On this Gratitude Friday, why not reach out to someone you’re grateful for today and let them know how they touch your life? Here’s what I’m particularly grateful for this week:
>> Did you ever meet someone and just have a sense that your life has been changed for the better for some reason? That’s what happened to me last weekend on my first dining experience at Caseus, an amazing bistro in New Haven, Conn. Our server, Michael, was one of the kindest, friendliest people I’ve ever met, and he made our dinner memorable far beyond the fantastic food. Turns out it was his very last night after working there for three years, as he and his girlfriend, a Yale law student, were moving to Brooklyn. I don’t know why we were destined to meet him—why our first visit happened to be late on his final night there—but I have this weird feeling there was some higher purpose and we will cross paths again some day. And even if not, his smile and easy nature made an indelible impression on me, and reminded me what a gift it is to make people feel comfortable and special for a little while. For that alone, I’m grateful.
>> I am so happy to have my 15-year-old (my baby!) back home after a month at camp, and I couldn’t be more grateful to those who made his time there joyful and safe. His counselors were a great group of guys this year, and the director and staff were kind and supportive. I appreciate the lifelong friendships he has cultivated there over the years, as well as the Jewish spirit he has come to internalize from his time at camp. Best of all were the many hugs I’ve gotten to savor this week, as well as our half-hour conversation on the couch on his first night home, just the two of us, getting caught up on each other’s month apart.
>> Another camp-related highlight of my week was sharing last Friday night’s Shabbat service through a live stream. Listening to the joyful voices of the campers and counselors who led the service was a beautiful accompaniment while I was cooking in my kitchen, and even though I couldn’t see my son, I knew we were together in worship and song. A very grateful hour.
>> My twins are having a phenomenal summer experience studying media production at Boston University, at the same college from which I graduated, and they’re living in my freshman dorm! It’s a gift to hear their voices filled with tremendous enthusiasm and passion for what they’re doing, learning and seeing, and I am grateful they are able to participate in a program they find so meaningful and explore a city with which they have become so smitten. (As I’m writing this, I just got a text in all caps from one of them who was given the opportunity to control the count board on both the big scoreboard and Green Monster at his beloved Fenway Park. It was followed by a video of him in the control room, and finally a beyond excited phone call. He’s still pinching himself!)
>> Sometimes a spontaneous moment becomes a treasured memory, and that’s precisely what happened one afternoon this week. With an hour to kill in midtown Manhattan, we wandered into FAO Schwarz for some relief from the heat. My oldest found his way to the area with Disney artwork, and within a minute, he and his brother picked up an adorable print of Lady and the Tramp and they instantly made the expressions of the sweet characters. They were giddy with silliness and I couldn’t stop laughing at how cute they were, these big boys captivated by memories of their favorite childhood movies. They asked me to take a picture, and I’m so grateful to have a visual memento of such a beautiful, fun-filled moment with my “bookends.”
>> I am grateful to have received a rare 20% off the entire order coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond a couple of years ago—and to have saved it for the momentous occasion of college shopping! It’s extremely generous of BB&B to ignore expiration dates on all coupons except the ones you can print at home, and we made excellent use of this super-nice discount. Now the countdown begins til move-in!
>> We turned a cold, rainy day into a fun, magical night this week, taking two ferries over to the North Fork Table & Inn in Southold, NY. There’s something inherently relaxing about riding in your car on a little ferry across a small inlet, and that was the prelude to one of the most delicious meals we’ve ever had on Long Island. We were grateful for the thoughtful, scrumptious food preparation; the care with which so many of the ingredients were grown or raised; the warm and exceptionally polite hospitality; and the opportunity to share such a fun and delicious adventure.
>> I picked up my new wheels this week, and I have much gratitude and appreciation for my friend Ryan, the dealership owner, and for my ace sales guy, Jerry, for working to make the deal so sweet and for taking the time to give me a personalized setup and training session. This is the fourth car we’ve gotten from the dealer, and couldn’t be more happy to be repeat customers. Since the vehicle was built to order, I am also grateful to all the folks who had a hand in manufacturing her. She has been appropriately named “Lady Victoria” and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be her owner.
Are you feeling grateful for something this week?