Monday, February 05, 2007

Gratitude: The Letter S

Warning: There are about a zillion things I'm grateful for that begin with the letter S! I finally just stopped typing because the list seems to be neverending.

Spain: It's tied with Switzerland as my favorite country besides the United States. I spent six weeks living there with a family and studying, and it was such a free feeling. Florrie, my senora, did all of the cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, and chores. I didn't have to call anyone with the exception of one or two calls a week; besides a little homework and morning classes, I had no responsibilities. In the afternoons I went to the public pool (complete with nice water slides), parks, pastelerias (bakeries), and just wandered around. On the weekends I often went other places, including Pamplona for the running of the bulls.

My trip to Pamplona wasn't really planned out, so I ended up sleeping in the stoop of a bank building, shivering in shorts. The next morning we went to the beginning of the run to find a place to stand & watch, but all of a sudden all the guys in the white outfits with red scarves turned around and took off running. And so did I. My friends weren't too quick on their feet, so I left them. After all, I didn't want to be trampled by bulls. And the cobblestone streets were wet and slippery from the wash down that morning, so it was particularly scary. I finally ran past a shop with an open door and ran inside, seeking protection from the bulls. My first instinct once inside was to pull out my camera, but the others in the store clearly disapproved as they muttered "Americana estupida." I realized that the bulls must bust through the glass on ocassions, so I moved to the back of the room with the others. But after five minutes had passed, there were still no bulls. Not a one. So finally the shopkeeper opened the door, gesturing for us to leave. The streets were deserted, and I walked around in search of my travel buddies. There were cops everywhere with shields and some with gas masks. I ended up crossing paths with my friends, and the girls were shaken up and had been crying. Evidently everyone was running because the police was using tear gas to disperse protesters (some political group had taken someone important hostage and decapitated him, I think). My friends were near the police and were trapped in a doorway, so they had to duck for cover as people threw things at the police officers. So anyway, the one day I was in Pamplona the running of the bulls was cancelled.

Seersucker, skimming (really really long posts like this one), spas, stars, sympathy, symphonies, Seven Mary Three, my savior, sincerity, solo cups, shrimp, Soul Asylum, salmon, San Fransico, sundaes, smoked gouda cheese, Seth, sugar, Sarah, Snow Patrol, Sambo, SVU, S&S Cafeteria (I bring the average age down a few decades:), Shakira, silver, Sister Hazel, Switzerland (it and Spain tie for my favorite country besides the U.S.), South Carolina, the South (I'm so grateful for 56 degrees and sunny right now, and I'm a sucker for "Southern gentlemen"), Sex & the City, simplicity, summers, spring, "Spaceship," softness, sushi, silk, Stone Temple Pilots, shakes, "Summer of 69," socks, skirts (so much better than shorts), Snickers, sports bras, sweet and sour sauce, savings, spontaneity, sunsets, sunrises, and Sarah McLachlan

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken, which contains several great quotes. Here is one that I agreed with as an agnostic and that I still agree with now that I'm a Christian:

"The best argument for Christians is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths."

Saturdays & Sundays: the best days of the week!

This photo makes me think of the summer, sunglasses, sunshine, sand, and the sea.


PeeJ said...

What a fantastic 'S' list.

I'd probably add Snow, Sensuality, sleep, Sushi, Standing Stones (a la Stonehenge), Spinal Tap, Sniggers, Snickets and Sao Paolo to that list.


Aaron said...


Allen Madding said...

Slurpies, Skynyrd, Splenda (I really miss sugar), Softail Custom, Sunrise, Sunset, soft southern breezes, Switchfoot, Salvation :)

e.b. said...

Simply splendid.

The beach going babe pic at the end of the post is truly adorable.

ella w. said...


Aaron - I didn't realize you had an affinity for sweat!

Ally said...

Peej: Sleeping is one of my favorite things to do! How could I forget that. And Stonehenge is amazing. What are Sniggers?

Aaron: Indeed. We'd be a wreck without it.

Allen: Slurpies and slushies--especially the ones from the guy in the truck. There's something extra exciting when you have to run down the road to get one.

e.b.: Thanks, I think so too.

Ella: Yes! I smile every time one of her songs comes on the radio.

Aaron said...

Ella: My affinity for sweat is a product of all the fun activities that induce it. :)

Kimberly said...

Love this post!
Sweet-tarts (pink and purple) and Skittles (red and purple)...and
surprises are my big ones. And DEFINITELY all those beach ones you mentioned! And Sunday afternoons.
Love you!

brookem said...

I love your list!
How about Saved by the Bell?! :)
I love the little girl too. Adorable.

Anonymous said...



Smoked gouda cheese!!


the South!!



Great list!! It's SUPER!!! Get it? "S"

Ally said...

FC&F: All of this food is making me hungry!

Brookem: That show is practically a classic!

Kimberly: Surprises are the best; how could I forget? There are so many Ss.

Aaron: Yes, running and working out are both a lot of fun:)

kathrynthomas said...

switzerland is one of my favorites also, as i've never been, yet i am moving there in august. ;) email me if you want to discuss, as i am not publicizing my move via blog yet.

spiderman. scooby doo. sam cooke. sibelius. soup. switzerland. spaghetti. superman. smores and smoke from a campfire. snow.