Still Grateful

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The flat Yule tree lives again!

Thanksgiving was a low-key affair in my house. I slept in, worked, napped. Thanksgiving dinner was a store-bought rotisserie chicken, salad, and pumpkin pie. After dinner I drank eggnog and put my holiday decorations up while listening to holiday music for the first time it is acceptable in the free world (i.e. on or after Thanksgiving day).

It was exactly what I wanted and needed.

After grading papers in the morning, I treated myself to an afternoon in St. Pete. I took a cruise through the Dali Museum, because the Escher exhibit is still going on. (Still getting in free with that student ID for a few more weeks!) I really like Escher’s work. He did a lot of pieces with metamorphosis or evolution them. That theme resonates with me…

grumpy_heron

Grumpy heron.
C.M. Foust 2015

After the Dali I took a stroll through downtown St. Pete. A grumpy heron caught my eye, so I paused to take his picture.

A little further down the road, a mother was trying to get a picture of her daughter doing a handstand on the seawall. I offered a bet of $5 that the little girl would fall in the water to the guys walking ahead of me. No takers, though the one guy said that’s what he was pausing to see too… At least I don’t have to feel bad about the thought crossing my mind, since he was thinking it too!

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Bird’s of a feather Google together.
C.M. Foust 2015

I walked a little further, and I saw two guys and a woman sitting on a bench. All three of them had their smart phones out. They sat across from a glorious view of the bay, and they were missing it. They were missing each other’s company. I couldn’t help but take their picture.

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Father and sons checking out the critters.
C.M. Foust

I continued my walk around and into Vinoy Park. There I was greeted by a father and his sons (I presume) looking at something in the water. I snapped a shot before I approached them. They told me they saw a puffer fish down below! That and a big sheepshead that was hiding in a nook. I didn’t even know we had puffer fish up here, but that’s what it looked like! We looked together a little while long and then said our goodbyes and parted ways.

I kept on walking, and I received a surprise visit by someone I really wanted to meet: a dolphin! I see them almost every time I go to Vinoy Park but you never know if they’ll be around. She came up for air a few times, very close to me, then went away. I’ve given up trying to get pictures of dolphins. They come up too briefly to get the timing right… C’est domage, but it’s always exhilarating to see one!

I had a cool conversation with a fisherman about what he was catching. Primarily bait fish to attract those whoppers. I never did get to see him throw his net. Apparently he has discriminating tastes when catching his bait fish…

Then it was time to head back. Close to the Dali, the road is closed off to cars for some reason. An older couple looked confused about if they could walk down the road. I assured them they could, since I did so earlier that day. They asked which way I was walking, and I told them towards the Dali. Maria and Eduardo adopted me for a bit. We talked as we share a common direction. They may or may not be trying to set me up with their son. They are originally from Ecuador. They said the weather is more like San Francisco, which surprised me considering Ecuador is right on the equator! They told me because I’m a biologist that I have to go to the Galapagos. I agreed whole heartedly. We took a selfie by the Dali, but unfortunately it is on Eduardo’s phone. He hasn’t texted it to me yet. (I gave them my blog business card.) It was nice to share a little of my day with these kind people. I hope they send that picture to me…

Now I’m writing this summary of my day in gratitude. Every time I go down to St. Pete, I get more excited about moving there next year. I’m also grateful for finding such joy in the small things. The girl doing her handstand on the seawall and not falling in. The conversation with the fisherman, and with the son and his boys. The grumpy heron and the dolphin coming up for air.

So many things to be grateful for…

2 Comments

Filed under Love, Peace

2 Responses to Still Grateful

  1. Mike B

    Two great gratitude posts during Thanksgiving break!