Penny has a very cute story as part of her weekly "Reasons to be Cheerful" post this week; go take a look, and also check out the other links to some cheerfulness.
One of the things I love about this time of year is all the lights and decorations on the homes.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to see if I could capture some of it for you while Oscar and I were on a walk.
I love catching a glimpse of the lighted Christmas tree through the windows, too. This neighbor has a tree on their front porch. They can see our lighted backyard pine tree from their kitchen window, and some years she delivers a cheese ball she has made as a thank you for the view from her window. Isn't that nice?
These people are saving money on electricity: LED lights. It looks more cheerful when someone's home and there are house lights on, too.
This is one of my favorite houses along our walk, winter or summer. Their red and white lights on their porch garland remind me of strings of popcorn and cranberries.
My camera doesn't do really well in low light (though maybe if I found and read the owners manual, I might find some tips), but still, seeing these images pleases me. One of the challenges of taking pictures while walking Oscar is...Oscar. He isn't at all interested in admiring the lights, as he's too busy finding delicious smells to sniff or barking and running after squirrels. And because I am not a good trainer, he pulls on the leash.
Trying to get you a better picture of that porch garland ...
Oops! With just a little jostling from Oscar, it's now a bit impressionistic.
Oh! Now we're into the realm of the abstract! There must have been a squirrel.
My next reason to be cheerful is because a friend of ours is coming for lunch today.
We met her when G was in a research project for people with early stage memory loss, which included cognitive therapy in small groups; she was his teacher, and she was wonderfully patient, caring, and cheerful with G and the other couple of men who were part of his twice-weekly class.
We're going to have cookies for dessert.
Last for this week: our weekly vegetable box, with butternut squash, grey kaboka squash, red beets, golden beets, celeriac, red potatoes, popcorn, dried cayenne peppers, cranberries, and apples. The downside: this is the last week for the season, so we won't get another box until April. But the upside: we will get another box in April!
I hope you are having a good week, with reasons of your own to be cheerful and thankful. As the poet Max Ehrmann said in his famous (but often unattributed) prose poem "Desiderata":
"And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."