Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

What I Am Grateful For

Pine Trees Winter 2013

Pine Trees Winter 2013

Here it is- the first big snow of the season. Today is Thanksgiving in the USA and the Northeast is in the grips of some pretty cold weather. Thankfully, I am not traveling. I am the chef du jour, making most of the gratitude dinner with a little help from my friends.

My mom has been with me for a few days. I gave her a lecture a month or so ago about snow. If we are expecting any big accumulations I said, you have to come over. She didn’t argue with me when I told her Monday morning I was coming to pick her up.

So she and I have been spending some quality time together. I decided to put up my Christmas tree on Tuesday because I had a whole free day (and it snowed all day!) and those little lights just bring a lift to my heart. The nativity set went underneath right away. I have to keep in mind the reason for the season.

Region 1 DVD cover

Region 1 DVD cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We indulged in a whole recliner session of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It occurred to me how Rudolph was bullied- no playing with the others in reindeer games, all because of that red nose. I seriously shed a tear when the program was over and Santa said “Merry Christmas!” from his sky high sleigh.

So as I think about Thanksgiving, there are many things I have to be grateful for. I wanted to share my list with you and I’d love if you’d leave a comment and tell me what you’re most grateful for.

1. Family- Where would I be without them? My husband Jim, my kids Michelene and John, my grandson Gavin, Gavin’s dad Jonathan, my mom Katherine, sisters Mary and Cally and their beautiful partners Starr and Raymond. Jim’s family and both our extended families. My beautiful yellow lab Jordan. They are my greatest treasures.

2. Friends- Oh they have seen me through some troubling times. As has my family but my closest friends are privy to my thoughts, words and deeds of high and low. I owe my salvation to my recovery friends and their infinite wisdom on life and teachings on practicing these principles in all my affairs.

3. Faith- Deep as the ocean, infinite as the sky, my love for God only grows and grows each day. I realize how walking a spiritual path has changed everything. It makes me understand that I am not in control and God is.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you are alone, give me or a close friend of yours a call. We should all be together on Thanksgiving.

I wish you a happy Thanksgiving of great blessings! Tell me, what are you grateful for?

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A Blessing on Your Head

A blessing on your head Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov…Fiddler on the Roof

Meeting my favorite author!

Yesterday was my 55th birthday and today is Thanksgiving. This same remarkable timing occurred five years ago when I turned 50. I consider it a beautiful juxtaposition of birthday to gratitude day.

Five years ago (on my FIVE OH birthday) I took my family to Fallingwater– the stunning Frank Lloyd Wright house which sits over a rushing creek full of water. The house was much smaller than I had imagined but it was still breathtaking beautiful. We had lunch in the cafe, took the tour and walked around a bit in the nearby woods. Then we all headed back to dinner at my sister Cally’s house where her husband Raymond had prepared a beautiful dinner of lemon shrimp and orzo. We even Greek danced a little after dinner, just to connect with our deep roots.

My birthday this year was another dreamy day of inspirational happenings. A couple of months ago I noticed via Facebook that my favorite author, Anne Lamott, not only had a new book coming out but was coming close to where I live. She was going to be less than two hours away in Akron, Ohio at a public library.

I asked my sisters if we could go hear her speak. Ironically (or not so) my North Carolina sister Mary was coming home for Thanksgiving to attend her class reunion. The timing was perfect.

The view from the hotel!

We left the day before my birthday and stayed at a hotel that overlooked the Cuyahoga Falls (and the Schwebel’s bread factory!). Dinner was at a lovely little place called “Crave” in Akron, a mere block away from where Anne was speaking.

I insisted we get to the library early and we did. An hour and a half early. My sister Mary thought I was crazy. But there was a small line forming already. We decided to buy a family library membership for $20 and that got us into the auditorium early. We sat in the front row, dead center.

Have you ever been in a situation that felt surreal? That’s how I felt in that auditorium, an hour before Anne came out. When she walked across the stage to the podium, with her dreadlocks and bandanna wrapped around her head, I instantly smiled.

