What I'm Grateful For

by Katy on July 30, 2009 · 19 comments


Today in Portland marked day two of unrelenting 106 degree heat, and day four of a heat wave. Because this is highly unusual weather for our neck of the woods, very few people have air conditioning. However, there is still much to be grateful for.

Here is my list of the five things for which I am feeling gratitude:

  1. I cared for a laboring couple from India on Monday, and asked them if they were laughing at us Pacific Northwesterners for freaking out about a few 100+ degree days. They answered that where they are from it’s not unusual to have 115 degree weather with high humidity. I am grateful not to be living in India.
  2. Our Safeway places a monthly ad in the local paper that includes a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase. I always do a big grocery trip at the beginning of the week and then a big one at the end before this offer expires. I bought five big bags of groceries for $5o (I overspent) today plus a big watermelon. I am grateful that I can get great deals on groceries without fussing with a bunch of coupons. (I did use a few coupons, but didn’t have to join clubs or order anything off eBay to do so.)
  3. My mother’s guest cottages have been booked solid this Summer, so we haven’t had the opportunity to indulge in any pretend vacations, (my favorite kind, as they require a scant 15 minutes of travel time and zero pre-vacation stress.) My mother blocked out six nights next week for us, and we’ll be partaking in the air conditioned-cable TV watching-across the street from the library-three blocks from the pool-around the corner from a fabulous bakery luxury. I am grateful that my mother not only owns these guest cottages, but loves to host us.
  4. Many people live in communities that do not support energy saving measures such as hanging a clothesline or planting vegetables in the front yard. I am grateful that my neighborhood embraces people who make sustainable and energy efficient choices.
  5. I spent all afternoon and evening basking in the frigid splendor of my mother’s air conditioned home, eating her food, drinking her drinks and watching marathon on-demand episodes of Entourage. I then drove home to discover my house was still hideously hot and stuffy. My mother spelunked into the basement of the next-door guest cottage and pulled out two standing fans which she then drove over to my house. As I sit here with both fans selfishly trained on my me, I am grateful to have the best Mom in the whole wide world! (I am also more than a little bit grateful for Ari Gold.)

What are you grateful for? Please share your lists in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen July 30, 2009 at 1:36 am

Katy and other hot-weather Pacific Northwesterners,

Sorry about that heat! I lived in Lake Oswego for 3 years in the early ’90s while attending Marylhurst, and it is hard to imagine Portland area suffering such high temps. Global warming, anyone?

Here in San Francisco, we very occasionally have a heat wave but mainly, no one is ever prepared for it. Forget air conditioners–people in SF rarely even have fans! So everyone goes temporarily insane, they just flip out, as if it’s the worst thing that ever happened. All we can talk about is the weather–at that point, it’s the only real topic.

I hope your heat wave passes soon. Re being grateful, I am grateful for the beauty of the area I live in, the abundant birds and bees in my garden, great cats, the library, and…that it’s NOT hot here at the moment. Yeah, I had to mention that ; )


Jinger July 30, 2009 at 5:52 am

thank you for the reminder to be grateful…as i go into my 5th week of a cast on my dominant hand/arm which has put me out of commission, i need to be making a grateful list right now instead of griping.

life is so much bigger than high temps or non life threatening injuries.



NMPatricia July 30, 2009 at 6:19 am

I agree – time to remember what is good in my life. Struggling with a down mood right now and this will probably help (on top of the fact that we used to live in Salem and now New Mexico and people thought it would be HOT HERE!)


Sierra July 30, 2009 at 6:48 am

Thanks for this post. I do a “gratitude project” every year starting on August 1, where I write down one thing I’m grateful for each day. This was a nice way to get into that headspace. If you’re interested in playing along, I plan to post it to http://www.childwild.com this year.


Andy July 30, 2009 at 7:16 am

I am grateful:
1) That my apartment stays between 62-78 year round without us heating or cooling it since it is so well insulated.
2) That my gf can walk to her nursing job at the hospital in 7 minutes, and I can bike to work in under 20.
3) That my job is meaningful work, helping people reduce how much they drive and how many cars they own (carsharing)
4) That I am able to bike at least 137 miles in a day and still ride 4mi up the hill to work the next morning.
5) That my student loans are going to be gone about 1.5 years after graduating since I’ve managed to keep expenses so low.


Meadowlark July 30, 2009 at 9:03 am

Grateful that
1) THIS side of the mountain was (for once) not as hot as YOUR side.
2) BabyGirl and I leave for Vegas tomorrow. First major mom/daughter trip
3) Pineapple jam just sealed. POP!
4) You’ll be posting a link to the guest cottages so I know where to stay when I come to P-town next year. 🙂


Laura July 30, 2009 at 10:11 am

What am I grateful for?
1. My husband’s love.
2. My cat’s companionship.
3. My job, which asked me to stay on as a remote contractor when I moved away from Los Angeles. I now work from home (or the library, or the coffeeshop downtown…)
4. I no longer live in Los Angeles (which I just mis-typed as Lost Angeles… Freudian slip anyone???)
5. The tomato plants in my garden, which will be contributing to my attempts to preserve my own food. They had the good grace to survive my clumsy first attempt at vegetable gardening this year.


