Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm grateful for... and you?

Devil's Kitchen, Lassen Ntl. Park 
At the end of the year, I like to spend some time thinking about  some of the things that have happened to me, or that I have observed, that have been personally satisfying. Much of what we see, hear, and read on a daily basis is bad news and can weigh us down. Rather than dwell on all of the negativity, I enjoy making a list of many of the positives in my life. Like most people, I don't spend enough time "being" because I am so busy "doing." I hope that some of my readers will comment on their joyful moments of 2013. Here is my annual list of:

31 things* for which I am grateful

  1. Brilliant red leaves on our liquidambar (sweet gumfirst year to happen!
  2. Walk with friends Bill, Alison, and their daughter Susan to see the Tule Elk at Pt. Reyes
  3. Our annual Cajun Christmas party with traditional jambalaya and red beans and ricesurrounded by friends having fun
  4. Granddaughter catching the “snow” on her tongue in the Hyatt Regency and watching her “ooh” and “aah” over the adoptable kittens in the Macy’s store windows
  5. Helping pack toys at Oakland’s City Hall for needy kids
  6. Our whirlwind November road trip that took us to several national parks
  7. Dipping down into Bryce Canyon National Park on the seven-mile Fairyland Loop Trail 
    Bryce Canyon, UT
  8. Being on the rim of the Grand Canyon to watch sunset and then turning around to watch the full moon rise
  9. Descending into Canyon de Chelly to see the White House Ruins up close
  10. French hike: especially meeting hosts on the hiking route to Le Puy (FR) – super hospitality, interesting conversations, kind people
  11. Finishing our hike to Le Puy (FR) and turning north onto a new path
  12. Our two backpacking trips on the John Muir Trail, and being able to keep up with younger hikers some of the time
  13. Spending the day sitting around in Duzy Bazin (JMT) watching the overhead storm clouds form and dissolve
  14. Watching sons Tom's and Scott’s expressions of fondness for my mom (their grandmother)
  15. Watching Scott become increasingly engaged in his kids’ lives
  16. Being able to drive grandson to school and the opportunity to better connect with him
  17. Scott appreciating our help with his kids and rewarding us with a dinner at Farallon (seafood) in San Francisco
  18. Going with family to Angel Island by ferry and then climbing to the top of Mount Livermore.
    Mt. Livermore, Angel Island
  19. Fantastic art exhibits at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco—most recently enjoyed discovering Anders Zorn, “Sweden's Master Painter,” at the Palace of Legion of Honor
  20. Planting daffodil bulbs and red bud seeds at Bob and Lorinda’s place in Mariposa
  21. Backpacking in Henry Coe State Park (our first visit) and discovering how peaceful and beautiful it is
  22. Our housekeepers—who keep our house habitable
  23. John Poimiroo arranging our two-night (complementary) stay at Drakesbad Resort in Lassen. The walk to Devil’s Kitchen with its bubbling mud pots and steaming vents was awesome.
  24. Media trip to Kings Canyon/Sequoia and Yosemite (compliments of Delaware North). The day trip into Kings Canyon to see the Kings River and the fall color was my favorite.
  25. Julie Wright, owner of the PR firm that ran the media trip (#27), for dealing with constant changes to the itinerary because of the government’s shutdown and enabling all of us to have tons of fun everywhere we went. Loved her adventurous spirit ziplining and such 
    Julie Wright ziplining 
  26. Talking to our neighbors' chickens while working in the garden (they "talk" back) 
  27. Sunday night check-ins with friend Lorinda where we catch up and compare notes on our “Awakening Joy”-type goals
  28. Giving our Patagonia program to enthusiastic audiences—such as SF Sierra Club Dinners
  29. Having friends and family who make my life meaningful, interesting, often challenging—but never boring
  30. Friends Bill and Debbie telling their version of how Ralph and I met on the Sierra Club car camping trip to Baja—not entirely accurate, but fun to reminisce about how the four of us originally met
  31. Ralphbest husband in the world for me  
*not necessarily in order of importance.
Some names changed to protect privacy. 

December 2013. Susan Alcorn

Feel free to add your thoughts--of the past and for the future....


Timecheck said...

I'm grateful that I have a spouse who lists so many moments I shared, allowing me to just say "me too!"

Julie Wright said...

What a fantastic list, Susan. I'm grateful for that trip too. And I'm honored to be among the moments on your 2013 list. Thank you for sharing it with me.

backpack45 said...

Julie Wright, our trip to Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite was a highlight of my year. The government shutdown could have turned it into a disaster, but your (and your team's) efforts and attitudes made all the difference. Though we were shut out of some of the attractions and activities, the alternate plans were equally beautiful and/or fun. I was lucky to be thrown in with a group of media people who were interesting and fun-loving and made it all gel!