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The Best Things in Life are Closer Than you Think.

“And now your locals on the eights...Currently the temperature is 50 degrees.” I never really paid attention to how much that familiar voice each morning eased me into my day. In the kitchen, I hear the hypnotic sound of our coffee pot percolating.  I saunter to the powder room...Turning on the lights, I squint my eyes, (Reminding myself I have to tell Kit to get a dimmer switch as our vanity lights are entirely to bright for my newly opened baby blues.)  Once adjusted , I freshen up and venture back to the kitchen, insufflating in the aroma of the delicious French Roast beans brewing.  I reach for two 'Canine Carry Outs Chicken Grillers.' knowing that Grantham, our 130 pound black bear, I mean Briard, is patiently waiting, his tail vigorously wagging. Filled with anticipation of the delectable treats that he's been dreaming about all night, he begins to drool. ( One of my favorite traits about him.. it is so precious and cute.  OK, probably something only a “Mom” could love.) As I hand them to him, he is brimming with merriment! I am happy because he is so happy ! Ah...the coffee pot is making its final gurgle, proclaiming “Your Java is ready.”  That first sip with our scrumptious Parisian Almond Creme creamer is too wondrous for words.  “ Virus database has been updated,” my computer proclaims as I open the front door for Graham to enjoy his morning promenade into nature. I am in awe at the dazzling display of beauty adorning the trees in front of our home.They are a soft, brilliant white with billowing, majestic blossoms upon every branch.  The birds are singing...yes singing at this early morning hour. The sun is making its grand appearance as it arises from the east, gracing the sky with is magnificent hues of orange and pink. Three squirrels are gallivanting on our newly mowed grass. Graham begins to chase them thinking he too is tiny and light as a feather, (making me laugh), as his prodigious body gallops through the air, all 130 pounds of him. He looks as if he has invisible cement boots fastened around his four furry legs, holding his body down as he tries to jump up the tree to make contact with his newfound comrades. The squirrels are snickering up in the tree looking down at him knowing he will never catch them. (But oh how he tries.) Sneaking up next to me is my husband...a morning hug and kiss. ”Thanks for the coffee and breakfast honey...it was delicious,” he says as he goes back to his office to begin his assiduous and bustling day.

      I enter my sun splashed nook, otherwise known as “my office by day....our living room by night.” The house is delightfully cheery as I hear Matt Lower reporting on one of his globe trotting adventures.  My phone rings...It is our dear friend Cassie. “Hey Susan, how about wine and cheese at my house tomorrow  tonight? I bought some divine aged Gouda, a freshly baked sourdough baguette, a bottle of 2006 Bourgogne chardonnay, some Old Forrest salami and See's Candy dark chocolate truffles ?” Fervidly, I say without hesitation, “What time...we'll be there!” I smile as I thank God for inventing such a thing as a friend....How wonderful is that?


     I see the mail lady drive up.   She waves at me through our glass storm door as Graham ferociously barks at her, (Like he has for many a year showing me he is still my grand and heroic protector.) She delivers a large brown package.  I see it is from my brother Patrick and Chris in California....I can hardly wait to open it up.  I revel as I see it is a care package filled with lovingly selected, pleasing entities that kit and I will enjoy for weeks to come. A five pound bag of gourmet Star Bucks coffee, truffle shaped candles, a wondrous selection of novels, classic DVD'S and a designer jacket with glittering gold applicay flowers. I smile from deep within, surprising myself that my smile turns to tears of joy. Thank you Lord for creating brothers that are best friends as well.

     “Got your towel hon?” I hear as we lock up and  venture off  to our local gym. The drive over dashes by as we catch up on  all the events of our day thus far. Graham is sitting up comfortably on the back seat, the wind from the open window blowing his abundant long hair into a coiffure that resembles Han Solos 200 year old wookie copilot, Chewbacca. I laugh even now when I think of this classic vision. “Hello Jack, Evin and Kathy, “ we say as we traipse through the doors.  I am in bliss as I read my new and cherished novel as I sweat, (oh sorry, perspire) profusely on the treadmill admiring my husband across the gym, lifting his monstrous weights, praying God keeps him from injury. Rachel Ray is cooking up a Louisiana chicken gravy on one TV where as the other TV hosts a channel that is scaring the H- E-double toothpicks out of everyone, broadcasting some news story that brings forth fear, turmoil and trepidation. (A TV station that never plays in my part of our home.) We leave feeling a few pounds lighter, very thirsty and dreaming of whats for lunch as our stomachs are ravenous.

     The noon hour has arrived...I check my computer, delighted, I see I have over 20 messages. I read, smile, laugh and thank the Lord for such a thing as computers, face book and e-mail. My French Roast coffee is long gone by now.  My husband is ready for lunch....Fresh deli turkey, lettuce, tomato and avocado on pumpernickel bread. As I place the pickle on his plate my soul fills up with a joy. How blessed are we that we are together everyday? We are so fortunate to both be working at our home, thus being able to share so many special moments together. Lunch time in our home is bliss.  Just the three of us sitting in the study, looking out at the lush green lawn, charming  sylvan like woods along with our glorious and renowned Mimosa tree, (It's pink blossoms cheering my soul as it reminds me of the spectacular  parasols in the classic movies with Judy Garland, Bing and Fred Astaire.)  Graham is all settled on his colossal red gingham checked bed, awaiting his lunch of turkey with a side of P- Nut butter. As Kit, Graham and I sit together, enjoying our cuisine we share about our day , enjoying one another's company...It is heaven!

