November 2010

This morning, laying in bed after the alarm went off for the 3rd time (my ritual–3rd time’s charm), I reached out to pat each of my 3 dogs that share the bed with HK and me. Yes, that’s right, all 3 sleep with us.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyway, today all of us- HK, Kismet, Roxie and Chance, head to Western Ky. to visit his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Wow! I can’t believe it’s already the holiday season.

Propped on my pillow, a pup under each hand and Chance, the baby, curled on my chest, I reflected on those things that give me happiness, all that I have to be thankful for.

First of all, I am happy to be above ground, alive and healthy. As each year comes to an end, more of the people I care about face illness, unemployment, depression, divorce or worse. This has been a good year for me, a very good year, and for that, I am thankful.

I also reflected on my continued reunions-via facebook, telephone, emails or best of all, face to face, with people from my past. Here I will spare you the sermon, if you choose to read about my facebook experiences, go to my fb category and just keep scrolling down–plenty of fodder there.

This year I have tried new things, some outside of my comfort zone. I started going to bootcamp, written (still editing) a children’s book, taken chances and gotten out of my own way. For those things, too, I am thankful.

It’s not until you express your thanks for what you have that you can welcome more abundance. The “attitude of gratitude” shows us that when you say things like “I am happy that I have the time to do things that are important to me,”  instead of  “god, I am sooooo bored,”  your life outlook will be brighter and in turn, you will manifest more positive energy.

It becomes easy, if you dwell on negativism, to manifest negative energy around yourself, and it projects itself onto those around you. Even if you are facing hard times, find something, one thing, to be grateful for and say thanks. Go ahead. Try it.  I promise you’ll feel better.

Some people keep a gratitude journal, where they note all of the things that they are grateful for. Others have an object (rock, token, etc) that they meditate their thanks with. Personally, I say my thanks aloud (although sometimes very quietly-under my breath), and at that moment, I am aware of the positive energy, the qi, in my spirit.

What are you thankful for this year?  How do you show thanks?  I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, and may you give thanks every day!

Last week, I took a road trip down to Apalachicola, Florida, to visit one of my Sewanee peeps, Tracy. Since we have reunited twice in the last year, we were mostly past all the what have you been doing for the last 30+ years and all that, and were easily able to just pick up from the more recent encounters. Very comfortable, very easy.

I actually lived in Florida for roughly 6 years after Sewanee Academy, and 3 of those years were spent in Tallahassee, not too far from Apalach. My friends and I used to go over to St. George’s Island quite a lot and camp on the beach, but I never made the extra 20-minute drive over to Apalachicola. GO figure. I was pleasantly surprised to find a charming little fishing village with a kick-back vibe where most everybody knows everybody. Not at all the little tourist trap I  envisioned–not by a longshot!

This is precisely why this stretch of coastline on Florida’s panhandle is referred to as “The Forgotten Coast”. While most of Florida’s northern coastline was being over-developed and commercialized, this sleepy stretch of sand located between Carrabelle and Mexico Beach remained unsullied, keeping it’s “old Florida” appeal and laid-back casualness, very much unlike the billboard strewn, neon-lighted, Spring-Break nirvana  of Panama City Beach and beyond.

Apalach (as locals call it) is free of fast-food restaurants, opting for casual, seafood-oriented cafe’s housed inside the 100-year old wood and brick structures that line the few central streets. The food was fresh and relatively inexpensive– I was thrilled to find oysters on the halfshell for around $7.00/dozen. In fact, 90% of all Florida’s oysters, and 10% of the country’s oysters, come from Apalachicola bay. (Needless to say, in 3 days I consumed around 5 dozen.)

There is a CVS pharmacy and a Piggly-Wiggly, but that’s it for “chain” stores. The shops lining the streets are charming, funky, unusual and friendly. I helped out their economy a bit, too!

Tracy took me to Indian Pass- a beautiful beach not far away, and we went to the unpretentious hole in the wall Indian Pass Raw Bar and gorged on smoked ribs, sausage and of course, oysters–the coldest, freshest, juiciest oysters I’ve eaten in a lang while.  It was a relief to know that the BP Oil spill last spring hadn’t affected the harvest, I know the fishermen in these parts were extremely concerned.

I met Tracy’s Mother, Jane, and Tracy’s host of friends in town, everybody was so warm and genuine.  It was delightful to explore the many layers of my new/old friend’s life.

Tracy, thanks for sharing!