Why are the people in this picture happy, in the middle of subzero temps (on the day this was taken, at least)?
1. Because Starling threw a party to celebrate the completion of her certificate in spiritual direction, and people came, and the homemade chili was widely deemed worth having thirds, and the chocolate chunk cookies were amazing, and people laughed and had a good time.
2. Because Jackrabbit (me) finally sent his picture book manuscript to a literary agent, and has finally decided to take the plunge and try writing fiction for two years to see what happens, and because so far, it is a decision that feels very right and very overdue. Now, he just has to figure out which of his three potential projects is going to get finished first.
3. Because Mudpuppy is ALWAYS happy!
4. Because Jaybird recently read a whole book all by herself (well, with minimal help from an adult volunteer at school) -- a very simple book, but a book nonetheless.
5. Because those lovely Egyptians, God bless them, did something wonderful for themselves and for the world by bringing more hope to the people of the Middle East through their nonviolent commitment to justice than the West has managed after ten years of war; and because maybe, just maybe, we have witnessed the sowing of seeds that someday will bear the fruit of real peace in the Middle East.
6. Because it is still light at 5 p.m.!!!
7. Because lovely little Tori, the five-year-old girl from Eastern Europe for whom we helped raise funds last fall, finally got to meet her new family, and her many smiles in the pictures of her with her new family make us smile, too.
8. Because Jaybird was invited to two birthday parties this weekend, and what is more fun than a princess party with a piñata?
9. Because our involvement with the Winona Catholic Worker allows us to rub shoulders with some very good people -- remarkably good, unselfish, holy people; and because we just got to meet a new live-in volunteer (coming here from Detroit) who seems to be another one of those good people.
10. Because there is absolutely nothing better than our homemade pizza to warm our hearts on a cold winter day!