10 August, 2014

Positives: 99 Things I Love

My friend Barbara Klein recently wrote a post titled 99 Things I Love – The Challenge and put a challenge out to her readers. Being a sucker for punishment challenges and a lover of lists, I quickly put my hand up. Aside from being a great gratitude exercise, I thought it would really make me analyze my life and make me realize what I need to be doing more of.

Here is my list of 99 things I love:

Family most of all, being a grandfather to the Mighty Finn
Beer in particular, Abbey Ale from the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York
Cheese
Olives
House which my dad designed and built with my mom
Curiosity
Screened porches
Real Christmas trees
Freedom
Peace
Literacy
Dogs
Music a wide variety, including James Taylor and Rod MacDonald
Romantic comedy
Google
Amazon
Jefferson
Aristotle
Galileo
Train travel
Roses
Pickles
Mustard
Cheeseburgers
Ice cream
Coca-Cola
Sausage
Pizza
HDTV
Sweet tea
Lemonade
Margaritas

Sadly, my dad did not get to finish his list. Today would have been his 66th birthday; he passed away six months ago yesterday. Though I miss him terribly every day, I try to take joy in the things he loved. If I were to try to finish his list, I'd add, speaking for both us:

Italy, especially the towns of Torre and Tocco in Abruzzi
The Italian language
Pimiento cheese (that one is his and his alone - yuck)
Hard Rock Cafés
The University of Virginia
Watching movies in movie theaters
Star Trek
The Duke Humphrey Reading Room in Oxford (after he got his hands on John Locke's Bible, I barely saw him)
Red wine, especially Amarone
Spiaggia (restaurant in Chicago)
Apple products (dating back to the early 1980s...I used my first Mac around age 2)
My mom's/his wife's cooking
Playing golf (also not mine)
Amazing Grace
Crossword puzzles
Lighthouses
Bagpipes
Honesty
Traditions and rituals
Life
The mysteries of the universe

Tonight, I'll pour a glass of Ommegang (maybe my favorite, Three Philosophers; maybe his, Abbey Ale) and raise a glass to the best man I've ever known. If you have a chance, I hope you'll do the same, remembering to savor it while you can. And I'll keep working on the list.

AECB