Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

I sat on the edge of the new raised bed and read the plant labels.  Yellow pear tomato, lemon cucumber, yellow crookneck squash.  A meager beginning but a beginning none the less.  Digging the holes was like cutting into butter, the fresh garden soil, warm and fragrant.  A fresh shower of water, a small fence to keep the bunnies at bay, the sun just beginning to chase away the clouds.  I pulled the lawn chair into a patch of sunshine.  This was a slice of happy that was worth the wait.

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This is a month of bookend birthdays and this year we celebrated one in person and one long distance.  I wonder what kind of birthday celebrations our kids will create as they start their own families?  I am sure they will include some yummy, gluten-free cake!

I am grateful today for the time and energy to write daily.  I am looking forward to another month of slices with The March Slice challenge. 

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It doesn’t take a bunch of wrapping paper and tape to give me the gift of happiness.  Last week it was a simple morning of sewing with my daughter.  Working together on a project; chatting, laughing, being together.  As we have been packing up mom and dad’s house, I have thought a lot about the accumulation of things and this Christmas, I just knew that happiness would not be found in a box or a bag.  For this season, happiness was knowing that our kids were close by, that they enjoy each other, and that they want to spend time with us.  That is a great slice to end the year.

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getting past the thermometer

It is too cold out there.
Well I have my fleece and tights and I even have wool socks.
But it didn’t get above freezing today and by the time you get to the trail, it will be getting dark.
I only need 30 minutes.
Aren’t you afraid to be on the trail alone?
I carry my cell phone and frankly, no, I am not afraid.  I think I am more afraid of not going because once you start missing days, it is too easy to keep missing days. 
You could do an exercise video at home.
But the sun is actually shining, even if it is cold.
Okay.  Fine.  Pull on your gloves and hat and let’s get this done.

That conversation has been running through my head and through my afternoons as I finish up at work and change into my running gear.  I can’t expect others to understand why I am heading to the trail on these cold December days if my own head is buzzing at me to skip a day.  But once I get going, it does feel good.  I warm up, body and soul, and I am out in God’s creation.  Cold, frosty, but the sky is turning from blue to pink and by the time I am done, I can see the moon rising.  My running becomes a prayer in motion and I am filled with gratitude that for one more day, I was able to get past the thermometer.

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Day 27 – dishes

We had three tables again this year.  Somehow, as we have gotten older, it seems better to have smaller groups at each table.  Better conversation.  There is room to pull up an extra chair if you want to table hop.  You don’t have to ask everyone to move if you happen to have that next to the wall seat and you need to get out.

But always, when the meal is done, people move toward the kitchen.  Dishes are brought to the sink, the dishwasher gets loaded up for the first of at least three cycles.  Food is put into containers to take home or slide into the refrigerator.  The pies and whip cream come out.  Coffee and tea are brewing.  And there we stay, for another hour or two.  Standing, sitting, taking turns asking questions, telling stories.  Pots and pans clutter the counter but we are not distracted by them.  We are catching up.  This is the best part of the day.

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Day 26 – candles

We used to watch those home makeover shows and when they got to the final moments, they would put out a bunch of candles.  We wondered if the homeowners would actually ever light those candles.  I don’t use candles as everyday decor but at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the candles are abundant on our dinner tables.  There is the warm glow of a candle, urging us to slow down.  And the light is so symbolic, reminding us of the light that shines even into the darkest corners of our lives.  These candles will grace our tables today and in the month ahead. I will light and relight them, pull out a new box of votives to refill them, change out the orange for reds and greens.  And I pray that the light will lift our spirits and help us to recognize and give thanks for a life that is thank-filled.

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When we listen

holesThey say that people with alzheimer’s have holes in the structure of their brain – holes where memories used to reside.  I have noticed that mom seems to have those holes in her memory.  Sometimes she just stops, unable to recall what she is supposed to do, not just forgetting why she came into the room but what she used to do in that room.  She says it is like falling into a dark place.  I just listened, there was nothing I could say.  And she talked about how she would become anxious because she didn’t know what to do.  She said it helps if she can be alone for a minute, to sit down and take a deep breath.  If she can be patient with herself.  It must be scary I said.  And she said, yes it is. 

I never thought of my mom being scared.  But, she said, it is so important that I can tell you this.  And I am so glad that she did.

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photo editing

my girls with quote instantI have this photoscape program where I can add words and borders to my pictures.  This is one I took earlier this month of our daughters, walking ahead of us on a river trail in Montana.  The girls had not seen each other since the wedding in May so it didn’t surprise me to see them walk off to the side of the trail, slightly ahead of the rest of us, having a moment to reconnect.  I always hoped they would be friends.  But I never dreamed how God would knit them together and that they would carry one another in their hearts and their heads.

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goodbye july

I have much to be thankful for, it was a very good month!july 2009 collage

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Let us have some tea


“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”

Chaim Potek

After weeks of waiting, wondering, coming to know that mom is drifting away from us, I find myself in need of some happy talk.  Yesterday I spent a bit of time with our soon to be married daughter.  It was our pre-wedding hang out time.  We went to a lovely tea store.  I had a gift card from my birthday and we happened upon these watercolor tea cups.  They come in a set of 5.  Apparently 4 is not a lucky number so this set has 5 cups, 5 saucers.  There was something that drew me back to this set and finally I decided to buy it.  I have not been a tea drinker for too long but I am drawn to the way a cup of tea forces me to be patient, waiting for water to boil, for the tea to steep, for the cup to cool enough to drink. 

There are many changes coming into my life but I will make a cup of tea in my new cups and try to be grateful for the fullness of this journey.

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