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Ten Things of Thankful: Rain (Again) Edition

If you've been following my Ten Things of Thankful posts, you might realize that this is the 5th week in a row that I have mentioned:

1.  RAIN!  I am still thankful for rain.  2.  I am thankful that I have had my sprinklers off for so long.  3.  I am thankful the yard is greening up.  4.  I am also thankful that rain sometimes makes me laugh.

One of the Christmas gifts I gave John last December was a calendar, with many of the weekends filled with different activities for date night.  Written on February 10 was an idea in which I took particular pride.  We have always talked about visiting Italy some day, but some day hasn't come yet, and won't this year.  I decided to create an Italian experience the weekend before Valentine's day.  

The highlight of the date was to be a gondola ride in Huntington Harbor, on an authentic Italian gondola.  I had done my homework: February 10th was a full moon, and the reservation was made so that we could watch the sunset and moonrise.  As the date got closer, I learned that there was also going to be a lunar eclipse that night.  This was going to be spectacular!  I just didn't realize that it was going to be spectacularly cloudy and rainy.  

When the guy from the gondola company called, he told me that they had an umbrella, and the ride hadn't been canceled.  I told him that we were still game, and so we began.  Our gondolier was quite the sport, maneuvering the gondola while being constantly rained upon.  (We felt so bad for him, and made sure to generously tip him.) He even took a photo for us before we all braved the elements.

Photo:  John and I sit in a red gondola in the rain, with our sparkling apple juice in a bucket by our feet
We did not see the moon.  We did not see the sun.  We did not see any other vessels moving on the water.  With the exception of a couple of people who clapped and cheered for our gondolier from inside their nice, warm, dry houses, we didn't see anyone.  For one hour, this is what we saw (and heard--be sure to turn up your volume if you want to hear the rain falling):

5.  I'm thankful for the gondolier, who put on a cheerful face even when his work conditions were less than ideal, and who never even once called us crazy.  He said we "have a sense of adventure!"

6.  I'm thankful our hotel was just down the road, so it wasn't long before we were warm and dry again.

7.  I'm thankful to witness a touching sight this morning.  As we were walking along the beach near the Huntington Beach Pier, we noticed a large number of surfers on the shore, and a huge crowd of people on the pier.   

Photo:  People line Huntington Beach Pier, and surfers gather on the shore
At first, we were wondering if there was a surfing competition happening, but there didn't appear to be any judges nor media. Then we noticed that every surfer had flowers stuck in the back of their wetsuits, or in their mouths or hands.  We had stumbled upon a memorial service.

Apparently a young woman who was loved in the surfing community passed away recently.  All of the surfers swam out on their boards and gathered offshore near a boat.  There was lots of cheering and splashing, and I got the impression that this was truly a celebration of life.  It was a touching scene.

Photo:  Some of the surfers that gathered for the memorial (each dot is a surfer).  The boat is out of sight, on other side of the pier.
8.  I'm thankful for our youngest daughter, who kept down the fort while we were gone.  

9.  I'm thankful for sleep.  I caught up on sleep.  I fell asleep early, and I woke up late, and it was wonderful.  

10.  I'm thankful for John.  I'm thankful for his sense of adventure. Our gondola ride was not exactly what we had anticipated, but it was fun anyway.  And really, isn't that a fairly accurate metaphor for life?  It doesn't always go as planned, but we can have a good time together anyway--rain or shine!

(The Ten Things of Thankful is changing a bit.  Lizzi has stepped down as our fearless leader, Josie Two Shoes has volunteered to take her spot, and the hop now has its own blog: Go there to link up and join in!)

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  1. So many wonderful things to be thankful for! I love the memorial that you stumbled across ~ looks like such a touching tribute.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. I'm not typically a funeral-crasher, but it was interesting to see.

  2. This wonderful post reminds me of the quote about learning to dance in the rain! You are exactly right that life seldom goes exactly as we plan, and it's what we do with what we've been given that matters. It sounds like the two of you had a fun, relaxing weekend together despite the rainy gondola ride. The memory will make you laugh in years to come. Blessings to the friendly gondolier. A chance for extra sleep is always so nice! I like memorial services that celebrate life, and this sounds like a lovely tribute. Thank you so much for linking up with us at the new TToT blog! :-)

    1. With a blog named as mine is, you know I will follow the TToT wherever it goes! :-) Thanks to you for stepping up. If you ever decide to have a code to embed, I would be happy to include it in my posts.

    2. I love your blog name, it tells me that you focus on your blessings! I will check into sharing the code for future posts, thank you!! I forgot to say last night how much I loved the photo of you two in the gondola. It's a keepsake with love written all over it! :-)

  3. I guess if the gondolier was bothered by rain he would have canceled your ride. If we can't enjoy the less than perfect things that happen in life we will be miserable a good bit of the time.

    1. The gondolier was an employee of the company. I think the boss made the decision to operate in the weather. It would have been easier if the gondolier was the decision-maker, but he seemed to be happy with the tip.

  4. You are amazing, Kristi. What an adventurous daughter you have been and still are! Who would have even thought that there was a gondolier in your area? Hats off to him for letting the two of you have a night to remember.

    1. Sometimes I wonder about the dividing line between adventurous and out of my gourd, but we'll go with adventurous! :-)

  5. I am amore-ed with your date on the gondola. Maybe the rain made it even more romantic. I think the gift calendar with date ideas is one I just might borrow. Maybe I'll just sneak a few into my hub's daily planner for next month. I, too, want to visit Italy in the future.

    1. Feel free to borrow the idea--just realize that Mother Nature might try to get in on the date!

  6. Wow it sounds like a wonderful Friday date night despite rain and elements - you guys are an inspiration and shows me how it works or how it is done...

    Brava amica - o Bravissimo amici!
    Sei un ispirazione per tutti noi :)

  7. A beautiful post, Kristi. So many people don't slow down enough to enjoy life and to make their marriage a priority. I'm thrilled your trip to Italy was wonderful and memorable.

    1. Thank you. Date nights are an essential part of marriage, I think.

  8. was not exactly what we had anticipated, but it was fun anyway.
    very well observed (metaphoristically speaking) which you did, I believe

  9. Nice list. Even the rained on view looks good. We can have fun even with the rain. I grew up in the Philippines surrounded by seas and the house I grew up in has a big fish bond in the back. I liked looking at it from my parent's bedroom and from the yard.

    1. A view of the water must have been wonderful!

  10. I absolutely love this post about your Italian experience and enjoying the rain and enjoying life even when it rains - it's all part of the plan. Beautiful.
    That memorial service is so poignant. Thanks for sharing that.


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