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Readers Share Their Own Small Gratitudes
A few weeks ago, I shared a list of small gratitudes – such as books, butterflies and beaches – I came up with while waiting in long line at the Post Office. Readers responded in a big way with their own musings . . .
From Mitch Gold: “Greeting someone in the a.m. and getting a smile.”
From Linda Valdez: “Walking in my neighborhood with the view of Wildwood Park; Hot showers after a day spent getting really dirty doing chores; Always having a book to read; Always having yarn to crochet; Having a loving dog and grand-dog; The joy of reading the newspaper on Saturday morning.”
From Carol Ann Roth: “May I just add tacos to your list.” (Yes, Carol, you certainly may.)
From Father Patrick Mullen: “May I suggest you add rocky road ice cream, and everything it stands for?” (My favorite, too – consider it added.)
From Doris Cowart: “In my age group, one item you missed – waking up in the morning!”
From Linda Johnson: “When people begin to complain when I am in a line, I complain back.
“I tell them I work Monday through Friday, about nine hours a day, without a lunch break or any break. I have to pay for my own medical insurance, and have no 401K. About four times a year I have to work 72 -hour weekends.
“My job forces me to spend long hours at our various county parks, libraries, and museums.
“In the summer, I often have to spend several day on the beach hunting for shells and rocks.
“In fall, I am forced on leaf-hunting expeditions. I need to be an expert in wildlife behavior and identification, bug catching, and lizard snatching.
“I am a home-schooling ‘Nana’ to my 4- and 6-year-old grandsons. I quit a well paying job with wonderful benefits to be home fulltime when my first grandson was 3 months old. They feed my soul and fill my heart.
“Money? Nice, but nothing makes me as happy, and tired, as spending the day with my grandkids.
“I usually get a smile from my formerly grumpy in-line-companion.”
From Dick Birney: “Ventura YMCA, Lakers win or L.”
From Lauren Siegel Estilow: “There are no bad days, there are only bad moments in a day. I try to be thankful for the small things – they’re everywhere, if you look.”
From Karen Biedebach-Berry: “Glassy surf at Pierpont Beach, VHS class reunions – Class of ’82 still alive and strong – Monday Night Football anthem.
“My husband, Andy, added these two: first ice-cold beer after giving it up for Lent, Yosemite National Park any day of the year!”
From Christy Cantrell, with a gorgeous photo accompanying her gratitude: “Hawk sighting in Camarillo.”
From Sheila Smith: “Since (your column) started at the Post Office, the Jaime Escalante stamps and how far that stamp can take your message!”
From a reader asking to be identified as “Dave from Newbury Park”, a not-so-small gratitude: “I’ve been battling cancer the past 1.5 years. It’s hard for me to not get depressed about my cancer, but we really do have many things to be grateful for.
“I’m 57 and there’s a 50-percent chance my cancer will return in the next year or two. For now, I’m trying to enjoy the small pleasures you wrote about.
“I’m even looking forward to my next long line at the post office – that would sure be better than not being here anymore!”
From Ginger White: “Gratitude – to be in a country where we can audibly express displeasure, even if it is not a popular opinion, without too much risk of retribution; puppy or kitten breath; being able to wake in the night and hear the mockingbird’s mating songs, and not warfare; sunrise; friends who stand by me; being vulnerable and open, then falling in love at the young age of 63.”
From Ethan Lubin, which anyone with a young daughter will want to modify: “Reading with my son.”
From yours truly: My wonderful readers.
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Woody Woodburn writes a weekly column for The Ventura County Star and can be contacted at WoodyWriter@gmail.com.
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