Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Things to Look Forward To

I love this book!  It's not that I haven't looked forward to things so much as that I've taken looking forward for granted.  Just another part of life, just another part of a day, week, month, year.  No big deal.  This book, Things to Look Forward To: Large and Small Joys for Today and Everyday, reminds me how important having things to look forward to can be, how they can add a little spark, a little light to our days, especially after more than two years of a pandemic and all the limitations it put on us.

For each of the 52 things in the book, the author, Sophie Blackall, includes a painting and a few lines or paragraphs with her thoughts about it. 
Some of the things she names are the first snow, seeing eggs with painted faces when she opens her refrigerator, finding something she thought was lost, and coming home--plus 48 other large and small events in a day, a week, or a year.

Sophie Blackall has won two Caldecott Awards (for best children's picture book).  I can see why.  Her paintings, done with Chinese Ink and watercolor, are delightful.   

After reading her book I decided to make my own list of things I look forward to, things that happen spontaneously as well as ones I anticipate or plan for in advance.  (You know the delight of anticipation!)  These are some of them, in no particular order. 
  • Ice water, especially in the morning but any time, really.
  • Rainy days
  • Being with my grandchildren again
  • Gathering and drying lavender and sweet grass
  • Clean sheets.  Even though it's a weekly event, it still feels like a luxury.
  • Seeing a row of birds on an electric wire.  We see them gather in late afternoons along the freeway, which is about the time we're coming home if we've been up north.
  • Autumn with its glisten, crunch, and glow
  • The fragrance of honeysuckle
  • Watching a well-loved movie
  • Trader Joe's chocolate croissants.  We bring them home frozen then let them rise overnight and bake them in the morning.  Fresh from the oven they are delicious.
  • Sundays, for worship and physical, mental, and emotional rest from daily activities, concerns, and challenges
  • Thunderstorms 
  • Spending time at the ocean
  • Fresh, homemade, crusty artisan bread with Jai Lai butter.  The Jai Lai restaurant no longer exists but its butter recipe (with the perfect blend of herbs) lives on.    
  • A murmuration of starlings.  I love watching them dip and sway, then turn on a dime to fly another way.  Amazing.

How about you?  Do you have things you look forward to?  What are some of them?



  1. Thank you for sharing this book and ideas! I will have to consider the ideas and make a list. Right now I d be thrilled w a thunderstorm, we have not had a good storm all year yet. My problem, sorry to be too personal, is coping w the letdown when the anticipated event does not happen.

    1. It can be such an awful disappointment when things don't happen as planned, or not at all. Especially when we've eagerly looked forward to them. I'm so sorry, Lizzy. I hope it doesn't happen to you too often.
      I also hope a thunderstorm comes your way soon. In general, do you not get many there on the ocean?

  2. What a great list Nancy, and I love that your list includes the little things in life too. My absolute favourite thing to look forward to at the moment is time with our grandbaby, and after that, free time to spend in the sewing room.
    Hope you have a great weekend

    1. Thank you, Tazzie. Time with a grandbaby is a wonderful thing to look forward to. I hope you enjoy your time with her/him. And for sure, being in the sewing room is always something to look forward to.

  3. Oh, my goodness, I love this! And I love your list! We have much in common, based on your list. There is no honeysuckle around for me to look forward to, and I can no longer do croissants and crusty artisan bread, but I can join you wholeheartedly on all the others. I will also add to the list with sunsets, the scent of the roses blooming in my garden, picking and eating fresh raspberries, a slice of homemade pie (with homemade ice cream), new lambs frolicking in the spring, a white Christmas, rereading a favorite book... I could go on, but I'll stop now. Fun to think about.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Janet, and added some things you look forward to. I have yet to see my daughter's new lambs frolicking but I look forward to seeing them some year! And always, I look forward to having a white Christmas though we don't get one every year.

  4. Oh my Nancy, this seems like an absolutely delightful book. I must look up how to buy it right away.

    1. If you're able to buy or borrow the book, I hope you enjoy it, Jocelyn. I thought it was delightful.


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