My former daughter-in-law starts the year with a word that will be her focus for the year. I like the concept, it seems a little more manageable than a New Year's Resolution. I read about her word for this year on Facebook this morning. Nothing came to mind immediately that I might use, so I knew I would have to mull it over for a while. The sun came out bright, and despite the temperature still lingering in the 20s, I knew I needed to get out and get in my first bird-walk of the year. A cold wind out of the north made it seem even colder, so I decided to go to a protected site, the Salem Audubon Nature Reserve, to check out the birds and try for some photos. I have recently created a Facebook page for it, www.facebook.com/SalemAudubonNatureReserve, and needed some fresh material. It's a small park that I, and others, have invested volunteer time to rid the area of invasive plants, particularly English Ivy. When I pulled into the parking lot I was immediately rewarded with four different bird species before I even left the area near my truck. As I stood there entering each bird into my iPhone, I was struck by how grateful I felt to have this wonderful resource close to visit so easily. And here I was on a bright sunny morning with birds aplenty. That is my word for this new year I realized---Grateful. At my age it is dangerously easy to fall into the trap of resenting the many things I can no longer do because of the aging process. Hopefully my year will be focused on the many many things I am grateful for. On my way back home I noticed a Great Egret swoop in and land in the pond on the 9th hole of the Salemtowne Golf Course. I parked and walked down to the pond and in a matter of minutes had counted an additional 13 species and got some more photos. Yes, my word is Grateful.