     Lunch dishes done...I hear my computer calling me. ”Come, sit, let all distractions, chores and “have-to's” go... It is now time to create. ”  It is my “own spot,” my beloved desk that I crave. I can never dwell amongst its stage of felicity enough hours in the day! Thus I settle in, ready to enter my dream world.  In order to write, I have to have things “just so”....My favorite movie playing on our DVD player, cup of Good Earth hot tea, Yankee 'Christmas Eve' fragrance candle burning, my book of phrases on my desk and my thesaurus on my screen's task bar.   I begin to research, imagine and type away.  Out of my window, a refreshing breeze is blowing.  I see blue jays and a striking red cardinal perched upon our fence, and a plump little  bunny hopping as the squirrels play amongst our yard. Graham is fast asleep, without a clue that his fellow playmates are carrying on without him.  My mind continues to dream as I write the pages of my story.  Words can't express the joy I feel that I am able to daily, spend my time “engaging” in my passion.


     After a kiss and and a hug from my two guys , I am off to the library.  I pass by the beautiful  quaint estates on our major road.  Their yards look like something out of Southern Living.  I breathe in the luscious fragrance of the Lilac trees. Our cities pond is tiny yet home to many proud and handsome mallard ducks. They  look so carefree as they bask in the cozy sunshine taking their afternoon siesta.   I arrive to our historical library. It is here I have my allotted hour to dream, search and carefully select my 5 novels and DVD'S to last me for the next few weeks. It feels like it is Christmas morning as I choose each preferential selection...still so amazed that such priceless gifts are all free.

     Arriving home, there is my Grantham wagging his tail so hard it would put out a three wick candle on our coffee table in a moment. (Which believe me, he has done many a time.)  He is barking and kissing me as if I had been gone for a week.  The sun is beginning its thoroughfare to hibernate for the night. The gloaming hour has arrived, my favorite time of day. The entire street is magically glistening in a golden , amber light with an invigorating breeze , so alluring! I begin dinner.... 'Pop goes the cork' as I open a bottle of Merlot.. I turn on my kitchen TV .  Tonight's show is a movie from our home library.  Julie Andrews is euphorically dancing with Christopher Plummer, blushing as her eyes meet his, as they revel  closely  together to the Laendler, an Australian folk dance. Feeling all warm and cozy inside, I chop my fresh ginger root, celery, green onions and begin creating my spicy curry sauce. I grill the chicken, steam the rice as I sip my Merlot. Oh the aromas that fill our kitchen with such comfort and love.  I am reminded of how much I treasure Kit as he stirs the cast Iron pot, adding his favorite seasonings, pouring more cream in our scrumptious coulis, handing me the spoon to take a taste. There is no place I would rather be...Graham is  happily circling at Kits feet hoping for a taste of this gourmet cuisine himself. We chat a few moments over crackers and Brie cheese, anticipating our captivating entrée. The salad and herb bread are finished...Dinner is on the table, Our nebula of mesmerizing candles lit. “Do you want to watch Brothers and Sisters or NCIS?” I ask.  Kit calls back as he brings in the wine, “NCIS.” (I knew he was going to say that.)  “NCIS it is.” In our own little piece of heaven, splendor and perfect peace, we once again, ( “The three Musketeers”). are in our bliss...Savory cuisine, superb wine and the best company in the world!


     Its now time for our forty winks.The coffee is ready for the next morning, the smell of our downy sheets allure us to our high 4 poster rice bed.  We turn on a show to go to sleep by, (nothing to scary or mesmerizing). We thank the Lord for the day, our friends, each other and of course Graham. Graham settles a top his bed...We are all nestled in safely for the evening. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the sky lights up, a roaring boom of thunder shakes our bedroom window.  Grahams head lifts off his bed... He cocks his head side to side as if to say, “Hey, is this another one of those scary thunderstorms again?” With the sudden downpour of rain amongst the excitement of the lightning and crackling thunder, Kit and I are thrilled as It is the perfect symphony of sounds to go to sleep to. After we comfort our BIG -little guy, and lay there all snug and comfy, before we fall off into slumber land, I think to myself, How can life get any better? I thank God for all of His many blessings. For every familiar smell, (coffee brewing, onions simmering in butter, Lilac blossoms ), each comforting sound, (Kits good morning, the weather channel, the coffee pot percolating ,Grahams bark and my Classic movies playing.) I praise God for all the things my eyes have been able to behold, (His glorious creations, the wildlife, the sunset, our TV shows, my computer screen), and for all the  wonderful and thoughtful ways He blessed my day.  Yes, the simple daily pleasures...A friends call, an e-mail, a library book, flickering candles, lovingly designed care packages and scrumptious food.

     For it is in all the small, familiar and constant everyday things, the people and simple blessings of our daily life that create our wealth and bring such fulfillment. Isn't that  what life  truly is all about? I thank the Lord as I nod off, feeling as if I truly am the wealthiest woman in all the world.

     “The best things in life are the nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at you hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars but do life's plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson 


If you would like to read other stories  by Susan you can visit her site: www.JourneyToMyFathersHeart.com