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A Serving of Gratitude

I find pleasure in the titles the New York Times uses for their articles, including the one I'm pirating for today's post. Clever, clever folks. While reading the article, my gratitude factor went up dramatically, proving good writing can do wonders.

Realistically, I think I'm pretty full of gratitude most of the time, not just around Thanksgiving. If you were in my shoes wouldn't you be grateful? Specifically, all 5 of the Peck men are working, which in and of itself is a small miracle these days. Plus, none of the boys have come back home to live; I'm all about being an empty nester. My health, and most of those I love have good health which as we all know money can't buy for long. When we were younger, calamities of the kind that do cost money to fix were so difficult because most of our money was spoken for. Things like a big car repair or a broken washing machine could really depress me. Then, one day, a friend of mine said that her attitude was that if something could be fixed with money it wasn't really worth fretting over, unlike problems that no amount of cash can fix. I liked it, adopting it as if I'd thought of it myself. It was if a burden was lifted or something. Sort of like the song,
Count your blessings, 
count them one by one. 
Count your blessings,
see what God has done.

I know just what you're thinking--that's easy enough for you to say Gail because you have more money these days. While that is true, it still requires an attitude adjustment, as in thinking about what's really important. So, while looking through my photo album for things to illustrate my point I decided against showing the people I love because you already KNOW how much I love them and are grateful for their presence in my life. Instead let's look at some things which can bring joy and gratitude because of what they are, where they came from, or maybe for the smile or laugh factor....

Appreciating the past is a good way to make a person feel grateful. I have no idea who made this quilt I brought home from Bruce's mom's house. Sadly, she's not hear to tell me either.
It is well worn and handmade. Handmade is good. Handmade shows that we value the other person more than we value the time we spend making something. I like to ponder the days and nights this woman, or at least I'm assuming it was a woman, spent hand quilting and piecing this quilt. It might have taken many, many, snowy nights seeing as how Bruce's family came from way, way upstate New York where the days and nights are unbearably cold for months on end. No central heating back then, unlike we enjoy with a flick of the wrist today. Now that's something to be grateful for!

A complete riot of color which is enough to make anyone smile! Growing things is most definitely a way to make a person grateful for those things which are out of our control. Sure we can water, but there's nothing like rain and sunshine for growing. Living in Florida is a blessing for the growing season which never really stops. Walking Baxter the other morning I was delighted to come across this gorgeous yellow flowering bush which blooms only in the fall or winter.
Now some folks complain about our weather, the usual suspects of excessive heat and humidity, however, most folks would love to have our perpetual sunshine which brings everything to life.
I've often said that I can't tell you how I would do with the long cold winters others live through, but I can, with 100% certainty, say that a long gray winter would do me in. CANNOT live without seeing the sun regularly.

Humor, in all it's many forms, is enough to make a person feel grateful. You know, the whole, laughter is the best medicine idea. The other day, while getting the car to pack up after the Winter Garden market, I walked across the street and saw this little guy using my car as a perch.
Naturally it made me laugh. Oblivious to my presence, he only jumped off when I started the car. Didn't go far though, made the adjacent car his perch!

Which reminds me of something else I have to be grateful for. While doing the Winter Garden market I've made the acquaintance of a wonderful family who is fairly new to our area. Three delightful young girls, still innocent, have helped me load my car two weeks in a row! They run up when the market closes at 2, begging to help. I'm no fool---I say yes and thank you! The kindness of strangers cannot be taken for granted. The girls love to come and tell me about their week, showing off whatever they are wearing or doing.
I'm more than grateful that I get to do something I love--taking photographs and meeting people. A win-win situation all the way around. If you'd asked me five years ago what I'd be doing today, I'm confidant that selling photography would not have been my answer. So, there's that. The idea that with the help of family, a person can do something entirely different. Help that comes with either a nudge in a different direction, or maybe, equally as important playing the role of cheerleader. Bruce got me going in this direction, providing endless support as you well know, however, there's a legion of other family, neighbors and friends who've kept me going when I've felt low. What's not to like?

And then there's the comfort of the everyday. Tea, how I love you. Morning or afternoon, doesn't matter, you are there for me every day.
Proving you can teach an old dog to do new tricks, since learning about an electric kettle from my British friends, I've happily made the switch. Thank you Thomas Edison for bringing electricity to our homes way back when. We so take it for granted!

I'm going to go eat my bagel, cooked in my electric toaster just now after finishing typing this piece on my iMac, after which time I'll move into the homemade mode. There are pies to be made, beans to trim, and countless other tasks before the big day tomorrow when we will welcome our family to celebrate Thanksgiving.

May you be inspired to be thankful and grateful each and every day,
Gail
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