While some big chain stores in other parts of the country were experiencing record sales and masses of blood-sport shoppers, we sort of yawned ourselves into the evening, slept through the entire night without making a midnight Wal-Mart stop, and shopped for groceries Black Friday morning in a near-empty Safeway. Our gentle traffic flowed normally, and we noticed plenty of parking space everywhere we looked. I cling to my pleasant routine like a starfish to his rock, heedless of much at all outside my pleasant valley environs.
Among the very most pleasant highlights of my routine is my weekly Skype visit with my daughter and my incredible now-three-month-old granddaughter. How fast she is growing, and in such suspense we remain, awaiting the outcome of the clone wars: will her eyes stay blue, like my daughter’s and mine, or will they turn brown, like her handsome dad’s? They actually seem to be favoring a turn toward hazel, which would be kind of a win-win anyway.
Pain is pain, and part of life, and life goes on. Exercise only aggravates, my muscles fairly scoff at pharmaceutical remedies, and the very best therapy I have found is finding wonderful snowsuits and warm clothing in my granddaughter’s size at the children’s resale shop and the St. Vincent Thrift Store. This sort of shopping is a joy, and I’m working on handbag logistics, trying to find a way to haul my necessary gear (my idea of necessary would likely stymie a woman who can leave home with nothing but a phone, a key, and a lipstick) without having my scalene muscles drilled with burning pokers: the sensation left by even the softest bag strap on even the lightest bag.
The fact that we live in the Lewis-Clark Valley, the fact of new life in our family, and the fact of God’s radiant manifest goodness all around us contribute the most important thing in the world, which is a routine of thankfulness: a routine sometimes diverted, but one which always compels return.