Hello and good day!
L'chaim my friend. I toast you and I toast your life.
It's a clear cold day here.
Mist is coming off the lake. The fog has parted, and an icy blue sky has broken through.
In our backyard, my dear wife has a million little unfinished projects. She is creative and she can't help but take her visions out for a spin in the real world.
I see flower beds built and halfway planted. There is a plastic folding table that she used as a saw bench for cutting wood but failed to put away in the shed. I'll make one of my sons carry it off. Bags of forgotten fertilizer piled up against the side of our house.
I'm a man who likes things to be neat and orderly. This morning, I don't care.
The cold is on my skin and my breath turns to vapor.
The pines look down on me and I look up at them. L'chaim my friend.
With life, everything that a person is capable of doing can be done.
Without life, there is nothing. It's a zero-sum game. It's the whole world, all of existence, or nothing.
To life my friend. L'chaim.
A surprise hurricane blew through Acapulco yesterday. 27 people died. One day they were living near the beach. The next day, nothing.
But me and you, we're still here.
Last week an Israeli woman came into our chocolate shop. She was a young woman. She just moved to the United States two months ago.
Her husband took a new job in Seattle. She has a young son.
I asked her what she thought about the war.
She showed me a picture of her friends who were killed in the massacre. The family looked eerily like mine.
A man my age. A woman my wife's age. Three young sons smiling, the same age as my three young sons.
The woman didn't cry when she showed me the picture of her deceased friends.
I asked her what now. Now her husband leaves for Israel to fight in the war.
She says that she would go too but she has to stay and take care of her own young son who is less than a year old.
I have no space for pettiness today.
I will let every little thing slide.
I will do my duty to the best of my ability and try to enjoy every second of this blessed day.
L'chaim. To life. To your life and mine.
I have two outdoor cats that have never stepped foot in our house. We bought them when they were kittens because we used to have hens, and the chicken feed attracted mice and rats. They're working cats, grown rugged and resilient from living in the elements.
When we sit at our dining room table, they stand up on their hind legs and scratch the backdoor windows with the nails of their front paws.
I look out the window and see that they have food.
I step outside and breathe in the cold air.
I feel the pressure of their strong heads and long bodies rubbing against my shins. I feel the purring through their rib cages against my legs.
The maple leaves are gold.
I smell smoke in the air coming from my neighbor's chimney.
Outdoor cats like affection too.
L'chaim my friend. To life. We're alive. We can feel the cats on our legs.
When I was a freshman in college, the resident advisor of my dorm was handsome and popular, and everybody loved him. He was captain of the football team and president of the student body.
The boys envied him.
The girls wanted to date him.
One afternoon twenty years ago, I needed him to sign a document to renew my living arrangements.
He opened his dorm room door and welcomed me in. There was a big black, red, green, and white flag on his wall.
"What's that flag?" I asked.
"It's a Palestinian flag," he said.
"Yes. My father is Palestinian. My mother is American."
'Do you still have family there?"
"Not much anymore. My grandfather just passed."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"He died in a refugee camp. He was pushed off his land by settlers."
"What do you think about everything over there?"
"I understand why it is how it is. But it would have been nice for my grandfather to die in his home."
"You're proud to be Palestinian?"
"It's not a pride thing. It's who I am. My ancestors going back many centuries were from that land."
He signed the document.
There are wars going on and me and you aren't in them.
We'll sleep tonight confident that we'll wake up and live again tomorrow.
L'chaim my friend. To your life. Cherish it.
Love every minute of it while you can.
Don't let little things ruin infinite possibilities.
Now that I've got that out of my system, I have one small announcement to make.
I just put the mini square version of our 47% dark milk chocolate online.
If you are a fan of our dark milk chocolate, but find it cumbersome to cut chunks off a 1.1 pound brick, consider the mini squares.
We've held off on putting this product online for more than 6 months.
We were projecting a shortage of our 47% dark milk chocolate, but we just had a new shipment arrive and for the time being we are flush.
If you'd like to pick up a bag of mini squares, just click the link below.
And l'chaim! To life!
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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