thanks.jpgWell the holidays are upon us and with that often comes stress and money issues. I am facing this year’s season with a new goal: to look at it as a time to remember what I am grateful for and to express that gratitude.


I must say that I am extremely grateful for my community. The community of Half Moon Bay is a big part of my life with all the colorful, fun, and caring people in it.

I remember when I lived in my condo in Pacifica and was working in Silicon Valley, I had no time to meet my neighbors and spent big bucks on dog walking. Now, when we went away to New Mexico, we had friends jump in to feed and check in on our kittens, water our garden and care for our house plants. Everyone did this free of charge, as a neighborly gesture. Getting together to walk on the coastside trail to see the sunset is a common shared joy or an impromptu bonfire can happen in a moment, as well as an offer to help with computer stuff. Enso Yoga Center is the warm and cozy and nurturing meeting place for friends to gather for food and music and yoga and art. It is the crown jewel in our community. M Coffee is another place for friends to meet and debate and read and see art, oh and drink coffee too.

My artist community is an important and vital force that keeps me creating and thinking and being true to my art. We all learn and encourage and inspire one another. I totally respect and am excited by what my art comrades are doing in the world and for themselves. The JFKU Art and Consciousness group and HMB artists make up this incredible support system.

My partner, Ander is very dear to me. He keeps me going with challenging thoughts and feedback about the world and unseen goings on by our not too scrupulous government. He is my confidante, my protector, my builder and handyman, my buddy in life and partner in exploring new places and experiences. We are diligent in keeping to the path of sustainability and making a small footprint with the way we live and energy we use. This is not always the easy or comfortable route, but is a goal we stick to, in our part to help the world.

I am very grateful for my family. We all love each other very much and can count on one another in a pinch. I very much cherish my nieces and feel fortunate to have them in my life. My parents spent a great deal of their lives raising me in a safe and caring manner and providing me with a warm and secure home. They put an incredible focus on education and striving to be my best. They always gave me confidence that I could do anything I put my mind to. I am also very grateful to them for exposing me to my Japanese heritage, while allowing us to integrate into the American life. We took many family camping trips and also sojourns into San Francisco to theater happenings, aquariums, restaurants, and museums. I think we got a very well rounded view of life, even though we grew up in a small central valley town.

All of these connections are part of what makes me who I am and provides me with a feeling of belonging to something that is larger than myself. This is worth more than all the presents from the mall I could ever receive in a life time!

I challenge you now to write about the things you are grateful for. Believe me, it really makes your heart glow!