The best start to my day is sitting out on my front veranda gazing down toward the road, seeing the herd of cows meandering in the green pasture and listening to the quiet sounds of the morning.I am loving my front veranda, and the time spent in the fresh morning air . I hope to begin my day in that manner until the snow flies. This has been a summer to remember in so many ways. There are loose ends to tie up and things to be worked out but for the most part I have soaked in the sun, took daily dips in my healing lake and embraced the move that has brought our daughter, our son in law and Emma and Paige home. Yesterday I returned to the market and had the best sales day ever. Looking at my final tally Emma decided that maybe she would be a writer. I assured her that writers don’t make this much money every day. But how nice to greet returning readers and meet new ones. The highlight of my day yesterday was connecting with a woman who grew up a few miles away from where I lived in Long Reach.She had been introduced to my books by a friend of Zac’s who has always been a huge supporter of my work.She came to the market to buy all nine books which is such a thrill for me.She told of reading my new book and coming to pg 99 where she saw her father’s name and a reference that was fictional but so meaningful in her own memory. Being a writer who uses my home area as setting for most of my work and throws in real people among the fictional story lines I love it when it brings that kind of connection to my readers. She was thrilled to delve into fiction to retrieve memory and meaning. I realize as I write this that the real value of my quiet mornings on the veranda is reflection and processing and a chance to fill up my gratitude reservoir. Days when I don’t get that opportunity leave me floundering and empty. Even in all the busyness, all the worry and heartache the last few weeks have brought I can truly say just being where I am and taking in my blessings have kept me going. I will return to my desk when the teachers go back and I will continue to put effort into crafting stories that matter to me. Knowing that they matter to other people too makes it even more meaningful. We all have heartache, sorrow, loss and pain but the gifts are there for the taking. This Sunday morning my gifts were plentiful. Against the backdrop of cows mooing and roosters crowing, with two old dogs snoozing at my feet and a granddaughter still sleeping I let the morning coffee wake me, the sun encourage me and the days’ promise call to me.With that beginning I can face all the rest of it.