Giving Thanks

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Newer leaves settle on top of old leaves in the clear untainted water.  A metaphor of sorts.

Home after a week of basking on the beach in Sedona, (well… not actually basking on the beach but slumped in a red rattan chair on the patio where I faced the sun and imagined hearing the surf slurp in and out in the distance) I give thanks.

Life can’t get any better. Last week we were with family and giving thanks to Dick and Dina Pohanish who host us and to everyone who had made the annual trip. We numbered 12 and entertained ourselves with hiking, movies, cards, books, and bocce.

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I was so grateful that our Denver daughters (husband, boyfriend, baby and dogs) had made it safely driving through the night. Prior to their arrival, I noticed that I had a big splotch of baby burp on the left shoulder of my black, down vest. I hesitated to remove it. What if (what is it with mothers who are prone to image the worst?) Laura, Miguel and Jackson died driving to Arizona? I imagined their hitting a bull elk, a herd of deer or falling asleep at the wheel. I vowed to keep the splotch. Should they have an accident, the baby burp (a love letter of sorts) would be my most cherish possession. I would save the burp until I knew that they were safe.

DSCN7778The words “memento mori” come to mind. I think of our daughter Sarah who has told me that she always keep our most recent voice mail or her phone… just in case. A talisman of sorts. Seneca wrote: “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day… the one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” 

DSCN7764Prior to leaving Westcliffe for our annual family reunion, I looked for an appropriate Thanksgiving poem to be read at the table. There was Ted Kooser’s poem, Applesauce; Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps the World Ends Here (at the table); and Adelaid Crapsey’s cinquain, November Night: Listen / With faint dry sound / Like steps of passing ghosts / The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees / And fall.

I love the Crapsey poem – the syllable count (2, 4, 6, 8, 2) and “frost-crisp’d” word choice. At only 4,000 feet elevation, Sedona’s fall follows that in Westcliffe. We lost our leaves early this year – nipped before their color-time by an early frost. But Sedona is still alive with color. The golden Sycamore trees glow in the sun. Everywhere you look, various colors shout their last hurrah. “Look at me,” they call. “I’m on my way out. You’ll miss DSCN7746me when I’m gone.” And we will miss them.

Driving down Verde Valley School Road to Red Rocks Crossing, we held our breath. Would our favorite site be over-run with tourists? But no, the locals were home watching football, and the tourists were out and about, but not at the crossing. We pretty much had the site to ourselves and what a sight it was.

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About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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13 Responses to Giving Thanks

  1. Marty Frick says:

    Lovely, and I love my Kooser poem, will always think of you when I read it. Marty

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Caroline Vornberg says:

    Thankful for you very fall-filled pride & poetry and artistic photos! Thanks.

  3. timeout2 says:

    Dear Marty, I think I remember that you and Paul used to spend Christmas Eve with Vic and Sally – each taking turns reading to the others. What a lovely way to spend an evening. We do that with Brent, Bar and the Parsons, Paul and Nicole. I think of you when we do so. xo

  4. Inge Munden says:

    Fantastic article and photos- Thank you!

  5. Barbie Pohanish says:

    Auntie Doris! I love this Time Out! Keeping Jackson’s burp spot on your vest, I can’t imagine something happening to him, I love that little guy… It was so wonderful to see you, Unc, Oogie and the girls (partners). The highlight was of course meeting your grandson:) Love you Barbie

    Barbie Pohanish, BSN, RN

    >

    • timeout2 says:

      Thank you, Barbie, for making the family reunion. I know that it is hard for those of you who are still working – the drive from Santa Monica is a killer. So glad that you and Jenny made the trip safely. We look forward to coming your way, seeing you and Mike, and of course, sleeping on the boat. Least you think that the boat and the ocean is the big attraction, let me hasten to add, we would be coming to see you. xoxo

  6. judy Shanley says:

    Having family for Thanksgiving is the best & always something to be thankful for. Love the pics.
    You mentioned in your last blog that the ranchers had a problem because it was so dry. Farmers here had the opposite problem. We had so much rain the fields were muddy & they had trouble getting out on them. Babies are so precious. My great-grandson was here for Thanksgiving. At 18 months he was our entertainment.
    Glad all are doing well.

    • timeout2 says:

      Hi Judy! Nice to hear from you – not as good as seeing you, but… as it is also probably true for you also – it is always something! I don’t know about you, but despite that second cup of morning coffee in bed and not rushing off to work, I don’t feel as though I’m retired. Dana, the eldest, is now living outside Philadelphia in Swarthmore. Another reason to come East. Her children are 15 and 13 – very grownup. I wished that they lived closer – it doesn’t seem fair that I see Laura and Sarah (in Denver) fairly frequently and only see Dana and her family once or twice a year. We should go back to living in a family compound. xo

  7. Jennie Ensor says:

    I must up those poems. Your trip sounds ace. As is this post – you have said it all so perfectly. I hope your posts will keep on coming for many more years

  8. 2000detours says:

    Poetry at the Thanksgiving table—what a lovely idea and I think I’ll steal it for the Christmas table. And I’m secretly hoping that you never clean away that baby burp.

    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Karen, I love your blog – I have never met you, but I know you. You should think about moving to Westcliffe and joining our community of writers. Speaking for myself, I write best when I’m in the energy field generated by other writers/photographers.

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