling water in the kettle, heating food in the microwave, searching the freezer to see what gift of food I want to eat today (thanks, wonderful community!), and the occasional washing of dishes.  
   - One of my favourite things is playing with fabric.  And I have done a little of that these last couple of days.  I have found a new infatuation with making bags.  I made 4 in the last 4 days, finishing them up this morning.  (There have to be some benefits of waking up early - although 6:00 is a definite improvement in that regard.) Yesterday, I used the first bag I made and got lots of compliments on it.  So much fun!
These are the same two bags.  They're just reversible.  (Sorry for the shadows.  I'm not feeling patient enough to wait until the sun is a little higher.  Besides, that's when I want to sit outside and read.) 

Again, these bags are the same two bags.  And, while the orangish one looks like the first one I made, I like it better because I figured out how to do stripes more effectively.  And the green one has one of the same fabrics as one above.  I actually really love them all and I am having a difficult time choosing which two to keep for myself.  Do I really even need two?  Yup, right now I think I do.

   - One thing I know for sure is that I am loved.  Loved by God who has given me so much peace and joy in this detour in the journey.  Loved by family who have been there every step of the way.  Every one.  Loved by friends who have shown me so much incredible love and compassion.  Loved by students and colleagues (see above). 
   - I am praying that I don't develop Spiritual Alzheimers.  (Thanks, Ann Voskamp for that term.)  I don't want to forget all that I have been reminded of and all that I have learned along this detour.

Monday, May 9, 2011

1000 gifts

“Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we sense them.  The least we can do is try to be there.”   Annie Dillard

My quest to be there marches on as I seek to sense the beauty and grace God blesses us with daily.
The list of 1000 gifts continues.
74) "play-dates" with friends
75) playing with fabric
76) trying something new - a new pattern
77) using something I thought was a mistake and turning it into something beautiful

78) raindrops clinging to pine needles
79) the gentle rippling sound of a river running by
80) being inside the house and listening to distant thunder rolling through the sky
81) finishing a project (see picture above)
82) creating!  (again - see picture above)
83) hugs (Yes, I know this has already been on the list.  But, really, do they ever get old?)
84) spring rain that brings out the worms
85) grape hyacinths blooming
86) white chocolate
87) peanut butter and honey on toast
88) sunshine after the rain
89) electricians

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happiness and Contentment

"Happiness has many aspects and comes in more guises than we may readily recognize.  Contentment is a purring, low-maintenance kind of happiness; it is happiness without the energy to aspire to joy.  Glee is hopped-up happiness, happiness on a tear.  Nostalgia is the craft of discerning happiness in the past, just as hope is all wrapped up in happinesses that are anticipated in the future."                                                            Anne Giardini on p. 12 in the P.S. section of her book The Sad Truth About Happiness
Today has been a day of contentment, of purring.  It's been a quiet day.  I went to church where I learned, worshipped, and received love.  I will admit that I have often skipped church on Mother's Day as it's been kind of hard.  It hasn't helped when all the mothers and wives were asked to stand up - and I don't fit either.  I love my life and feel blessed, but it doesn't feel good to have the fact that I'm not a wife or a mother spelled out loud and clear for me.  But today wasn't like that.  It was good to be in church, worshipping God with my church family.  I'm glad I listened to that inner voice compelling me to go. 
So what has made this a day of contentment - besides church.  I wished my mother a Happy Mother's Day - in 3 ways (through Facebook - which I thought she would never see as she never checks her facebook, through e-mail, and by phone).  I sat and listened to Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe (one of my favourite Sunday afternoon activities).  I sat in my favourite chair and read.  Delightful and relaxing.  I finished a sewing project that I had started on Friday.  And now I want to make more of these!  (Guess what my mom will get for Mother's Day.  Yes, it will be late, but who cares.  That's the way my family operates most of the time.)  I played with some designs for invitations I was asked to design.  That was fun.  I was about to head for my daily walk (all 10 - 15 minutes of it these days), but it's raining now, so I'll have to wait.  My contentment helps make that not matter at all.   It's been a great day. 
These two pictures are the same bag.  It's reversible.  I made it with a pattern and instructions from the Spring 2011 issue of Quilts and More.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Tonight, I'm -
     - hoping that I sleep longer in the morning.  This waking up at 4 or 5 and staying awake is for the birds.  (And yes, the birds are up and singing at that time.)
   - remembering the wonderful morning I had with Kathryn this morning.  We drove (well, Kathryn did) to Bragg Creek and went for a short (well, long for me right now - 20 minutes) stroll in the provincial park before heading to a coffee shop for a visit.  (And I'm praying for the motorcyclist who got hit just moments before we got to the scene of the accident!  So glad we didn't actually see it happen.)
   - enjoying the anticipation for going to bed with clean sheets.  Love that feeling!
   - appreciating my friends and family and their incredible love.  And appreciating the soup from Terri, and the pork and vegetables from Leanne that I had for meals today.  I am truly blessed!
   - planning on finishing a bag I started sewing. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

1000 Gifts

The Banner (a monthly church magazine) arrived at my door today.  In it was an article called "Return to Wonder" by Simon Cunningham.  Of course, it was one of the first parts I read in the magazine. 

