So Many Treats

Yesterday was a day of treats. I went on a day trip with a couple of friends to the big city. Or rather a big city since Colorado has more than one big city. I often joke about having gone to the “big city” when in fact I merely went to another small town, though one that is three times the size of the town where I live. But this time — yep, a big city. We also went to a medium-size city, but that doesn’t sound as exciting as a big city. Since these cities are on the front range, I was able to see mountains! (Contrary to what a lot of people think, there is a large swath of Colorado, including where I live, that is so far east it has no view of the mountains.)

In the big city, we went to an Asian market — a supermarket full of Asian food products and housewares. For my Asian friend, it was like going home. For me, it was like going to a foreign country. If that was the only store I ever had to shop in, I’d probably starve to death, which just goes to show that what is a delicacy to one person is completely unappetizing to another person. (I’m trying to be diplomatic here, so I had to find an adjective other than “gag-worthy” or “revolting.” And yet, what do I know? I have eaten a hot dog or two on occasion.) I’m sure there were plenty of tasty things in that store, but I was just as glad not to have to take a chance.

After we left that “foreign country,” we went to a buffet which was very nice and very tasty, then on to a warehouse store that seemed just as foreign to me as the Asian market. So much food and sundries, and in such huge quantities! I was surprised to find eggs — and not just eggs but pasture-raised eggs, which is a classification that I’d not seen before. Surprisingly, the eggs were cheaper than regular caged-chicken eggs, but even if they weren’t, I would have bought them. I know it’s not exactly a topic most people care to think about, but truly, most egg production in this country is truly appalling.

The biggest treat of all, was that we got back in the dark, so when we dropped off my friend at her place way outside of town, I got to see . . . stars!!! Lots and lots of stars as well as the bright band of the Milky Way. Wow.

It’s funny — when I went on my cross-country trip, I looked for places with dark skies, but I’d never seen any sky as dark or any stars as bright as what I saw last night. Even the previous times I’d been out there at night, the stars weren’t so stark. The moon hadn’t yet risen last night when I was out last night and wouldn’t do so for several more hours, and there was very little humidity in the air, both of which contributed to that totally dark sky and the so very bright stars.

So many treats!

And that’s not all. Today, I’m spending the day by myself, and that too is a treat.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

So Much Gratitude!

I spent the morning cooking, which is something I rarely do anymore. I mostly do quick meals suitable for a single person, so I truly enjoyed the experience.

What did I make? Cranberry compote and chili. Odd combination, right? They both begin with “C” so that’s something they have in common! Other than that, not much.

I had to make a cranberry compote to take to dinner at a friend’s house tomorrow. (Cranberries, oranges, apples, honey and water.) And I needed to cook up a bunch of ground meat. Both the sausage and ground beef that my contractor brought yesterday were in pound packages, and because they were already frozen solid, I couldn’t cut them into smaller portions to freeze as I normally do. Hence, the chili.

I figure since I’ll probably be eating all sorts of treats tomorrow, I might as well get started by treating myself today, and since I make chili so rarely, it really is a treat. Even better, I can freeze it in meal-size portions for later on.

Although I know tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and although I will enjoy be celebrating the day with friends, it seems rather . . . I don’t know . . .  redundant. I give thanks every day for my good fortune in having this truly wonderful place to live. Whenever I look around, I see evidence of the help people have given me, whether they were paid or not. I see gifts — both new and hand-me-downs. Truly, other people’s discards are a treasure to those who appreciate them. I bask in the feeling of being home — in the house, in the yard, in the town, and with friends.

It’s hard not to be grateful when one is steeped in things which engender gratitude.

So although I will be thankful tomorrow, I’ll also be thankful today and tomorrow and all the tomorrows that come after that.

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And oh, yes — on the top of my list of things I am grateful for is my newly published absurdist novel that asks, “What if God decided to re-create the world and turn it into a galactic theme park for galactic tourists? What then?”

Click here to order the print version of Bob, The Right Hand of God. Or you can buy the Kindle version by clicking here: Kindle version of Bob, The Right Hand of God.