Halfway through setting the Thanksgiving table.
In no particular order:
1. Marcus' quirky sense of humour.
2. My parents' warmth and friendliness.
3. Oreo cookies.
4. Learning how to make Trinidadian cooking, well enough that my parents look forward to when I make it.
5. The ease with which Alex tells me her deep, dark, personal stuff.
6. My friends Trish and Carl, particularly how at this point in my life, they're not so much friends as family, and how they have a standing invitation to come to our house on the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas to eat leftovers, and they always take advantage of it.
7. My Houston posse, particularly Laura and Jenny and Katherine and Brené.
8. Fires in our fireplace.
9. Our family Friday night camping night.
10. Rum punch.
11. Caribbean beaches.
12. The way my English inlaws always make me feel welcome every time I see them.
13. Alex's very keen wit.
14. Saturday morning pancakes with my family. Even though I don't really like pancakes.
15. The Shawshank Redemption, When Harry Met Sally, Juno and Lost in Translation.
16. To Kill a Mockingbird and all of Bill Bryson's books.
17. My friend Mark. Who, like Trish & Carl, is also much more like family. Which leads me to ...
18. ... the fact that he found the lovely and very gracious Morgan to spend the rest of his life with. Their impending wedding thrills me to no end.
19. Dark chocolate.
20. Stinky cheese, coupled with a glass of really great port.
21. Manzanita beach.
22. My cameras.
23. My Mac.
24. The fact that I'm from a beautiful country like Trinidad & Tobago. There are aspects of it that frustrate me to no end, but ultimately, at its core, there is no sweeter place.
25. All of the opportunities -- educational, professional and otherwise -- that I've been afforded by living in the United States.
26. Origins Ginger Essence cologne. It has become my signature scent.
27. Nag champa incense.
28. Family vacations, particularly when it's just the three of us.
29. My newfound but thoroughly addictive way of journaling.
30. Our relatively small, relatively old, but oh-so-comfortable home.
31. My studio.
33. Papermate Flair pens. Seriously, if they're ever discontinued, I'm not sure what I will do with myself.
34. Cost Plus World Market, IKEA and Target.
35. All bookstores everywhere.
36. Plum wine. Particularly the glass Marcus just brought me as I was typing this list.
37. Scuba diving.
38. Cayman Islands.
39. My friend Victoria.
42. Marcus' culinary gift.
44. Ghost Hunters. Don't judge me.
45. My sister.
46. HGTV. Don't judge me.
48. Bossa nova.
50. Star Pizza.
52. Blogs. Particularly really good ones.
53. Random acts of kindness.
54. Shockingly white, puffy clouds.
55. The arrivals gate at any airport.
56. My friend Everett.
57. Cafe Brasil.
59. Handwritten letters.
60. My friend Cash.
61. T'afia restaurant.
62. Annie Leibovitz.
63. Eddie Izzard.
64. Jon Stewart.
65. Barack Obama.
66. The woman who I met on one of my 5 mile walk/runs who stopped to stay something very nice to me once. I have no idea who she is, I don't know if I'll ever see her again, but I'll never forget her.
67. Cookies & cream ice cream.
70. The cartloads of photographs that keep coming for my photo drive. I can't tell you how moved they make me. Really.
71. A perfect Texas weather day.
72. Santa Fe.
73. My grandmother, and her memory.
75. My summer trips with the Lovebombers.
76. Squarespace, Flickr and Twitter. And all the friendships that have resulted therefrom.
77. My engagement and wedding rings.
78. How hard Marcus and Matt worked to build me a Lazy Susan for our giant old dining table in time for Thanksgiving dinner. I thought it would be a 20-minute job, instead, it was hours of backbreaking toil. I love how it turned out, and I love them for working so hard on it to make it perfect.
79. My friend Lori's cranberry sauce recipe (1 package of fresh cranberries; 1 cored, peeled, sliced apple; 1 peeled navel orange; 1 cup of sugar. Puree in a blender until the consistency of apple sauce. Perfection).
80. Large meals shared around a table with family or friends that last for hours and hours.
82. The Spanish language.
83. Big, warm, heartfelt hugs.
84. My grandfather, and the memory of him.
85. Marriage. And adoption.
86. Really beautiful, photogenic flowers.
89. Children's plays, choirs, or any performance or recital. I cry at all of them, whether my child is involved or not.
90. Staedtler pens.
91. Ecosystem journals. Just like Moleskines, but made of 100% post consumer recycled content. Fantastic.
92. One-on-one times with close friends.
93. One-on-one times with Marcus.
94. Sunsets by the ocean.
96. Morning and evening snuggles.
97. Beautiful postcards.
98. Shared unspoken sentiments.
99. Belly laughs.
100. Those of you who visit me here at Chookooloonks. It sounds so trite to say this, but seriously, your notes, comments and visits have been literally life-changing; without them over the last 5-1/2 years, I likely would've never rediscovered my passion for photography and writing. I owe you all deep, heartfelt thanks.
* * * * * * *
Happy Love Thursday, and Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you, wherever you're from, or wherever you may be.
Song: Golden by Jill Scott