Delights: November 4 to November 10

November 4: It’s “pajama day” at Oak Street Elementary School today. Baggy pants, snuggly robes and one-piece flannel sleepwear freckle the hallways — and that was just the teachers. (I clearly need to go shopping…)

I’m working with the third-graders today in their dragon hoods, tiger PJs, and rainbow bathrobes. They listened to the morning announcements with their entire bodies until — to their surprise — the loudspeaker called out a classmate’s birthday. The room went silent; then nearly every child applauded and shouted “Happy Birthday, Sam!” 

Sam looked pleased and embarrassed. His classmates looked utterly joyful. 

When it’s your birthday, don’t be shy about letting people know: as these third-graders reminded me, you would be giving others the chance to experience the joy of well-wishing. And you both might feel like you’re wrapped in a fleecy warm robe with unicorns.

The Assateague ponies always pose for my husband Kevin. But he’s the one who chooses to get off his bicycle and thank them.

November 5: After a morning hike to a mountain overlook, I settled into an old porch rocking chair. I had my book. The 150-year old hotel had WiFi (unlike my cottage uphill). And a praying mantis had what it considered a satisfactory perch: on the arm of my chair.

I studied its wings, which resembled lemon-green leaves, and decided it would prefer the grass. Besides, I wanted to resume rocking. I carefully placed it on the lawn in front of the porch. The praying mantis promptly took flight.

Later this afternoon, I returned to my porch rocker. The praying mantis flew back to my chair. And here we sit in companionable stillness.

November 6: Today I felt sad when I could have been cheerful. I felt lonely when I could have been warmed by fellowship. 

And — I read a good book before a happy fire. I ate chocolate after breakfast. And, on my drive home from a weekend retreat, the valley farmland unspooled before me like ribbon on an early Christmas present.

So go our days. Sometimes the sadness is brown speckle on an otherwise radiant autumn leaf. Sometimes it is the leaf, with the happy bits no more than a glistening raindrop on a dry curling tip. Both leaves eventually blow away. And I look to tomorrow.

Sinepuxent Bay, near Assateague Island. Photo by Kevin Ogle.

November 7: I walked to yoga today. The day is warm, sunny and studded with newly bare trees. In class, we twisted our torsos, wringing ourselves out. And all this is enough.

Bonus: Three sets of parents sat at one table, sipping beers. Five little girls sat at their own table, sipping Sprite. Soon the little girls ventured outdoors near where Jeremiah and I were sitting. We watched hide-and-seek, piggyback rides and occasional assurances offered to their parents. At last, they pulled chairs around an (untapped) keg of beer, just to chat. 

Inside, when I had first noticed the girls, I watched them lift their taster-size classes of Sprite in a toast. After watching their adventures, I was now ready to lift my pint to them too.

Sinepuxent Bay. Photo by Kevin Ogle.

November 8: I found my flip flops, fuzzy robe, and the clock: 5:17 am. Stepping outside, I also found Jeremiah’s abandoned chair and coffee mug along the front walk. “Mom! Over here!”

I crossed the street and gazed where he pointed. For the past hour, Jeremiah had followed the journey of the Blood Moon, which now hovered above the trees in the western sky. A phenomenon of many moving parts, the Blood Moon requires the sun, Earth and moon to align exactly in a full lunar eclipse and the convergence of light from simultaneous sunrises and sunsets around the Earth (thank you, New Zealand) and lots of dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere.

We hit the trifecta and a coppery-red balloon hung in the sky. As we admired the moon, Jeremiah taught me a bit of lunar astronomy and sang the very old-school Electromagnetic Spectrum Song that he’d learned when he was 10. An hour later, as the rising sun overtook the moon, we returned to the house. When Jeremiah returned from class in the afternoon, he was pleased to hear me still singing about gamma rays.

Bonus: For splendid photos of the Blood Moon from blogger-friend Nes Felicio Photography, click here

November 9: I awakened this morning filled with gratitude. A long time ago, Kevin asked a brown-eyed stranger to dance. Brave (and cute), he took a big chance — and changed my life. Happy 31st Anniversary, dear Kevin.

