Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What We've Been Grateful for In July. What Are You Grateful For?

Mara here. Wow, July is almost over! It's hard to believe that summer is already half over. It feels even shorter now that schools go back into session much earlier than they used to. 

July was a busy month. I have lots of things to be grateful for this month!


Going to Mexico! My husband decided that since neither of us had ever been to Mexico and our daughter is out of town for a few weeks, we should take a few days and go to Mexico. I can’t write about it at this moment because I’m writing this before we go. Yet I'm already grateful that I get to go on an adventure to a new place with my husband whom I love.


So, as I wrote about last week, my daughter is away for a few weeks in New York State. We live in California, so that’s almost 3,000 miles away from us. I am so grateful that she has her cell phone so that I know she can get ahold of me whenever she wants. I know that technology has its plusses and minuses, but in this case, I am really glad that I feel as if she still has a connection to me, even though she’s so far away.


I love watermelon. I’ve been eating a lot of watermelon this summer. I buy them at Trader Joe’s and cut them up into little chunks and put them in a bowl in the fridge. I learned to do this from a roommate of mine in college. Somehow, before I met her, it never occurred to me to do this to watermelon. My family had always just cut them into slices for special occasions, so they were a bit cumbersome to eat. But when you pre-cut them (as if you were cutting them for a fruit salad), you can quickly grab a few pieces out of the bowl throughout the day. 

I’m not sure why, but this feels like a treat. Even though I’ve been doing this for decades, it still feels like a little surprise every time I open the fridge. I'm always a bit sad when watermelon season is over, but it does make it more special when the temperatures start to rise and the big bins of watermelons reappear!

And now, here is Toni's gratitude list for July:

My granddaughter Malia visited!

I don't get to see Malia very often because, at 16 1/2, she's a busy teenager. But she made time in July to come and visit me (my husband goes down to L.A. regularly to see her but I can't travel). It was so wonderful to have her here. She's a young adult now and so we can talk about serious things. She keeps up on current events and had a lot of questions for me about law school—what it was like, etc. We had some great conversations. It brought back so many memories for me and it was such a treat to be able to share them with Malia. 

My granddaughter Cam is playing in a traveling softball league!

Although I'm not able to go to her games, my husband has seen her play and my son Jamal texts me videos of her at the plate or stealing a base. She's loving it and that's enough to make me happy. As a bonus for me, when Jamal sends a video, sometimes I can hear him cheering Cam on and that reminds me of all the years I spent in the bleachers cheering him on when he played baseball.

The second half of July: My terrible-pain-in-four-different-places-in-my-body has subsided substantially

Starting in mid-July, I felt like a new person. I'd been suffering with pain (unrelated to my chronic illness) for six weeks. I had a flare up of osteoarthritis in my right knee and then in my hip. That led to a limp that caused my left achilles tendon to flare up in pain. And the icing on the cake was an unrelated pinched nerve in my neck that was causing a searing pain I could not stop no matter what position I got myself into. And so, I'm grateful right now to just be my regular sick self!
What have you been grateful for in July?

Camden playing softball


  1. I'm grateful to be able to sit in the sun for 10/15 minutes a day and warm my bones....also gives me Vit D. We have 6 mos. of winter and I'm usually cold, so summer is a treat!

    1. I like to warm my bones in the sun too, although I have to do it before it gets too hot here in California's Central Valley! All my best, Toni