We're Grateful. Even This Year.

  1. As of this week, we’re one year in on pandemic living. Chastened, wisened &… finding ways to be grateful.

    Not because this has been easy. It hasn’t. Not because we’ve been spared loss at the hands of this terrible virus. We haven’t. But because in a year rife with upheaval, hurt & outright harm, we have learned to count on the quiet unexpected moments to get our hearts through.

    This is our list of things that filled us with gratitude this year. We encourage you to think back thru your year & perhaps journal what you're grateful for as well.

    1. Doctors who waded in.
    2. Nurses who stood & stood & stood in the breach.
    3. Our friends who brought our trailer up from California just as that state went into its first lockdown. 
    4. The trainer in Bend who took our German Short Haired Pointer while we were getting settled into trailer living. While our home was being worked on from our fire, there's no way she could have handled being in such a small space. She returned to us a different, calmer dog.
    5. The banter of our construction guy, Joe.
    6. The keen ear & reassuring laugh of our insurance guy, John.
    7. Neighbors.
    8. Tomato starts in egg cartons.
    9. Truck drivers... I come from a family of truck drivers & to hear them heralded at the beginning of the pandemic was beautiful to witness. Their loyalty to pushing thru for the sake of us all has been their way for a long long time.
    10. Hammock chairs hung from our rafters. 
    11. Planting blueberry bushes.
    12. Those early meetings with our business mentor where she just let me string together thoughts that were interspersed with fears that lead to a plan of attack informed by what we had to pull off every day in order to survive.
    13. Building a chicken coop out of an old piano.
    14. Bringing home chicks. 
    15. Starting the still nightly tradition of banging pots & pans at 7pm.
    16. Bewildered phone calls with other entrepreneurs, finding ourselves not alone.
    17. Texts of encouragement shared between other mom's in our daughter's then second grade class, as we found our way thru in those first few weeks of the homeschool free for all.
    18. Painting stumps.
    19. Dusting off my my binder of elementary lesson ideas from my teaching degree years.
    20. Talking to our stockists... not for sales... just to be humans together... to admit that whatever we were experiencing, it was scary as hell.
    21. Our many maker friends who started making masks when PPE options were slim.
    22. Spring flowers.
    23. Hearing our neighborhood in a whole new way from our driveway in the trailer.
    24. Our small one learning to ride a bike!
    25. Walking the dog.
    26. That day in May when my husband encountered a friend in the parking lot of a grocery store. He was planning to feed his family of six with two chicken legs, some beans, and rice. He'd lost his event industry job, his wife's restaurant work was almost nothing. Their family was receiving no benefit from the CARES act. That afternoon we committed to feeding as many people in his circumstance as we could. We shared with our community via Facebook and it took off. By years end we'd fed over 250 families whole, nutritious foods every two weeks. We're still feeding folks once a month even now.
    27. Roadside bouquets.
    28. Skipping rocks at the river.
    29. Our first tomato!
    30. Finding a new bookkeeper who communicates like a dream.
    31. Being able to bring back one member of our team to work on admin stuff from her home in June.
    32. The first ever Bosses Helping Bosses meeting... a group of 30+ small business owners from Delaware to San Diego & everything in between... we committed to meeting weekly to encourage one another & help navigate the rapidly changing market.
    33. We changed up our yearly Neighborcue celebration to a Neighbor Toast and it was widely (really wide because of social distancing) attended by folks on our block.
    34. Because of fire construction, getting a few weeks away at the ocean a few different times during the summer.
    35. Otters under our dock. With babies!
    36. Teaching the small one to fish.
    37. Starting a book club for my daughter and all the other 3rd graders in her school. We started with Lemonade Wars, moved on to Charlotte's Web, cruised thru The One & Only Ivan and are now in the midst of The Tales of Despereaux.
    38. Our friend Kristi's condo in Burien that provided us a spot to land while our construction company finished up the last of our house repairs.
    39. The game drawer at Kristi's place... so fun!
    40. Ceilings!
    41. Insulation!
    42. Floors like butter!
    43. My first foray into Facebook Marketplace that provided us with rugs to cover our newly redone wood floors.
    44. The moving company that brought back all of our belongings and staged everything exactly according to my drawings (neurotic, yes... happy, also yes).
    45. Sleeping in our own beds for the first time in a year.
    46. For forest firefighters. In September, while much of the West was on fire, the canyon where my mom lives was going up in flames. I was so grateful they were able to save the property where she lives... that they were able to get the fire out.
    47. For our mailcarrier being declared cancer free. Right at the beginning of pandemic he's who I worried about the most... to say that he's a major part of our life is an understatement. Every day... every single day... he's as normal a part of our life as anyone... and I had to really figure out how to not take his temperature every time he picked up our packages. In November he was declared cancer free... I cried like a baby.

I'll be adding more to this list all day as memories occur to me...