Bonus: Kevin’s bravery didn’t end on the night we met. He also had to endure my woeful response to his wedding proposal. Kevin, thank you for choosing me on the day we met, on the day we married, and every day since. You invited me to dance because we both liked Bruce Springsteen. To love me, you need to be tough. This video, Tougher Than the Rest, is for you.

November 10: The fourth grader fidgeted, fussed and finally finished his assignment. He was now free to read or sketch. I wandered over to his desk. “I’m making Emotion Monsters,” he told me. He pointed to each big toothy monster and introduced me. “He’s happy. He’s sad. He’s scared. He’s mad. His whole body changes, not just his face.”

He added, “I can make Emotion Monsters with two emotions, like Sappy, for sad and happy.”

At the end of the day, he made me a gift of the Emotion Monsters. How would my young friend draw an Emotion Monster for “delightfully surprised”?

Kevin enjoys the beauty of Assateague Island with his bicycle and his camera. Welcome home, Kevin!

Readers, to receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!

If you’d like to browse my past delights, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. You’ll also see links to four essays that were published in print magazines. I’m glad you’re here!

14 thoughts on “Delights: November 4 to November 10

  1. I love your description of reading with the praying mantis…he obviously liked the seat as much as you. It’s funny isn’t it how some days you can just feel out of sorts for no particular reason, and the smallest thing can snap you out of it – a smile from a stranger, the soft snore of a cat (what is working for me right now!), spying a beautiful flower or happy scene (like yours in the bar). Congratulations to you and Kevin on 31 years together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Barbara — That’s so beautifully put, and I love the idea of a healthy Charlie at your elbow during an out-of-sorts day. Our days are filled with occasions for both sadness and delight, frustration and joy, anger and gratitude. I want to be able to acknowledge it all, and re-anchor myself in beauty as much as I can! (And thank you for your good wishes to Kevin and me!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these wonderful delights, Carol Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carolyn, for popping by to say so. A small gesture, but with grand joyful effect!

      Like

  3. Happy Anniversary to you and Kevin! And chocolate after breakfast is inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Donna. And, yes, I love (LOVE) being old enough to ignore the silliest rules. We should eat chocolate after breakfast whenever we want!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both. The world is surely a better place as a result of your love for life and for one another, love that shines through in everything you write.

    I’m sorry that you had a sad day, but was moved by the way you write about it. Some sadness is inevitable, and probably – within reason – to be welcomed, for if we’re not sometimes sad how can we truly appreciate happiness? I hope your week ahead is a joyful one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mr. P. They mean a lot to me.

      And elsewhere you nicely captured what I was feeling: that sadness is inevitable and necessary to acknowledge. And it did motivate me to find the cheery bits when I looked back on the day. They were right there, even while my head was swaddled in the blues.

      I’m back to finding joy popping up like mushrooms in surprising places. And I’ll keep room for sadness too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with Platypus Man about sadness. It is a part of life. But so is joy and a wide range of emotions, as your post so beautifully illustrates. Happy, happy anniversary to you and your husband! Finally, I love reading about how engaged Jeremiah is with the world. I have come to believe that engagement is one of the components of living a good life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laurie, for your wise and kind words and greeting! I also very much appreciate your tip-of-the-hat to Jeremiah. We’re lucky he’s living at home while attending college: his curiosity, knowledge and prodigious intelligence make him a delightful companion.

      Finally, well said: I agree that engagement is indeed one of the components of living a good life. Our blogging community is a wonderful expression of that!

      Like

  6. Happy anniversary, Kevin & Carol Ann!
    What would we do without these brave men in our lives – I, too, am grateful for the brave man in mine. Cheering us all on!

    Like

  7. Happy Anniversary! Great image

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And I’ll be sure to pass on your compliment to Kevin! (I’ve certainly appreciated your photography. 😊 )

      Like

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