Do you ever have one of those weekends that just feels like a reward? When finally you get some rest and get to chill and just do the things you love?
Okay, chores are always in there as well, but that’s normal day-to-day life.
I just had one of those weekends. Like you, my life is fairly insane most of the time. But the last stretch has been crazier than most.
My novel, I Just Came here to Dance, launched in mid-September. Whew! What a whirlwind! For months leading up to it and the next ones as well. Lots of work and activity go into launching a book!
The end of September my girls and I traveled to Denver (a two-day drive from here) to a major Labrador Specialty. Then we were home for a week and drove to St. Louis for the National Labrador Specialty (another looong drive). We showed 2 days at Denver and 3 at the Nationals. Then home for a few seconds and down to Austin for another Lab Specialty. Where we had a tad bit of a rough time getting home in the floods! But my girls had nice wins, especially one of the true loves of my life, Ellie J J
Then to the DFWLRC Specialty, where a dear friend and I put on a Working Certificate test all the first day, and I judged Sweepstakes the next.
Of course all in the midst of regular work—writing, blogging, and editing.
By the time this last weekend finally rolled around, we’d kinda forgotten who we were. Okay, so my girls didn’t—they’re fairly certain they’re 4-legged people, and nothing much dissuades them from that.
But ahh! An entie weekend at home! Don’t’cha just love when that happens? A nice reward indeed.
Every weekend around here it seems has been rain-filled, but not this one. Picture-perfect glorious sunshine.
On Sunday, we trained water retrieves. Oh, such fun! Not much brings me such smiles and laughter as watching these kids do what they were bred to do—retrieve. Preferably in water, but land will do in a pinch 🙂
The unadulterated joy! I don’t care who you are, this would have brought a great smile to your face.
Then we did ears and toenails. Okay, not so much fun for them, but necessary.
We sat on the deck, sunshine beaming down, the air cool and crisp on this stellar fall day. And as one by one I cut their nails, you’re gonna think I’m a real bozo but I sang “Sunshine on my Shoulders” to them. Yep, the John Denver song. How corny is that?
And all was perfect in heaven.
Well, maybe not right then for them, but then their next reward was big frozen beef marrow bones. Oh, man!
On the stove all day was simmering homemade chicken stock, which is mandatory for the Thanksgiving feast. For many years now, I’ve cooked up the entire schmear, and am so blessed to have those I love join me to sup and bask in gratitude. Although no matter what else gets cooked, Mom’s cornbread dressing is still the show stopper J
What simple things bring us all joy.
I’m more cognizant of that joy these days. As we go through this life, we lose those we love. And the fact that we’re going to lose them all, or they us, is never quite far from my mind. I’ve lost more folks very near and dear to me than I would ever count, as that would be too depressing. Although I think of them, often.
But we have a friend now battling stage-4 Pancreatic cancer. And the thing Ann says to us all, whenever we talk or hear from her, is: “Do something you enjoy today.”
About which most everybody would agree. Great idea! Gonna adopt that! And then we get submerged back into the insanity of our lives and forget to actually do it.
Ann’s ordeal, and her admonishment to enjoy at least something every day, has stuck with me. And I seek out those things. Because they’re always there. It’s just that we’re so conditioned to see the same things every single day, that to be aware of the little joys surrounding us takes some focus.
I’ve had many days like this past Sunday. We all have. I think of all the ones that went before, and hope that I experienced the joy of just being, as I did this stunning day. Singing to my dogs, who had the best day ever! At least that’s what they say J Course, today is now the best day ever for them! They pretty much live in the now.
As this season of Thanksgiving is upon us, and gratitude comes finally into focus (amidst all the shopping and cooking and travel and family stress and . . . ), my commitment is to enjoy it all. To remember and give thanks that I’m still here. And what a truly wonderful world it is.
Wishing for you all the happiest and most grateful of Thanksgivings, and sending to all and to Ann, sunshine and joy.
“If I had a day, that I could give you,
I’d give to you a day just like today.
And if I had a song that I could sing for you,
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way. . .”
“Sunshine on My Shoulders” –John Denver