Thursday, November 24, 2016


 I have a lot of gratitude in my heart. These are just a few things that have made my life better:


                 I love my family very much. Over the years, more kind people have been added to our 
                 circle. It has been a delight to see my nieces and nephews find, and then form their own
                 families. I am thankful for my oldest sister. She seems to hold our entire family 
together with the power of her love and kindness.


                   I'm not one to have a large support group of friends. I have a small number of people that
                  really mean a lot to me. Sometimes I'm amazed that they stick with me and my nonsense, but they do. Their kindness and support makes 
                  life worth living.


                 So grateful to live in a home in a semi-safe neighborhood. My house is my sanctuary. I've
                  been working on renovating it for about 16 years. It's finally almost done. Like a mandala, just in time to let the termites have their way with it...


              I'm lucky to live with animals. I appreciate Snorkel, the class turtle. She puts up with a
                   lot of virtual poking and prodding. And, the class fish are pretty patient, too. They put up    
                   with being overfed and starved on quite a regular basis. My all time favorite
                   support animals are my two doggies, Percy and Winston. They are yin and yang. 
                   Winston is mellow, loyal, obedient, and intensely watchful. Percy is "all bets are off" 
                   nutty. He is a very playful and affectionate puppy. Each day, when I get home, we have a 
                   spectacular greeting routine. Their unconditional love is both smothering and nurturing. I
                   can't seem to work out in the shed, without Winston watching my every move. He's an
                   awesome creativity task-master.


              I am thankful to be employed at a school that values "the whole child". Academics are 
               very important, but so are the things that enhance and enrich education. I like that parents
               are involved in the educational process. Last week, I had a parent stop by after school in        
               order to ask me about her son's reading score. She saw my car at 4:00, and waited for me.
               This never happened at my old workplace. Parents were so busy and disengaged. The very
               nature of financial survival in the Bay Area, kept them at assorted jobs. Also, the nature of 
               the educational system itself, discouraged parent involvement. I appreciate being able to 
               share my passion for art with my students, without criticism. I also enjoy being the only 
               teacher on my team. It means that there aren't any compromises, and the responsibility is 
               all mine, whether for success or for failure.


I am thankful for my new scooter, Marcello. He's extremely swift and fun. The more I read
about the past, the more thankful I am for my washing machine, and my car. The modern
conveniences leave me leisure time to do my art work. Trips to the laundromat really
ate into my art time. Now, I can multi-task, creating while doing chores simply. 
Having clean, potable water is a blessing. I can't imagine the burden that hauling
water is to many people on our planet.


                I am thankful for having a sense of humor. The world is a pretty dark place of late. Being
                 able to take the long view and spot the irony is a help. Kids always make fun of me for 
                 laughing at my own jokes, and for laughing at inappropriate times. I think that having a 
                 sense of humor is actually a virtue.

         Past Experiences:

The past definitely colors the present and the future. I am grateful for all of the memories 
and challenges that I've had during my life. There is only one person that I'd have preferred
not to know, and that's a pretty good track record. Upon reflection, that person moved me
to a location where I needed to be at that particular moment in time. So, I can now understand
the purpose for all of the heartache. It did have a purpose. In general, I have been blessed
to overflowing. I don't have a lot of money, but I am rich in all of the things that make
life worthwhile. 


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