Wednesday, October 20, 2004

These are a few of my favorite things...

Asking questions, making collages in my journal, ankle-length denim skirts, being alone with The Alone in Italy, excursions in the north of Spain with a dear friend while listening to him tell stories of his beloved Galicia, lemongrass incense, Oprah magazine, paella, gambas al ajillo, arroz con leche, Alvarez Gomez cologne, Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli lotion and bath soap, friendly neighbors, chocolate covered almonds, my multi-colored dreadlocs especially when my kids play with them absentmindedly, white zinfandel, mojitos, red Australian licorice, silver jewelry, sarongs with matching flip-flops, playing tennis, toe rings, Teva sandals, large pocketbooks in bright colors, sleeveless turtlenecks, colored pencils, fried calamari, Hob Nobs, long email sent from distant friends especially when they attach digital photos, talking on the telephone, daffodils in spring, Mass MOCA, The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, breakfast, down comforters, children's chewable vitamins (I guess I'm still a kid at heart), long hugs, solitude and silence especially in the morning before anyone else in the house is awake, warm brownies with mint Kisses melted on top, friendly waiters, happy children, hot tea with lots of sugar, roaring fires on cold nights, talking about my faith in a skeptical world, Ian Cron's sermons, Rob Mathes' Christmas music on the house sound system during the holiday season - or anytime at all, other people's travel stories, postcards with colorful postage stamps sent from friends who thought about me when they were away, loud music in the car, The West Wing & ER (the TV shows), hot rocks massages at the Golden Door Spa in Puerto Rico, airplanes, smiling at and talking to strangers in airports, bookstores and coffee shops, homeschooling my kids and going on field trips with a class made up of two students, Aerosole boots, motorcycles with riders clad in heavy leather jackets, playing Uno and Milles Bornes with my kids, watching my children sleep, pregnant and nursing mothers, chubby babies, iced lemon pound cake from Starbucks, laughter, MAC makeup, sweet tea from Manhattan Bagel here in Charlotte, Caravaggio's Conversion of Saul and Bernini's sculpture in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, Velazquez' Crucifixion at the Prado in Madrid, art of all types and eras, the full moon as seen from the window in my study room, milk chocolate turtles, Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana, warm apple cobbler, the friend who introduced me to list-making, and just anything by Alice Walker, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, Lauren Winner and Anne Lamott. Everytime I work on these lists, I am amazed at the great blessings I have been given in this life. Even though I pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," I am repeated overwhelmed with gratitude for the bountiful abundance that has lasted far longer than any single "this day." Thanks be to God. What about you? What are some of the little things - some of the details that most people overlook - that you like most? What makes you smile even when no one else is around to be in on your secret? What are you most grateful for today? Grace and peace to you and yours, Gail

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