Watching the Neighbors

girl s white and blue dress
Photo by Johan Bos on

My neighbor carefully paints the edge of her car’s trunk with white out
because the too-small-to-notice scratch interrupts her well-manicured
desire for perfection

Another neighbor tosses water balloons across the spring lawn to her daughter
because the beaches are closed and they yearn to feel the surprise of
water splashing on skin

My elderly neighbor walks her white-haired toy poodle on the usual 4 p.m. route
because it gives them the nostalgia of normal, a small taste of freedom
embraced by fresh air 

Across the alley, a neighbor spins milkweed into monarchs, releasing them as blessings
because she wants to remind the world that with tender love and compassion
life will endure



affection appreciation decoration design
Photo by Carl Attard on

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my annual “season of reflection.” From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, I spontaneously start evaluating the past year and planning for the year ahead. I think about what brings me joy, and start letting go of the things that don’t so I have more time for the things that do.  I assess progress on the past year’s goals, and if the progress is underwheming, determine whether the goal is still important enough to keep pursuing.  I debate with myself over whether to make New Year’s Resolutions or not. (I inevitably do.)

I usually start my season of reflection by counting my blessings.  (Thanksgiving provides the perfect reminder.)  This year I have so many blessings, it will take most of the weekend to tally them all. But I’m willing to give it the old college try.  Today I am grateful for:

  • dear family and friends
  • almost full moons
  • financial security and a home with no mortgage
  • butchers who don’t laugh when I ask them to spatchcock the turkey for me
  • literacy
  • small kindnesses like my neighbor’s willingness to walk my dog because my hip is acting up
  • the taste of fresh Meyer lemons plucked from my own tree
  • warm fleece jackets to ward against the cooler autumn nights
  • finding the perfect joke gift to give my husband for his birthday
  • plenty of books to read, and more being written for me to read in the future….

And most importantly, I feel blessed that you have stopped by to read my blog today. Thank you! May your blessings be too many to count. Happy Thanksgiving.