I wrote this post in 2013. I re-read it recently and realized one third of the things I was grateful for at the time no longer apply. Like walking with my good friend Cindy (she moved), my 10-bucks-a-month gym membership (I changed gyms), relatively well parents (now just partially well), my favorite restaurant (this has changed due to needing to eat better.) Even the good things in life seem to have a time limit.
Then, thankfully, new blessings appear. Here’s my updated list.
1. We have a grandson! BIG blessing. This is one of my favorite pictures of the little guy. Have you ever seen such smoochable cheeks? He’ll be two in January.
2. PBS’ Call the Midwife. Fantastic writing about midwives in the 1950’s poverty-stricken England. Based on the memoirs of midwife Jennie Worth. So touching and life-affirming.
3. My PT Cruiser (still on the list.) It fits my behind, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when they stop making them.
4. CVS weekly sales (also, still on the list.) Nothing beats .99 Puffs or Dawn dish washing liquid. I have never paid full price for either of these items.
5. My sun tea jar. It helps me drink more water.
6. My kitchen cabinet, which the hubs built for me for our anniversary. I made him some brownies for our anniversary. Not really an equal gift exchange, but, hey, life isn’t always fair. (And in all fairness, I did make the curtain.)
7. I’m still grateful for our 25-year-old house, despite the fact that the kitchen is about the size of a walk-in closet. This dear home has raised three kids to adulthood, weathered copious Florida hurricanes with no flooding, housed many, many friends and family, and tolerated one lovable dog who liked to drag dead squirrels inside.
8. Good ole’ Dr. R, our family doc. He’s been helping us care for my folks for almost a decade. Here he is with his most frequent patient (in better days.)
9. That Mom, who’s fairly reserved, can still make me chuckle. Like the fact that she calls her panti-liners “ipads.”
10. My sister’s generosity (still on the list.) She regularly sends our dad gift cards to a local yogurt shop, so he and our daughter can have weekly hot fudge dates. My sis recently visited and we helped Dad clean out 7 storage bins of the folks’ paperwork. We accomplish so much when we’re together. And we eat too much chocolate.
11. My clothesline. I’ve been thankful for this before. I’m thankful for it every time I hang out clothes. I feel like I’m pulling one over on the electric company. I’m sure it doesn’t care, but it makes me feel like a smart cookie.
12. My hard-working, handy man husband (he’s always on the list.) He’s on his feet most of the day, while I’m on my behind writing or chauffeuring the folks to doc appointments. He can fix all kinds of things, and he can build a cabinet.
13. A handmade wooden cutting board our oldest son made for me in shop class when he was in high school (still on the list, still using it.) I don’t use it as a cutting board anymore, but as a trivet, because it’s twenty-five years old, and I want to preserve it.
Even with the scratch marks and the burned pot circle, I love it. This board held many crocks of mac and cheese.
14. The staff at Brookdale, the ALF where my folks live. Here’s a picture of my dad with some high school students who came to help him garden recently. Caring for the elderly is heart wrenching work at times, and I’m so grateful there are people who are called to it.
15. Dental hygienists and proctologists. No, really. What if no one wanted those jobs? Just imagine. Whatever they’re paid, it’s not enough. (These will always be on the list.)
16. Swimsuits for All online company. They have the best suits for coverage and support. (They have skimpy stuff too, if that’s your thing, but this mama needs coverage and support.)
17. Can openers that take off the lid from the side, so there are no sharp edges. This enables me to use the cans for all kinds of things. Like this.
18. Dark chocolate malted milk balls. I don’t know why it took someone so long to create these, but they should get the Nobel peace prize. Even though I can’t eat them anymore. I’m sure they have them in heaven, so I’ll get some then.
19. IKEA. I love roaming around in that store. The plastic bag holder and the wash cloths with loops on them make me so happy.
20. That we had minimal damage from hurricane Irma. We evaced to NC and had a mini-vacation with family. I feel guilty writing this when people in TX and Puerto Rico are still suffering the effects of hurricanes this season. We have been so, so lucky.
21. That I found a vegan chocolate cookie recipe that is really good. HERE it is, if you’re interested.
22. Flannel sheets. We use them all the time, even in the summer. Cotton sheets are crinkly and loud.
23. Cream of Mushroom soup. You just can’t replicate that stuff. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. Without it, no Chicken Divan in this household.
24. I’m grateful for our local thrift shop. It reminds me that “stuff” is recycle-able and share-able and trade-able. I love taking a bag of things there just about monthly, and I love finding an item there I need. It would really help the planet if we could all just rotate our stuff.
25. Good pie crust. I’ve never been able to master it, so I really love and admire a baker who can do it. JOAN’S PERFECT PIES here in Melbourne has the best pies I’ve ever tasted. Joan won second place in a national pie championship in 2014, so you know there’s only one baker better than her in the nation. If you’re ever in Melbourne, FL…check out this pie shop.
26. Cookie cutters. I’ve collected all kinds over the years, and they bring such creativity and fun to sugar cookie dough. If I had to carve swans or reindeer by hand, we’d just have circle cookies cut out with a glass.
27. Mom/daughter time. My girl and I can create giggles from hitting the Farmer’s market, trips to Orlando, staying in dumpy hotels, cleaning out a linen closet, compiling chemistry grades, or sitting in Mass. She puts a smile in my heart.
28. Hugs from my grown sons. Knowing I used to powder their behinds, it’s bittersweet, but so wonderful.
29. That our adult children have friends who like us and share their lives with us. We get to encourage young families and smooch many baby cheeks.
30. That God’s graces are new every day. Because, every day, I need a do-over.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s like Christmas, without all the crazy shopping and overspending, and like Easter, without all the candy. It’s a day that refocuses my mind – for at least a week – on what’s truly important. We need more holidays like this. (I just realized 6 things are on the list are related to food. Good grief.)