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On his most recent visit, my three-year-old grandson introduced me to a game called Puppy Pile-Up. This game consists of my sitting on the couch, with his three stuffed puppies beside me, and calling out, “Where’s Puppy # 4? We miss him.”

Then Puppy #4, my grandson, comes barreling in, leaps onto the couch, knocking me flat, and I pile the three puppies on top of him, and we call out “Puppy Pile Up!” – and in a few minutes, after a great hug, we do it all again == 12 times.

Oh the profound blessing of feeling my hug meter fill up to overflowing – and then having the rest of the week to rest up!.

This morning, I had no plans—one of the often unrecognized blessings of the pandemic – so I sat at the kitchen table and counted my blessings while eating breakfast. First of course was being alive, and quite healthy for a 76-year-old. Second was that healthy breakfast I was eating. Third was the six pills I take (count ‘em) to maintain that health. Of course my husband, for whom I am thankful multiple times in the day, and my son and daughter, who, despite any worries I might have had on the way, have grown up to be wonderful (and interesting) people. A blessing to have wonderful friends, who keep me walking and in touch every day. The remarkable changing spring weather we walk through (the knees that still bend, the hips that still swing and the blossoms bursting around us). The vaccine which has lifted the cloud of fear that marked too many days this past year. And of course the financial cushion that allows us to have breakfast, a roof over our head. And gives me a chance to write. And the ability to care about and do something about the problems of people short on blessings. To give to the food pantry, the environmental organizations, Common Cause and other defenders of democracy. Call it a blessing pile-up.

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