For the last week, I have been more or less confined to my condo, unable to drive the streets of Portland. Like much of America right now, Portland is freezing up and has been for the past several days. Temperatures that don’t go above freezing for 7 days straight, with ever more record-breaking snow and ice (extremely record-breaking for this region … we never get snow in this river valley), chains still required even to drive downtown (or to gift shops) … that sort of thing. My Prius doesn’t do well in snow drifts. In order to maintain some semblance of serenity in the face of “cabin fever,” I remind myself how very fortunate I (we) am (are) to have electricity, and for our utilities to keep running most of the time, pretty much no matter what weather. Imagine what life was like before folks had electricity and plumbing … it’s amazing that anyone lived to be 30 (and not as many did)! I am grateful to be pushing twice that, as I curl up in my bed for an afternoon of reading and writing, feeling quite snug … but not smug. No, I am extremely grateful for electricity right now … and so many other things including people in my life … I hope you can feel it too — what Demartini named one of his books: “the Gratitude Effect”. Even though I am physically alone, I feel close to everyone I love, grateful to all my friends and family, as well as for the Divine Love that supports all of us, even in hard times. I wish you an intimate holiday … you can have it even if you are snowed in!