Gratitude day 61

Today I am grateful for 57 years of service from our hot water tank. I’m amazed at how happy I am it failed today. Here’s the thing: it was the best possible scenario. It started leaking, but I happened to be in the basement probably within about 20-45 minutes of it starting. There was about of gallon of water on the floor, where last week, many of my possessions were located in cardboard boxes before we moved them to make way for construction. No damage occurred, but that would not have been the case last week. Even better, we’d already decided and planned on its imminent replacement. In fact, it was set to be moved temporarily tomorrow, because right now it sits where the door to the downstairs suite will be. Unreal!

I am grateful for a familiar crowd of families at a birthday party for a 4 year old we attended this morning. It’s great to have a 5 and 2 year old, both who have “old” friends.

I grateful for the unplanned event of having Farley fall asleep on me while I was reading him stories before bed today. He was pretty tuckered out! Speaking of tuckered out, so am I. Goodnight, interwebs.

Gratitude day 57

I am grateful that it is a rare occasion I drive to work. Parking is a drag, and I get grumpy when I don’t get a walk or a bike ride in somewhere in the day.

I am grateful that our renovations are starting to actually happen this week. It’s been a long time coming. I am trepidatious about how this, my first experience with a home renovation will go. I’ll feel better when I’m at the destination on this one, but every long journey starts with one step.

I am grateful for some time spent this evening with my boys making paper airplanes from a great paper airplane book from my youth. It is amazing what a great toy a piece of paper can be when you fold it up, and what a few minor adjustments can do to improve a paper airplane’s performance.

Gratitude day 55

IMG_3153.JPG

IMG_3155.JPG

IMG_3170.JPG

IMG_3176.JPG

IMG_3178.JPG

I am grateful for Julie’s idea to go to Goldstream provincial park for a weenie roast for lunch. It was all kinds of a great way to spend the day. Having a fire is fun. Eating hot dogs is fun. Being outside is almost always more fun than being inside. The natural beauty of that place, from the majesty of a great big waterfall, to the microcosm of the moss on the side of any given tree is amazing. It makes me realize my gratitude for living near this particularly amazing place on this particularly amazing planet. What are the chances?

I am grateful for the brotherly love that exists between my boys. They can fight like cats and dogs; perhaps just dogs; perhaps actually particularly violent dingoes… But I digress. Often they fight, but sooner or later they make up, and you can see how much they prefer to be together than apart. That photo of them holding hands – that’s all them, and just how they were this afternoon. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

On that note, I am grateful to Kurt Vonnegut, whose novels I love, but in this case I am grateful for this quote about his uncle Alex, from whom I borrow that phrase A LOT in this blog :

One of the things [Uncle Alex] found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

My late grandfather, Steve Lathrop Sr. had a quotable phrase he often uttered to me and many other family members on many occasions, from backyard barbecues to fancy dinners. It was similar and went like this:

“It doesn’t get much better than this.”

[pause for effect]

“And this is pretty good!”

Gratitude day 54

IMG_3146.JPG

I am grateful for Firehall open houses. This year it was in Esquimault. Farley is particularly enthused with firetrucks these days and he loved it!

I am grateful for our daycare provider. She commented on the above photo on Facebook because she knows and likes my kid. Both kids. She took care of Coop, too, and still sees him socially on occasion, and when we’re dropping Farley off sometimes. She’s got an amazing respect for kids that I wish I saw in more grown ups, myself included. She sets a great example for the children, but also for their parents. At this point she feels like is a member of our family. For the record, I’m not writing this because she told me she reads my blog recently, although that is flattering. When she mentioned the blog she said she was glad to get a glimpse of Farley’s world. Cussing awesome reason! If you are ever in need of a recommendation for daycare in Victoria, hit me up via email and I’ll provide contact info.

I am grateful for the immediate comfort that comes with the presence of old friends, in town and over for the full sacrificial turkey ritual this at Thanksgiving. Remember when I said I made some great friends as a scout? I’ve known my pal Ryan since I was 12 and he was 10. Now I also get to hang out with his spouse and 2 kids, similarly aged to Coop and Farl. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

Gratitude day 40

IMG_3096.JPG

I am grateful for the nap I had with Farley today. He’s still a fairly avid napper, but he won’t be forever. Best to drink these kids in while one can, and I did today, and it was nice.

I am grateful for leftovers. It made dinner easy; otherwise, we we’re beat. I think it would have been hard.

I am grateful for my big boy’s understanding and gracious response upon learning that my little boy knocked over his plastic beadwork project, thereby destroying dozens of minutes of work. Cooper was upset, but he didn’t freak out at Farley too bad upon hearing the news.

Gratitude day 37

So many things to be grateful for, but top of my list today is the first day of kindergarten.

I am also grateful for the celebratory post-first-day-of-kindergarten feast at the White Spot, in which the boys finished it all off with chocolate sundaes.

And lastly, I am grateful for puddles. I am not a fan of the rain, but 2 year olds in puddles are a nice silver lining.

Gratitude day 34

I am grateful for Farley’s ladybug costume from last Halloween. He loves it, and often requests to wear it to sleep in at night, which means we got this little nugget of solid video gold this morning. As he slumbers as I write this, he’s a ladybug.

I am grateful that I think my knee is getting better, or at least it’s not getting worse.

I am grateful for taco night, which is always a fiesta at our house, but even more so with my mom and dad and a few other family friends over. Julie made pico de gallo. there was cake. NOM NOM NOM!

Gratitude day 33

I am grateful for kids playing quietly on the living room floor on a lazy Saturday morning. Spoiler alert, nothing happens in this video but quiet playing. The first 10 seconds is representative of the whole thing. This went on for an hour or so. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

I am grateful for a visit from a garter snake in the garden today. Some people might not like snakes in their gardens. I do. Having grown up in Calgary, snakes were a rare but fascinating sight in my childhood, and I never saw one in our yard. I feel fortunate to have them in my garden. Not sure why, but I really do.

I am grateful for my folks, who come to Victoria to visit from time to time. The kids love having them around, and so do I. They come bearing gifts for them, and they buy us all dinner. They plant pansies in the garden, and surprisingly, they don’t freak out when there are garter snakes.

Gratitude day 29

I am grateful for Farley’s recent debut of his new performance, the Monster ABCs. And I quote, “SING WITH MEEEEE!!!”

I am grateful for this TED talk that I watched while eating lunch at my desk today. Ted talks are frequently mind-blowing; this one was heart-blowing. In it, Brene Brown reveals some observations that resonate as true for me; about living whole-heartedly, courageously, and embracing vulnerability. All this is easier said than done, mind you. It’s frankly not even that easy to say, in public, for a guy like me.

I am grateful for my house. I like it. There’s lots of light. Even while it’s the wretched hive of littered coloured plastic and unfolded laundry that it currently is, it’s still bright when it is sunny and not a bad place to be, not a bad place to be at all.