photoThis weekend we had a foreign exchange student from China. My daughter had asked if we could be a host, (she has been taking Chinese for several years and her teacher told her about this opportunity.) We were supposed to have a fairly quiet weekend, which is not common for our family, so I said sure.

Our exchange student brought us a beautiful red velvet decoration for our home wishing us good fortune but I was wondering if we were to have it, as our quiet schedule changed. My daughter’s basketball tournament got moved to the weekend, my son had one basketball game added to his schedule, so he had three games, I had two basketball games and my husband now had to leave town.

I was worried this would be too much for our guest, but to my surprise, and joy, our exchange student liked basketball and somehow, even with our crazy schedule, he was able to walk Alki Beach, visit the West Seattle Art Walk and Sunday Market, have good old-fashioned burgers and chocolate shakes on our back deck, get spectacular photos of the city after sunset, go to the West Seattle Seafair parade, hit China town for groceries, play some heated games of Jenga, and fall in love with our two boxer dogs Sassy and Bruno.

And my favorite part of the weekend was when our exchange student taught us how to make Chinese Dumplings and in doing so reminded us of our good fortune.

We all gathered in the kitchen, my son, daughter, her boyfriend, our exchange student and myself, and worked together to fold pork and chives into the dumpling wrappers. We boiled them over the stove and then with chopsticks in hand we dipped our dumplings in seasoned rice vinegar and devoured our work, chatting and laughing until our plates were empty.

Sometimes it’s easy to sprint through our lives. To get caught in the hustle and bustle. But when we take a moment to look at what we have, good food, good family, good friends. We can be grateful for the simple things around us…

Our good fortune.

WRITING PROMPT: Write about the good fortune in your life.