Thanksgiving — a classic day to reflect and be grateful.
May your day be full of good friends and family, or perhaps a quiet day with a good book and solitude – however you spend it, find a moment to consider your blessings. And if this day finds you struggling, know there is always someone out there willing to listen and wanting to help. We are all in this together.
This photo of a simple, tree-lined road represents “thankful” on many levels. Because it was taken this weekend as we drove home from the cabin, it represents gratitude for a couple of undistracted days with family, tucked away in the Northwoods. As the cold wind howled outside on Thanksgiving night and the snow began to fall, the constant glow from the fireplace inside kept us cozy and warm. We enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner, played classic games of Backgammon and Scrabble, and hunkered down with our books to end the night.
The photo also represents gratitude for the beauty and simplicity of nature that replenishes our souls like nothing else can do. A walk on a wintry path, as the dogs bound joyfully ahead; standing at the lake’s edge, listening to haunting sounds of the ice forming; standing outside under the clear, starry sky with the bright moon casting a bluish tint over the snow, causing it to sparkle like diamonds. . .
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi
Shelbur10’s post, “Facebook in November — the condensed list of thankfulness” is the inspiration for this challenge to my fellow bloggers. It was such an enjoyable post that seemed to lend itself to a challenge. November is often the month where many Americans take time to reflect on their blessings as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. I know from reading so many of your posts, though, that counting one’s blessings is something done worldwide, throughout the year. With Shelbur10’s blessing, I am challenging you (yes, you — don’t go looking behind you or assume I am talking to some other blogger) to join in the challenge this November and condense your 30 days of blessings into a single post for others to enjoy!
No formula applies — use humor, reflection, sarcasm, poetry, photos, words. Similar to other challenges, if you would like to make it easier for others to find your contribution, provide a link to your post in the comments below or provide a link to this post in your response to the challenge to create a pingback. The creativity and thoughtfulness of so many of you should make for a delightful collection of blessings!
Kat’s “30 Days of Blessings, Condensed”:
1. Coffee ~ the aroma, the flavor, the warmth of a hot mug on a cold day — the caffeine is just an extra blessing.
2. My girlfriends ~ living in the house of testosterone with my husband and two teen boys requires periodic estrogen replenishment.
3. A good book ~ I never grow tired of the escape of a good book, even crying with dismay at the end, when you have to say goodbye to characters you have grown to love.
4. Closets ~ to store the items collected from last-minute frenzied cleaning/decluttering when unexpected houseguests announce their imminent arrival.
5. Attic stairs ~ see #4 (because when you’re in a hurry, you don’t have time to put things all the way up in the attic for storage, you just open the door, throw it on the stairs and hope no one opens the door again).
6. Red wine ~ Enough said.
7. Running ~ Best. Stress. Reliever. Ever. Also, allows for continued food and wine indulgences (although not as many as I would like) as one’s middle-aged metabolism hits the wall.
8. Flannel sheets ~ could not survive the return of cold weather without them.
9. My camera ~ a hobby, a memory-preserver, a tool for helping me relive special moments.
10. The mute button on my phone ~ particularly during the summer months when my boys were home more during office hours ~ because it allowed me to open my home office door and holler down the stairs, “MOM IS ON A BUSINESS CALL,” and then peacefully resume a conference call as if I worked in a suite of silence.
11. Mulching lawn mowers ~ better than rakes when the season grows short.
12. Office supply stores ~ I will never outgrow the feeling of being a kid in a candy store as I look at aisle after aisle of organizational tools, pens, markers, papers, and every desk doodad under the sun.
13. Stuffing ~ we rarely make stuffing except for the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday meals. I tend to have a little turkey on the side (OK, except when I call dibs on the monster drumstick). You can often find me with the Tupperware container of cold stuffing the next day, enjoying it similarly to how many enjoy a tub of ice cream straight from the freezer.
14. Bubble baths ~ a hot, bubble-filled soak makes #3 all the better. If the book is particularly engrossing, sometimes I need to refill the tub with a fresh round of hot water despite the fact my fingers and toes have already turned to water-logged prunes.
15. My family ~ I know, I know, unoriginal, but true!
16. Good health ~ again, perhaps unoriginal, but worth noting, because it is never something that a person should take for granted.
17. Control-top pantyhose ~ because I do not run enough to counter-balance the enjoyment of good food and wine.
18. Rescued cats and dogs ~ our current houseful of adoptees, as well as ones from years’ past, remind us of the power and joy of unconditional love.
19. Cold, dreary, never-ending winter days ~ seriously, you say? Yes — because they make us appreciate those first warm, sunny days of spring that much more (or appreciate that mid-season warm getaway)! It is amazing how a 40 degree F day in spring can prompt one to break out the running shorts, where the same day in the fall sends one scrambling for an extra layer.
20. Road trips ~ together time may grow long some days (or hours which seem to last for days), but they are the stuff that family memories are made of. Thankful for some of the classic road trips we have taken as a family over the years, and even more thankful we never killed each other during that critical point of each road trip where we decided we had enough of each other (but, just like childbirth, you forget the pain, and are soon ready for the rest of the trip, with only the happy memories remaining).
21. Duct tape ~ it can fix anything temporarily, I swear. Every household needs at least one roll.
22. A sense of humor ~ how else could I continue after routinely receiving those classic elementary school cards from my boys with statements like, “My mom looks prettiest when . . . she’s not wearing the ugly clothes she picks out.” (that followed an apparently unflattering pink suit I purchased)
23. Pinterest ~ it allowed me to recycle my folders and piles of magazine clippings, recipes, and other miscellaneous “great ideas” I might need some day. I confess, I am a recovering magazine hoarder.
24. Hiking in the winter woods ~ the silence of the forest is so crisp, each sound made by feet striking pine needle-lined paths amplified.
25. Wood-fired sauna ~ I never sleep better than I do after enjoying the sauna at the cabin. A good sauna experience leaves a person relaxed, feeling purged of toxins and then refreshingly cleansed by that dip in the lake or splash from a bucket of fresh water afterward.
26. Pasta ~ this could be my comfort food 24/7. I have never met a pasta I did not like.(OK, I take that back . . . I take issue with anything containing eggplant, even pasta).
27. People who work the night shift, the holiday shift and every other shift that makes the rest of our lives easier ~ who hasn’t had to do that late night run to the grocery store on a Sunday night because your child just advised you he volunteered to bring cookies to school for some activity the following day?
28. The starry sky ~ one of my favorite cabin memories is laying on the dock with my youngest son and staring up at the stars with none of the typical city lights dulling the view. The Milky Way was so vibrant! Our world does seem infinite and full of endless possibilities as one stares into space.
29. The iPod ~ it allows me to repeatedly listen to as many cheesy disco songs, classic Broadway show tunes and schmaltzy love songs as I like, singing without shame in the enclosed privacy of my car.
30. Blogging ~ for providing a creative outlet, and for introducing me to many thoughtful, funny, inspirational, interesting people from all over the world.