Sunday, July 25, 2010
an attitude of gratitude
This weekend summer happened in Seattle. I awoke to sunshine streaming in my windows, and the air was warm enough for a tank top by 7:30 am. My pale, Vitamin D deprived self reveled in the feel of warmth on my bare skin.
After last week's emotional turmoil and the self reflection that followed, I was in need of a good dose of sunshine, good food, long walks, and great conversations with some amazing friends. And that is exactly what I got. I feel happy and content from my toes to my soul.
I kicked off Saturday with a walk and convo with a good friend. Summer has arrived at Greenlake.
When I got home, I feasted on a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and avocado, and some fresh raspberries. I grew up in a small town in the country of northern Washington, and we had ample opportunities to pick fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and huckleberries. It doesn't feel like it's really summer to me until the seasonal berries arrive. The tart sweetness of the raspberries made me smile as I remembered picking them as a child (one for the bowl to make some jam, one in my mouth). I topped them with a drizzle of heavy cream and a pinch of unsweetened coconut. It was a party in my mouth.
After breakfast I headed north to Edmonds for lunch with my oldest and dearest friend, Emily. We found a cafe with a salad I could eat and the chance to dine outdoors, wandered down to the beach, poked around in cute little shops, and talked for hours. Conversation with this girl was like a comforting balm for my frazzled emotions.
I ended the evening with another walk around Greenlake with another awesome friend. (Did I mention that I really enjoy going for walks around Greenlake?) I really am fortunate in my friendships.
Today I again headed to Greenlake for another long walk and talk with a dear friend. The sunshine seems to call all Seattle-ites to Greenlake, myself included. The place was packed with couples, babies, friends, dogs, paddle boaters, and rollerbladers.
We dodged the crowds, savored iced Americanos, snuck a few blackberries from a bush (they weren't quite ripe yet - I should've known to wait 'til August), and stopped and smelled the neighborhood flowers.
This weekend of sunshine, fresh berries, new freckles, and soothing conversation made me swell with gratitude. I'm so grateful for having a group of amazing women to call friends. I'm grateful for my body, which is feeling stronger each day. I'm grateful for my doctors who kept running tests until they finally determined what was wrong with me, and that these doctors cared enough about me to give me tools and empowering advice to manage this disease. I'm grateful that I get to call a place as beautiful as Seattle my home. (Yes it is beautiful even in the rain, but I prefer Seattle in the sun.) I'm grateful that I managed to find parking near Greenlake on a sunny day. I'm grateful to have employment during this tough economic time. I'm grateful that I can afford to purchase food that is nourishing to my body, and the occasional pretty plate from Anthropologie to make eating that much more fun. And I am grateful that even this limited diet allows me to savor as many fresh raspberries as I can shove in my mouth. Here's hoping for many more gorgeous Seattle summer days!
Today's recipe was inspired by a summertime favorite: the Slurpee. For obvious reasons Slurpees are taboo right now. (Plus they are kind of gross after the age of 12.) So consider this a grown up, starch free version of an old summertime fave:
Blend 5 ice cubes and 2/3 cup of your favorite strong flavored juice. It's important to pick a juice with a strong flavor or it will taste all watered down once you blend it. I chose Genesis Organic's apple ginger juice. Not only did it look a little like beer once I blended it, it tasted amazing.