It’s Monday again. A special Monday.  The Monday after a long Thanksgiving weekend. The Monday after dinner with […]

Here's what the street looked like as the light festival began.
Here’s what the street looked like as the light festival began.

Last year around this time, [tweetthis]CoCo asked me to go into Chicago for the light festival. After much fussing and grumbling, I relented.[/tweetthis]  I hate the cold. And I’m not much into celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving.  We had such a good time.  Just the two of us.  It reminded me how easily CoCo disappears when the whole family gets together.  Heated political conversation; spirited memory exchanges, tongue-in-cheek jokes, all leave her in their wake.

So, this year, amid more grumbling, the two of us headed to the city once more.  Yes, it was indeed cold.  And yes, it was very windy.  Hot chocolate in one hand and a bag of Garetts popcorn in the other, and we made our way through the crowd, around Trump tower, and into a great viewing site right across from the Marriott.  Maybe next year we’ll invite a few more people and get a room facing the parade!  But then again, we’ll be beyond the two of us, which might spoil our tradition.

CoCo often goads me into doing something I really don’t want to do.  I am so thankful that she does.

In no particular order, here’s the a few of the things that make me realize how abundant my life truly is:

Yes, I’ve been down in the dumps about the Presidential election outcome.  And don’t forget Leonard Cohen’s death.  Oh my! It seems so long ago that the Cubs won the World Series.

Never before have I cried after an election.  Not so much that Trump is our President Elect, although, make no mistake, that does make me unhappy.  I am sad that a hard-working candidate, who dedicated her life to my country failed.

I am saddest that the maps show that our country is divided, in thought, and perhaps in deed, between what the rural communities want from national government, and what the urban communities think we need.

I [tweetthis]feel a great divide. I do not feel hopeless and I do not feel angry.[/tweetthis]  The after math of the election should teach both sides to listen.  Really listen.  I am thankful for the media statistics that point this out in great clarity.

Here are a few other things that give me reasons for gratitude:

  • safety-pin-1The Safety Pin Movement: a way to silently convey support for marginalized groups who may feel unsafe. Simply don a safety pin to show that they are offering a “safe” place.
  • A kindle giveaway winner.  @dreamaccomplished won the tweet for A BOOK OF PEARL a gentle story of love and home. Happy reading.
  • The One Million Woman March and a good friend who invited me to go along with her and someone who wants to go with me.
  • Scrivener software for writing my next novel.  my friend Dina told me about it.  If you are interested in becoming more efficient, I invite you to visit Dina.  She’s a whiz at outsourcing and gaining time for what you love to do most.
  • A successful first library book discussion and signing.
  • SWARM THEORY by Christine Rice.  Love, love, love this book set in the fictional town of New Canaan, Michigan.  I know it’s fiction, and at the same time, the story seems like it could take place in the town where I grew up. Such beautiful descriptions of the way people look and move and think.  No wonder it’s on the short list for CWA’s 2016 Book Awards.  Gook luck, Christine!

cubs-win-3This is the week that the CUBs, in a nail-biter game, kept hope alive for so many fans.  Me included.  So, for the first time in my history, I put October baseball at the top of my list.  #GoCubsGo!

Another Monday, another day to take stock of the little and big things that make my life abundant.

How could I fail to mention a soul full of hearty gratitude for a Cubs win this weekend?  Of course!  I mean, I’ve only been a fan for 30 or so years.  I’ve only been around for one sorrowful example of the curse come true, the Bartman Ball.  Oh, poor Bartman, he was only following the instincts of any baseball fan: catch the ball.  I missed the 1969 Black Cat curse, and the Billy Goat curse happened before I was even born. It’s been 71 years since the Cubs won at NL pennant and 108 years since they won the World Series.  Yes, this could be the year for the Lovable Losers. And who better for the Cubs to play against than the team with the next longest drought: the Cleveland Indians.  The last time the Indians won?  48 years ago.[tweetthis] #GoCubsGo[/tweetthis]

Here’s a list of a few other things, in no particular oder, that are on my gratitude list: