take a moment

By next week at this time it will be Boxing Day and the entire country of Canada will be:

a)sitting around in housecoats and new slippers wondering if the ringing in their ears will ever go away or

b) huddled in a outdoor line-up, a crumpled flyer staining their hands with the promise of a $5.00 television or

c) taking a fortified position behind the three $5.00 tv’s inside the store wondering if it’s too late to change their major from “English literature of the 3rd century Roman Occupation” to something more practical like “Plumbing”.

So, seems a good time to take a moment and think of 5 things for which I’m grateful.

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1. Antibiotics.For obvious reasons. There have been a few instances in my life I have faced some rather nasty bugs my body seemed totally at a loss to repel. Antibiotics saved me. They have saved millions of people over the years since the first sulfa drugs were developed in the 1930’s. Before that there were antiseptics which were great in preventing infections but useless for wee beasties already circulating inside the body.

2. Walking. I’m just about to go for a walk around the block with a neighbour from across the street. She goes slower than I usually do but at least I’m out there and getting some fresh air plus all the gossip. What’s not to like?

3. Peaches. When I was growing up, back in the days of the Roman occupation, peaches were only available in the late summer. One of my first cooking lessons was how to blanch and peel peaches before slicing into a bowl, sprinkling with a little sugar to keep them from going brown and putting them in the fridge for dessert with vanilla ice cream. Ah, heaven. The only dish more perfect is hot peach pie. Yes, I’m grateful for peaches and that they are available year round now. But they are still best in summer.

4. Conditioners. C’mon, have you seen my hair? Now imagine it without the rinse-out  conditioner I use every time I shower regardless of whether it’s a shampoo day or not (only shampoo every 3 days at the most or I’d look like a pomeranian) plus at least a healthy dollop of a leave-in conditioner. Most days there is also body cream for the scalp and then some hair oil to bring out the curl…hah, more like a whip and chair to keep it under control.

5. Birds. The smell of toast and coffee always make me think of being a small child at my grandfather’s house. The sound of a red wing blackbird takes me to a whole world of summer: walks along the North Saskatchewan river or out on the meadows of a ranch near Windermere or sitting beside a small pond looking into the bullrushes to catch a glimpse of frogs. We have a few song birds in the trees around our house that turn early mornings into opera. And who can look at a tree covered with little round brown birds scrambling over each other without saying, “would you look at the tits on that tree…”?

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