When I was in middle school, my best friend & I purchased 14,000 Things to Be Happy About for each others' birthdays. We'd flip through each tiny page & either nod our heads, "Yes" to the obvious or let a new wave of happiness float over us. I will never forget two Things I read from that book: the way you hold your head to eat a taco & the way your butt shakes when you sharpen a pencil. The first one still cracks me up. It's sort of like having to yawn just because you read "yawn" or yawning only because someone else does. It just happens. Your head just tilts & there's nothing you can do about it. Even if you try to fight the tilt, your head will win. Try it. Your belly will be happy too. The second Thing got me through a number of boring lectures during college. I'd watch someone stomp down the stairs with pencil in hand & I knew I was about to get a show. The butt bounces up & down & side to side. It's a magical little dance that few people appreciate. I didn't make it through all 14,000 things. I was in middle school, people! But while I was editing the apple orchard pictures I noticed a quirk that might have made the list: the way your mouth puckers & forms while it's chewing on an apple. It's almost like your mouth doesn't want to spare a single drop of the apple's juice. It's holding on so tightly to all of that fruit's goodness. Run the video & notice that shape. Oranges don't do that. Grapes can't produce that pucker. Just apples. Gratitude 36: Apple Chomping Faces.
Gratitude 37 is quite simply Fall. It's here & there's no questioning it. My tastes have switched from being quenched by ice tea to craving hot tea. When you walk outside, the air welcomes you with a crisp hug. And with that hug, you can almost hear your mother's voice chirp, "You'll need a coat tomorrow." Summer's beat of the flop from your sandal is remastered to a crunch from your boot smashing the leaves. Apples are begging to be sauced, dried, pie'd, cobbled, chomped. The distant sounds of splashing have been replaced with the echoing cheers from a tackle. I start to take inventory of our wools. Who needs a new hat & where's this glove's partner? My razor is tossed & my legs relax in the tub. And I let out a long sigh. Who loves to shave their legs? Hello, Fall. I've missed you.