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Yesterday was a remarkable day because it began with seeing deer stop traffic on a four-lane highway, and ended with The Versatile Blogger award.

First, the deer.

Stopped at a restaurant, and turned when something caramel-colored in the neighborhood caught my eye.

What I thought was a big dog playing in the shrubs was actually a black-tailed deer, then another, then another, until five emerged from the greenery. There were two bucks with full antlers, two does, and the sweetest, gangly-legged fawn.

Before I had time to get anyone’s attention, the deer stepped out into traffic, and I stopped breathing. I was so certain they were going to be hit, that I yelled, “deer!” and locals rushed to the windows to look.

Thankfully, traffic stopped in all directions on this busy highway, where the speed is reduced at the crest of a hill.  Only one I’m-too-rushed-to-care minivan driver pushed through the frightened herd.

Everyone gasped. The deer parted and roamed toward the restaurant. A few people tried to photograph them with their phones.

For once, I was thankful not to have a camera.

We watched the antlers bob along, as the tightly-packed herd strolled the sidewalk, as if they owned the place.  They were so close, we were marveling at the soft, fuzziness of the antlers, and their big, dark eyes.

There were gasps when the lead male took his group back out on the highway, as casually as if they had found a crosswalk. We smiled to see the adults flank the youngster, so s/he was barely visible. This time, every single car stopped to allow the families to pass.

The little herd crossed safely and wandered back into the hills. Customers returned to their tables. I started breathing again. The cashier said, “That never happens.”

We talked about the deer all day, as excited as youngsters seeing wild animals for the first time in the city.

We returned home to find that Christine at Our Souls Purpose had kindly bestowed The Versatile Blogger award on this gratitude blog.

TOMORROW: A real thank you note to Christine for her sunny “attitude of gratitude.”