"The world is steeped in unknown and thick with miracles.......Remember Annie Dillard's realization that nothing shines brighter than what it reflects.  All this beauty is the canvas of an even more beautiful God."

And so my list of 1000 gifts continues, pieces of the canvas to show the most beautiful God.

53) being able to drive again
54) raspberries
55) eating lunch in the sunshine
56) bright yellow daffodils
57) mail delivered to my door
58) home delivery of newspapers
59) libraries
60) indoor plumbing
61) tulips

62) the promise closed flower buds hold

63) stories that make me laugh
64) laughing
65) a cousin released from the hospital
66) watching a daughter eagerly greet her mother by climbing into the van to hug her before her mother can even get out of the van
67) pink sky in the morning
68) Contigo water bottles
69) fleece blankets
70) sunlight catching the edges of tulip bulbs
71) spring rain
72) watching a child do cartwheels and walkovers on her front lawn
73) crawling into a bed with clean sheets - delightful!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

For today:

I saw this format for blog posts awhile back (don't remember where) and thought I'd try it sometime.  Today's the day for the first try.

For today:
- Outside my window the skies have varied from light gray to dark gray to blue sky with the sun going down.  It is amazing how much the skies can change during the day.
- I am thinking about how blessed I am and how wonderful it was to have a guest for lunch - especially one who brought lunch with her!  Thanks, Ruth.
- I am thankful that I am gaining strength and was actually able to walk for 10 minutes.  (Although I will admit to being pretty tired when I was done.)  I am also thankful that I am able to do some short driving trips now!
- I am wearing capri yoga pants and a turquoise T-shirt.  Yes, I said capris.  It wasn't terribly warm today, but I'm pressing for spring to show itself in all its glory.  And - I will admit to the fact that I'm actually enjoying yoga pants.  Never thought I would buy them.  But, like many things in life, once you try new things you can be surprised how good they actually are.
- I am reading up on menopause and trying to figure out some ways to get control of (translation - get rid of) lovely hot flashes that wake me up in the night.  Last night was better.  Hopefully tonight continues the trend.
- I am hearing birds singing in the trees.
- I am praying for relatives of friends of mine. 
- I am rejoicing that my cousin was released from the hospital.
- Around the house, nothing is getting done.  And - I am totally okay with that.  It's really kind of freeing to not feel any compulsion to get things done.
- One of my favourite things is creating cards.  Today I played with some of my photographs to come up with some ideas for invitations for Middle School Graduation.  I hadn't been doing much of that and it felt good.  (Although it also felt good to get away from behind the computer and rest my healing muscles after an hour.)

It has been a good day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Powerful Prayer

I found another book that is making me think.  Yes, another one.  That stack of books to read is not getting any smaller.  Neither is the list of books on hold at the library getting any shorter.  Good thing I have lots of time to read now. 

On Monday I picked up The Camino Letters by Julie Kirkpatrick.  (I'd had it on hold for awhile.)  The author embarked on a 26 day hiking trip (yikes!) and asked 26 friends to give her a task she could do while she was walking - a different task for each day.  At the end of each day, she writes a letter to the one who assigned the task, telling about her day and the task. 

In one of the letters assigning Julie a task, a friend wrote a prayer that he has used.  (p. 59)
Creator, create in me.
Spirit, inspire me.
Incarnation, be embodied in me.
 Pretty simple in terms of words, but, wow, how incredibly powerful in terms of impact and meaning.  It's been swimming around in my head since I read it.  It is my prayer to make this prayer a part of my life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1000 Gifts

"One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations."  Saint John of Avila quoted on p. 79 in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

And so I continue my quest to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to see the many gifts God has placed in my life.