She spoke for over an hour then answered questions. She said many awesome things but my favorite was “we are really here to help each other get home”. I loved that.

I stood in line to meet her and get my (her) new book signed. We chatted for a few seconds and as I was walking up the ramp to exit, a group of locals began singing Happy Birthday to me. They knew it was my birthday and wow, that just made my day!

When I got home yesterday, there was a song in my head. It was A Blessing on Your Head, Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov. I’m a Christian but I love that song and I love all of Fiddler on the Roof. The song seems fitting, doesn’t it?

Have a wonderful, gratitude filled Thanksgiving day! What are you doing today?

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Become the Beacon

I have been reading faith based books lately and occasionally watching ministry programs on tv. In my quest for spiritual self-discovery, I like to explore faith via one of my favorite slogans- Take what you like and leave the rest.  I don’t have to try anything that doesn’t feel right and it’s good to just listen and learn.

So yesterday morning, before work, I was watching Joyce Meyer. She is I think, a mega star and boy, she preaches to some large audiences. Years ago I used to reject these types of ministries as ridiculous, so it’s a big step for me to sit and listen to her.

Joyce was talking about “complaining”. She basically said we will get no where if all we do is complain about our life. Prayer is the answer, says Joyce. Also, having gratitude for the life we do have and thanksgiving for all our blessings is what gives us greater happiness.

Well Joyce (I think of her as my friend now, I’m calling her by her first name) I know this is true. Gratitude is one of my favorite things to post on and I’m a big believer in it. And even though Joyce is a Christian bible teacher and author, I’m sure many other religious and non-religious doctrines believe in gratitude over complaining any day.

One of the things I heard Joyce say that morning was when we bring the light into our life, we can become the light for others. When she said that I immediately thought of a lighthouse, standing with its beacon to bring others into shore safely. I think Joyce is right; people who don’t complain and show daily gratitude become the beacon for others to navigate by.

Do you know someone who is a beacon? I know a couple of beacons. When I am feeling down or can’t get my grip, I want to be in their light. I call them and ask if we can meet for coffee. Or I just call them. Then I say How are you? When they start to talk I feel their light coming through, even over the phone.

Do you have a beacon or someone who brings light and joy into your life? Tell me about him or her! 

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Thank you!

Artwork by Rae 02-01-81 – 06-06-09

Every afternoon when I leave work, my boss says “Bye! Thank you!”

When I make dinner for my grandson Gavin, he says “Thank you Nana!”

My husband Jim loves to open his sock drawer and find it filled with clean socks. He says “Thank you!”

It sounds like such a little thing but really when you think about it, it’s not. How many times a day do you say “Thank you”? I try and say it all day. Honestly, I say it to strangers in the supermarket, customer service people on the phone, the receptionist at the dentist office. I bet those are people who don’t hear “Thank you” much.

Princess Willow

My favorite way to hear “Thank you!” is when Amy’s granddaughter, Willow, will say Grace before a meal. It was her third birthday last week and I was there to share in the special occasion.

When we sat down at the table, we all held hands. Amy asked Willow if she would say the prayer. Willow’s face lit up and she said “Thank you!” with a big smile. It was a joy filled moment!

Many of my dear friends say that gratitude is the way to live a more peaceful life. I agree. I try and be grateful every day and I want to share that feeling with others. By saying “Thank you”, I appreciate what others do for me and I keep gratitude front and center. It may be hard to believe, but saying it in a heartfelt way and with a smile can change someone’s bad day to good.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’d like to start a world wide movement to say “Thank You” more. I’m going to start right now by saying “Thank You!” to all my blogger friends, email subscribers, Twitter and Facebook fans who read my stories on a regular basis. You have no idea how much your comments, “Likes”, private emails and personal comments (when I get to see you!) mean to me. I love writing stories and I appreciate all your heartfelt support.

I think “Thank you” can be a pathway to peace of mind and a happy heart. Give lots of “Thank you’s” away and just watch how it changes  your life!

Are you with me? Say “Thank you!” a whole bunch today!

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