Jean M July 30, 2009 at 10:18 am

1. One of the greatest public library systems ever! Great books, CDs, DVDs, programs, plus it’s within biking distance!

2. My bike, on which I can get exercise and alone time.

3. My wonderful husband, who graciously watches our children whenever I need exercise and alone time.

4. A country where I can live free.

5. My health, my happiness, and my family.


Melody July 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Nice post! Totally grateful this morning for

1. free bus rides in my town during the summer, so I could schlep my kids to meet my husband for lunch

2. a daughter who chose to spend her saved-up money on a book

3. fresh zucchini bread

4. a toddler who naps

5. bizarrely cool and non-humid midwestern weather these days


Marie July 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

1. I’m not pregnant! Which means I’m in good health.
2. Cutting back is a choice and not something forced upon us.
3. Youtube to listen to Loreena McKennitt when I need to calm down
4. Separate bedrooms for my kids so that I get a little sleep at night.
5. Sugar snap peas.


Non Consumer Girl July 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Today I am grateful that

1. I can work from home today and not have to go into the office
2. that my dad turned 77 years old today
3. that we could have breakfast as a family this morning
4. blue skies and sunshine today


Cynthia July 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I’m grateful at the end of this day for:
1. Libraries, full of books old and new, available at no cost to everyone.
2. Fans, to help cool the air here in unseasonably hot Bellingham, Washington.
3. Farmers markets in my town on Wednesdays and Saturdays — food from the hands of farmers I know by name into my grateful hands.
4. My (adult) children and stepchildren all having jobs and health insurance — may that same phrase be one that all parents can say.
5. Katy’s blog, the first thing I read every morning!

(And I would like the website for Katy’s mother’s Portland cottages too — we are planning a trip there next year.)


Heidi July 31, 2009 at 3:32 am

1. A relaxing summer with my 2 kids despite all the rain in the northeast.
2. My new job, which still leaves me time to take the kids swimming during the afternoon.
3. My basement is dry.
4. My household expenses are nicely under control.
5. I’ve read a lot of good books this summer.
6. I lost one pound in the month since school got out (my goal was just to maintain over the summer).


shelly July 31, 2009 at 5:28 am

1. I am grateful that while the finances are ugly, I am not in danger of losing my home
2. I am grateful for the rain that has plagued this summer here in the east. Much better than hot and humid
3. I am grateful for the wonderful vacation my children and I had in Nova Scotia in June, even though it rained the whole time
4. I am grateful that I have the ability to adapt to rainy vacations!
5. I am grateful that my foster dog will finally be getting a forever family after a year of living here, even though I will miss him terribly
6. I am grateful that my boyfriend built me a clothesline, even though its rained more often than not this summer


jenn baron July 31, 2009 at 7:06 am

What a great reminder!

I am grateful for:
1. My partner who loves me just as I am. She’s a saint!
2. My 2 dogs and 1 cat.
3. The super comfortable weather we’ve been having in Indianapolis.
4. Finding a great new hair stylist who charges a fair price.
5. My awesome massage therapy clients.


Chris Quinn July 31, 2009 at 7:14 am

I’m so grateful for the Entourage cast picture! What a way to start my day. I’m grateful to live in a town with a great library where I’ve borrowed each season of Entourage and am on the waiting list for the upcoming release!


penelope July 31, 2009 at 11:57 am

i am grateful for the fact that i got to see my father again in Dominican Republic. Not a lot of people have the luck to see their father, ofr they probably have a careless father

i am grateful for the great family i have.

i am grateful because i got accepted to the technical high school i always wanted to go

i am grateful because i have a roof over my head,clothes to wear, heat in the winter, air conditioner in the summer, water to drink, food to eat, water to bathe, and most importantly Jesus Christ in my heart


atsquared August 1, 2009 at 10:37 am

I am grateful for my kitchen full of dirty dishes that I am getting ready to wash… it means my family has had plenty to eat.

I am grateful that even though my husband has to work during this long weekend, he still has a job.

I am grateful for my beautiful baby girl, and the amazing child growing strong inside me.

I am grateful for my home, when many people in my community suffered flood damages last weekend, and others were displaced when an apartment building was deemed unsafe.

I am grateful for the farmers who grow my food. (Especially Chantal and Dave, who run the farm that supplies my CSA box!)

I am grateful for a productive morning of yard sales… (My grand total of $12.50 bought me the entire Little House series of books, which are my favourite, a second drying rack, a like-new PFD for my daughter in the next size she’ll need, a beautiful wooden salad-sized bowl, and a pair of skates for my daughter to wear next year!)

I am grateful for the perspective to recognize my many, many blessings.


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