More on my journey to 1000 gifts:
33) the smell of fresh mint
34) the taste of fresh mint
35) a caring hand rubbing my neck
36) group hugs from children
37) waking up after a nap
38) friends offering specific help
39) going back to sleep after waking up too early (truly a gift!)
40) clean water from the tap
41) sunrise every morning
42) reading on the couch and basking in the morning sun
43) living in a country where we are free to vote
44) being asked to help others
45) the inspiration of words
46) crisp gala apples
47) coconut and red curry chicken bisque
48) Rye Triscuits
49) simple lunches
50) phones so I can talk to a cousin in the hospital
51) electric kettles
52) the music of Steve Bell

Monday, May 2, 2011

Becoming the Love of God

" .. I see how it is our very presence in each other's lives that makes us the gift.  It is by the very function of our being, not our doing, that we are the beloved of God.  And so we become the love of God, blessing those He loves."    Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts   (p. 199)
I know for myself that when someone I care about is hurting, I just want to do something, to fix it, to make it better.  I also know that I'm not alone in this.  (I saw it in action yesterday when I watched a father almost become unglued as he sought to make the day better for his daughter and his grandchildren.  His love for them was visible!) 

This is not to say that we shouldn't do anything to help those around us.  In fact, just the opposite.  If there is something we can do, we should do it.  I remember vividly a conversation with a principal (years ago!!!!) when I was frustrated and needed help.  He told me he would pray for me.  Not what I needed at that point.  Not that prayer is not a good thing or an action of love, but I believe that God also calls us to work together and use the gifts and resources He has given to us.

But this quote from Ann Voskamp reminds me that it is not what we do that is important, but that we participate in the lives of others.  I know I can hold back because I don't want to do or say the wrong thing.  But by not doing or saying anything, we cannot become the love of God and bless others.  And that does not honour God or build community.

This past winter (yes, I think it is over!) I had a conversation with my brother.  I had just finished reading a book which was a mother's story about a journey her family had taken, a journey my brother and his family have been on for a number of years.  As I read the book, I realized that I might have said or done things that were not helpful, in fact probably hurtful.  When I talked with my brother about this, apologizing for hurt I may have caused, he was very gracious.  "I don't remember you doing that, but if you did, I know you were speaking out of love for us and that's what counts."  (loosely paraphrased, of course).  He reminded me that the love of God can come through the cracks in our brokenness.  It can shine despite us.  What a gift that is.
My challenge is this - to allow others to become the love of God in my life (letting my independence go a little bit, or a lot depending on the day) and to also become the love of God in the lives of those God has placed in my life.  (And, yes, I will also involve myself in the action of prayer for others.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Heartwarming (and bodywarming) Gift

I am so blessed.  Here is a picture of another quilt I was given.  Thanks so much, Mark, Debbie, Lucas, Maria, Abby, and Emma!   My heart is full every time I look at it - and every time I think of you and your love.

Even in the Small

"The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.  When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows.  How can this not be the best thing for the world?  For us?  The clouds open when we mouth thanks."      Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts  (p. 58)

I know how much better I feel and how much better everything seems when I can see the positive and see what there is that is good.  That doesn't mean I want to close my eyes to what is not good and what needs to be changed.    It doesn't mean being blind to the difficulties and the struggles or refusing to acknowledge that they are there.  Not at all.  It just means that I want to keep my eyes fixed on what is good, on what is God.  Not only is that what I want, but I believe it is what God wants of me, of us.

And so I begin my list of one thousand gifts, of seeing God in the large and small, of opening the soil of my life to the rain of grace.

Thanks, God for:
1) the first sip of chai tea in the morning, and the feeling of aaaaaaah
2) the sun on my face as I sit on my front step (despite the coolness of the air - or maybe because of it)
3) the blanket of hugs warming my knees as I sat in the sun on a cool Good Friday morning
4) birds singing to show that spring IS coming
5) the delight of opening and beginning a new journal
6) the surprise and delight of a package appearing on the front step
7) the love demonstrated through the gift in that package - a quilt from a former student - WOW!
8) plants poking up green shoots from the dark, cold soil
9) a Christmas cactus blooming at Easter
10) butter melting on a warm bran muffin
11) Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe
12) medical care
13) words of encouragement at church
14) singing songs celebrating Christ's resurrection
15) laughing with children
16) smiles showing love
17) children jumping in for a hug
18) voice mail messages of encouragement
19) watching children delight in being with their mother
20) listening to parents console a child
21) feeling too hot sitting outside - this after the winter with no end
22) the refreshment of water
23) the effectiveness of pain control
24) the smell of sunscreen
25) the need for sunscreen
26) the sight of a bound edge on a quilt
27) the feeling of accomplishment when a quilt is finished
28) falling asleep on the couch
29) spontaneous gifts
30) spontaneous invitations
31) a child's small hand clasping my hand
32) the interplay of the instruments in an orchestra