thirty eight

Every year on my birthday, for about the last decade, I've composed a list of things that I am grateful for.  Things I say a big 'YES!' to, things I want more of in my world.  A list of things equaling the number of years old that I am.  I aim not to think on any of it too much, but rather create a list of what first comes to mind, and surely the list includes thing big and things small.  I don't look back on previous lists until after writing the new one, but of course there are lots of repeats year to year.  And so, as today I complete my 38th trip around the sun and say hello to my 39th year on this amazing spinning orb of blue and green and other colors, I hereby present my annual gratitude list:

:: my daughter, for being such a wise teacher and a powerful mirror

:: my love- for all of the things

:: slippers

:: fire

:: birdsong in the mornings, cricket serenade at night

:: my garden

:: two jobs I enjoy immensely

:: my healthy, strong, and generally in-good-working-condition body

:: the excitement and anticipation of looking forward to our big trip next summer

:: Pandora (I know there are other options, but I'm sticking with it) - favorite stations being St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Van Morrison and Billie Holiday (and others). And while we're on music let me just add Rising Appalachia to the list.

:: listening to her practice the piano- particularly certain chord progressions, 'Let it Be', and John Denver's 'Country Roads'

:: the silky smooth and forever loyal & loving (and vocal) Ollie cat- the handsomest little grey lion that ever was

:: the option to homeschool, and the time I therefore get to spend with my brave and growing girl

:: all the same, that blissful 5 days solo recently (!)

:: tea.  preferably strong and black with a drizzle of honey and coconut milk

:: sunshine on my shoulders

:: soft, grey days

:: my favorite plants (and all the other plants as well)

:: yoga

:: salty ocean air, and the opportunity, typically, to visit it at least a couple times a year

:: living in a walkable town

:: (yet dreaming of finding that right patch of land)

:: kindness

:: honesty

:: books. BOOKS!

:: so......um, yeah..........Poldark. (the BBC show- the newer, current version) What can I say? I just really, really care about the plight of the 18th century Cornish copper miners.  That and the scenery is amazing. *ahem*

:: creative outlets, and the occasional (too occasional, so....working on that) tendency to get lost in them

:: a good, dry, hard cider

:: my friends~ they are lovely and dependable and true and good

:: the biannual handmade/homegrown swap gatherings that I host, and the amazing community of women who are a part of that

:: big dreams

:: laundry on a clothesline

:: waking to an empty kitchen sink and a clean counter

:: a sizable herbal tea stash from our very own garden

:: my family- the ones who created me, raised me, grew up beside me..... those who became family through marriage, and the close friends who have practically become siblings.

:: the great good luck of finding myself in a time and a place with resources enough to live the life I want to live

:: our local library

:: community

because it's fun to look back, here's last year's list 

(I just peeked- it was a good list- and there are loads of photos from the year.  no loads of photos this year. maybe soon, but right now I'm off to have some dessert)


  1. happy happy birthday!
    i also celebrated my spin this week - the big 40.
    isn't it wonderful xx

    1. Thank you so much, and a happy belated birthday to you as well! I hope you have a beautiful year!!

  2. Happy birthday! Lots of everyday, normal things on your list and I love that. I've always liked the saying, "Happiness is not getting what you want, it's wanting what you've got." I think your list reflects that. Cheers to you.

    1. thank you, Kelly!
      I do so try to find the goodness in the ordinary, and to feel gratitude for what is already here, now.

      cheers right back to you~

  3. Happy Birthday! And thank you for sharing your list once again this year. Love it! Have you happened to read the Poldark books?

    1. Thanks, Maggie! I so look forward to making these lists, and looking back on previous ones. It is such a good practice for me to reflect in all the goodness that already surrounds me and remind myself of the things that fill me up day after day :)

      Alas, I have not. A friend lent them to me but I've yet to read them. I will often read a book before seeing it on the screen, but in a way I feel like if I experience it in the reverse I am just so much less drawn to going back to read it. Which is odd, really- surely I'll only get to know the characters even better, so what have I got to lose?! Have you read them?

    2. No, I haven't read the Poldark books yet, either, but my mom and sister did years ago and always raved about them. I guess there is an older film version of the series as well that they always talked about.

  4. Beautiful list... I teared up a bit reading. Wonderful things to be grateful for. I am certainly thankful that you were born, and that you keep this blog, and that we found each other this way! Cheers from Oregon and a happy happy birthday Amanda!!

    1. Aw, Jenny! You're so sweet. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
      xo from nc


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