Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life is Good

There’s something about waking up to a nice surprise that sets the tone for the day. So I’m grateful this morning to Shen of Reunited Selves for the honor of this “Life is Good” award. Thank you, Shen.

The award requires that I answer a few questions and pass the award along to other bloggers, so here goes:

1. What would you perfect day consist of?

A quiet, early morning spent in unhurried prayer and meditation. A bit of time spent writing and checking in on blogging friends. Curling up on a comfortable chair in the back yard with a good book. Some time spent with people I enjoy, particularly if it involves good food that I don’t have to cook and dishes that I don’t have to wash, followed by a good night’s sleep in the arms of my husband.

2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?

Hmmm. I’ve thought of what kind of a tree or bird I might be, but never an article of clothing. Probably a little, loose-fitting sundress—light, comfortable and informal, meant to wear with flip-flops.

3. What hobbies are you currently working on?

Hobbies? Hey, I’m an Al-Anon. The quiet, serious, haven’t-got-time for hobbies type. So the hobby question remains a stumper, and reminds me that God is not finished with me yet. But here are some things I enjoy: being in nature, walking, reading, writing, meditation and prayer, going to meetings, blogging. If any of those things qualify as hobbies, then they are mine.

4. Walking in the woods in wellies or bare foot on the beach?

Not sure I can answer this. These are two of my favorite things, and they represent two parts of my character.

I grew up in Southern California and joined the Navy because it would mean I always lived near water (though it turns out you can be in the Navy and live nowhere near the ocean). To me, the affect of the ocean is meditative. It also makes me feel small. I am reminded how large and unknowable the world is.

On the other hand, I love the woods at an immediate, primal level. I moved to New England and felt I had found my true “home.” I spent hours in the woods and felt peace there, along with moments of pure, unadulterated joy. Where the ocean felt vast and unapproachable, the forest was personal and close.

5. Have you ever hugged or sang to a tree?

Um. No. Sorry. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love trees.

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to the supermarket?

One of the fondest memories of my childhood was the year my mother planted a vegetable garden. I don’t remember all we had, but I do remember that we grew corn, tomatoes, squash and green beans. The corn grew in rows along the side of the house, and the other vegetables grew in the flower bed. One night, my mom made dinner of nothing but vegetables. Typical kid, I didn’t even like vegetables, but that was one of the best meals in my memory.

In New Hampshire, I had a vegetable garden and I loved it. Every afternoon, my daughter and I would go out into the garden and pick whatever was ripe, and that’s what we’d have for dinner. My daughter used to eat the green beans raw before we even got to the house.

These days, I don’t really have a spot for a garden. I miss it. But my stepdaughter grows vegetables and shares the bounty with us.

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?

My grandfather (not by blood, but the only grandfather I knew) was a famous bowler. Hank Marino was inducted into the Bowling Hall of Fame and named the best bowler of the first half of the century.

He came to this country from Sicily when he was 11 and didn’t speak English. He earned enough money working as a barber to open his own shop at age 16. He started bowling because a customer of his owned a bowling alley and Grampy thought it only right to return his patronage. He was entirely self-taught.

About 1940, he built a bowling alley in Santa Monica with two partners, one of whom was the silent film star Harold Lloyd. The façade is considered historic from the standpoint of architecture and has been preserved, though the building was first converted to retail space and then to condos.

Grampy had two sons, who never met until his funeral. Oddly, he called them both “Buddy.”

8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish 'n' chips from the wrapper?

I love a fine meal, but my most memorable food memories involve humble meals. Top of my list was a Maine restaurant I used to always visit on drives up the coast. You could buy a whole lobster for $6. It was served on a paper place with a garden salad and a baked potato, and diners ate on picnic tables.

A close second were the seasonal drive-up restaurants in New England and the northeast, particularly a place called Jumpin Jacks, in Scotia, New York, where my daughter and I used to get grilled cheese sandwiches and root beer floats.

Also, the little mom and pop ice cream places that were all over New England that made their own ice cream on site. One in Jaffrey, New Hampshire comes to mind.

9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?

Water. I am drawn to water of all types: ocean, ponds, lakes, rivers. If there is even a little trickle in the creeks on our land, I like to sit where I can hear it to meditate.

10. Do you believe in fairies?

I don’t know much about fairies, but I do believe in angels. I think angels are those people you have fleeting, unexpected encounters with who give you what you most need at the moment you most need it. Then you never see them again.

Now, I’d like to pass this award on to bloggers who remind me that life is, indeed, good. If you don’t accept awards, please know that my heart is in the right place.

Akannie at Elegant Blessings, because her blog always leaves me feeling that life is good.

Louisey at Letting Go: Recovery in the Sunlight, because she writes so beautifully that even ordinary and difficult things strike me as lovely.

Tammy at Finally Free, who inspires me regularly with utter joyfulness in her faith.


  1. Hi Kathy,
    What a nice thing to say and thank you so much for the award. I have been having a "not so joyful" week. Thanks for the reminder that this "too" shall pass and I will be surprised by joy right around the corner. I "joyfully" accept the award, but without the questions. (grin)

    Blessings and hugs to you my friend,

    Blessings and hugs to you,

  2. hi kathy :) you certainly deserve this award. and i'm glad to read your lovely answers. thank you for sharing them.

    i thought it was especially significant that your perfect day sounds a lot like what i imagine your actual days are like currently. nothing out of reach, but what you already have created for yourself here and now~

    hugs to you :)

  3. Congrats on your blog award. Great answers, good learning more about you. I like the description of the all veggie meal your meal prepared. We eat meat but sometimes we roast various veggies and it is always such a good meal. Hug your angel, Kathy.

  4. Congrats to you Kathy! A well deserved award! Blessings.

  5. Congrats on your award :)
    It's good to get to know you a bit better

  6. Nice to read these things about you. I liked the free feeling that I got from reading your answers as if you were lighter than air or a moving river.

  7. Loved this post -- and thanks for the nomination!

    Mary LA

  8. Your perfect day sounds . . . well, perfect!