A Few of My Favorite Things

Eternal optimists like myself have more than a few favorite things. Truth is that we'll add to the list of good stuff pretty much every day, which truly complicates selection of a few good things. This makes me wonder why I chose this topic last week and didn't write about it. It's even worse that I've waited until the deadline is hovering over me like a Halloween bat.

Deadline? Of course. Editor Cousin Steve has another job. I'm not his only project in the world and should respect his use of time. Because he is so gosh darned nice to me when I need help, the guy has ended up on my list of favorite things. I wish I could rid myself of editor-related guilt but that will have to be another column. I do this to myself.

Favorite things? Here we go in no specific order... Mr. S, our daughters and grand kids, Grover Shaffer and our friends. I write about these things a lot and it is because they, in addition to my friends in person and on Facebook, are my inspiration on most weeks. It's hard for me to narrow down the favorite things in my life. I love sunshine and breathing. I have a loving relationship with Mother Nature, who sometimes teaches me a lesson or two. That's why I choose to live on the Oregon Coast. You've got to have a sense of humor here.

Music from the 40's is up next. Yup. I love the music from crooners and from trios and quartets of men and women who helped us feel better during a sad time. I arrived too late for World War II but somehow it's been a huge part of my life. I love the music and the spirit. I love the stories told by members of my family. Somehow that history was embedded in me while my mother waited all those months for me to arrive in 1947. I have a hunch she has a lot to do with my love of music... from all eras.

Speaking of Moms, mine is right up there on the favorites list. At the age of 90 years she still mows her own lawn. I am humiliated by this fact because it's something I can't do. She makes me laugh and that is reciprocal so we get along quite well. I miss our monthly visits and hope to resume them very soon because when I visit her we do crossword puzzles and I feel my brain try to spark. We also watch Jeopardy because we believe it makes us smarter.

Favorite flower is the dahlia. This lovely plant is at home at the Oregon Coast and truly not all flowers feel the same. I have watched my pampas grass crash to the ground this week but those dahlias remain in bloom, regardless of their position. Dahlias are not only beautiful but they are tough guys. They can resist a whole lot of trouble and require little care. They come in every color known to mankind and sometimes bring me to tears over their beauty.

Not just because my family roots are here, I love Oregon. I love our politics and history. I love the fact that we are somehow a cutting edge kind of place that really shouldn't be. How did this happen? Study the past of this remarkable state and you'll see how we got here. We are unpredictable voters and politicians but we had the first bottle bill in the Nation, voting rights for women earlier than most Eastern states, free access to beaches and acres of land set aside for public use. There's a whole lot more. This is why I never considered running for political office. I'd want everyone to be as excited as I was about everything I espoused.

Grover Shaffer is on my favorites list. He doesn't shed and is very funny. We had basset hounds for 30 years and they were also very funny. In addition, they shed by handfuls, slobbered, hogged the bed and smelled like hounds... regardless of bathing routines. Grover hates grooming and at what we think is close to the ripe old age of 15 he is really easy to be around. He is a seasoned traveler because we take him with us. We can do this because he weighs 11 pounds... not 50 like his predecessors. Grover is a great little dog and has us wrapped around his tiny white paws. He gets treats at 8:30am, 11am, 2pm and dinner at 5-6pm. If he does not get these things on time there will be hell to pay. He engages in jumping, barking, begging and finally... the most pities gaze any human has ever seen. He gets what he wants.

I love my life. However painful my body can make it... my brain always believes we will get through whatever it is. All of us have favorites and sometimes we forget to celebrate them... or even know they are there. I write this column because you read it. This makes you one of my favorites.

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