Tuesday, July 15, 2014

EAT, WRITE, DIGEST: Summer Gratitude, Summer Perspective

Nice font, don’t you think? Well, maybe it's more the color.

One of my son’s pet peeves is the misuse of fonts in an overall design. I see his point every time I look at a website that has several different fonts within one page, or a business card (why, yes, people still use those) with four different fonts in that little 2”x3” space. That always sends me to my computer to see what I can come up with on my own for a design and then I eventually land here, on my blog, to play around. 

This time I thought I’d actually publish the silly little post I was having fun with.

But it’s hard to read, isn’t it? Hot pink italics do not make for an easy scan of an article.

Ah, there, that’s better. Why, oh why, do people sacrifice readability for some goofy font they think is cool? 

Just as I got today’s gripe out of the way, I met up with another one. As I was typing this post, my landline (soon to be abolished) rang. Since there are only about two people who call me on that line, I answered. Shouldn’t have done that. It was the Minnesota DFL calling to inform me of what’s happening politically right now and ask for money. Both things drive me crazy. I read the paper. I know what’s going on, mostly. And I haven’t won the lottery lately, so stop asking this parent who has a kid in college for money. Go away. I’m going to vote as I see fit no matter how many times you call me.

But I am stalling. Can you tell? This is what happens to a writer in full summer mode, who would rather be outside than in. A writer who spent the beginning of the day on a long, fast-paced walk with her dogs that took us to the nearby Reservoir Woods

Now that’s a summer thing to do. As I took Ruby the Irish terrier and Truffles the miniature dachshund on the paved trail among trees, birds, and filtered morning sun, I felt something other than my muscles working. That something was gratitude. It’s a feeling I’ve been working hard to encourage in myself as the summer progresses and it always emerges when I walk outside in my own neighborhood. We are so lucky to live in a walkable community with green space large enough that a person can pretend to be far from the city for a few minutes. We have spaces here in Roseville where we can be still or walk fast without fear of being bombed or shot or taken prisoner. We can wave to other people without it being taken the wrong way. We can return to a house that is secure with dependable utilities. 

This gratitude gets magnified every time I read the newspaper, every time I see a photo of what’s going on in the Middle East right now. It gets mixed with sorrow for the people who live there. It gets magnified when I read about what’s happening across my own metro area, when some kid gets hurt by their own family. It gets mixed with questions about what I should be doing to make the world a better place from this very safe spot where I have the good fortune to live. Volunteer more? Donate more? Raise awareness more? Be less quiet?

Big questions for someone in summer mode. But they certainly make those little gripes that kicked off this column seem like nothing. 

Nothing. I have absolutely nothing to complain about and I am thankful.


Why, yes, we've exercised today. Thank you for your concern.