Two good things about coming home to a 40-something degree house the night before you leave for New Orleans--

1) realizing the automatic thermostat batteries are dead today rather than figuring it out when we come home to frozen pipes
2) the red wine is nicely chilled when you give up and pour it after finding blood droplets all over the house and realizing that you have to determine which of four cats has a uti tonight so you can drop him or her off at the vet before the cab comes at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  And the vet drop off is after two separate trips to drop off dogs at the spa.  New Orleans will be worth it if I manage to get there!

The first sip of cheap red wine tasted  so good that it brought tears to my eyes.
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Reverb 10-December 4

Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

This is easy.  I felt a sense of wonder many, many times each day.  Although it was a trying year in a lot of ways and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop (it fell, of course) the moments in between were wonder-filled.  Each time I looked at my husband, whether he was watching football, fiddling with his iPhone, or laughing with friends, I felt so lucky to have him in my life.  When I pet or snuggled with each kitty, I felt like they were angels on earth.  I'll admit to sometimes being VERY frustrated with the dog, but when he sat on my feet and sighed while I hugged him, I was in awe of this 100 pound creature.  From the birds and flowers in the yard, to the people I meet at work, to my friends and family, it all amazed me.  Yes, they are all simple, day-to-day things, but amazing nonetheless.

Reverb-10 December 3

I don't always  get to these on the proper day, but I think I can keep up in my own way.

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

This one has been difficult for me.  The moment that kept coming back to me was a small part of the day after Thanksgiving.  The hub and I were sitting close together at one end of the dining room table.  His Aunt was on the other side of him, paging through a photo album on the table and explaining all of the pictures to us.  It was noisy, that holiday family kind of noise.  The men were coming inside from the garage with pans full of freshly fried, breaded walleye.  Each time they came in, they brought with them a gust of cooler air and that savory smell of fried food, and then they returned to the garage to fry more.  Six children under the age of 7 were cycling through the room.  Sometimes there would be a laugh or a devilish look or a "Mom, can I have.....".  One was only 5 months old, and she was passed from relative to relative.  The women were drinking wine and talking about food and marriage and family.  Everyone was drawn, one by one,  to the snacks in the kitchen, then they would go back to their original spots.  As each shiny page of the album was turned, a different story emerged.  We heard about the hub's grandma and grandpa and their early lives together with their 3 daughters.  The Aunt told about the topic of the album, her somewhat scandalous marriage; she was very young and pregnant.  She put her album together in honor of her 50th anniversary.  Their lives together were not particularly easy, and the depictions of the extended family told similar stories.

It wasn't so much the colors, sounds, and textures that made this moment memorable.  What makes it stick with me is the love and gratitude I felt just for being there with my hub and his family.  When he'd look at me and smiled a little so that dimple on the right side of his cheek would show, my heart melted.