Thursday

Thursday took us back to summer temperatures with a high at 90. The beauty of the Pacific NW is at 8:10 pm the temperature has dropped to 82 and will continue to drop during the night. By 5:00 am, it will be 65.
It’s been a gorgeous day ending like all summer days. The light is beginning to change. Sunlight begins to fade bringing sunset to us.
 
We’ve come in from dinner out at a popular burger place. I mentioned a few days ago I was craving a good old-fashioned (i.e. not fast food) burger. Before heading out, I take my second get-into-the-Mustang-convertible-and-get-back-out without problems test. This time I passed!
 
After burgers and sharing fries and a huckleberry shake, we took a nice drive. I love the feel of the wind as we head down the road. I love even more the smell of the air as we get out into the country. This is my first trip this year in the convertible, and it was so refreshing and freeing.
 
Grateful am I for beautiful summer weather and the plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. And for an old-fashioned burger with my hubby in our Little Red ‘Stang.

Sounds of Summer

It’s Sunday and our family room slider is open. We’re just about into our favorite Sunday pastime–naps. But first, let me tell you about my favorite part of summer—the sounds.  Mornings with birdsong outside the window. The squeal of children playing outdoors. The beautiful flowers, the sunlight needed for them and me, and the opportunity to be outside.
 
Today we’ve been listening to the sounds of our neighbor’s grandchildren. When we moved here, this couple’s children were in preschool and grade school. We used to hear the happy sounds of that generation and now the next.
Weekends for our neighbors are busy. But the joy and laughter heard from that backyard is a pleasant thing. Laughing in the pool. Chasing each other around the yard. Swinging and climbing. And then the other sounds supplied by nature’s own. Dogs barking and squirrels scurrying up trees. And woodpeckers, crows, and Steller’s jays making raucous music. 
 
There’s also the sound of busy people caring for their lawns and gardens. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers melodiously humming a tune. For those into building, their nail guns, saws, and hammers provide percussion.
 
And the beautiful sound of families gathering around the table at the end of the day. 
 
Such a cacophony of sounds! And yet each one bears the gift of joy and happiness, thanks to the Creator’s magnificent hand.

Daily Walk

 

I love to walk outdoors, and a daily walk is one of my goals in recovery. Part of my daily physical therapy assignment is a 30-minute walk using a walker. Today my therapist added six minutes per day twice daily walking with a cane. Not to mention all the other exercises she has me doing. None of this happens outdoors. Yet.
 

interior hallway

 
 
Some days I’ve hosted pity parties for myself. Exercising can be tough during recovery. Working to restore strength, nerve communication, and flexibility to a limb isn’t easy. It gets old day in and day out. And then I feel sorry for myself.
 
Today I had a wakeup call while at the clinic. My therapist and I were walking a circuit around the perimeter of the equipment area. We came upon a man, in his early 40s, working hard to walk. To walk, he was using robotic prosthetics to move his legs. It was unclear whether a stroke or an accident the many visible physical deficits.
 
My emotions ran from sympathy and sorrow for him. Yet, his determination inspired me to work harder. I felt gratitude for the fact that at least I can work both legs on my own despite the weakness in one. Maybe those pity parties are a thing of the past.

gratitude

 

Image attributions:

Feature Image: Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito… from Pixabay 
Top: Bigger Than the Three of Us
Bottom (Graphics): PictureQuotes
Bottom (Quote):
Ann Voskamp

Looking Back Over Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approached, our family plans were somewhat up in the air. Our son’s family consists of some adult children who have a million directions to head in on any holiday. Plus we have one family member that won’t show up if others are going to be in attendance. Too much hinges on that one individual. But not our call.

So I started out Thanksgiving Day in gratitude for a scheduled lunch out with our son, Craig, and his wife, Gigi, at a local seafood restaurant. Before you gasp, they were also serving a traditional turkey dinner. Three of us ate seafood while our son couldn’t resist stuffing and mashed potatoes. It was all beautifully prepared, and we enjoyed a quiet foursome catching up on several weeks of work changes, health issues, and what was going to happen on Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving, more commonly known as Black Friday and not a day celebrated by our family, was originally going to be the day our family would come together at our son’s home IF we knew what that one individual was going to do. On Thursday evening, we learned she wasn’t coming meaning the rest of us could make our appearance without fear of a haranguing in the middle of dinner.

Craig’s wife, Gigi, and her daughter prepared a turkey, a ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, hot rolls, appetizers, and desserts. I added to my gratitude list that I was two days into Thanksgiving celebrations and still hadn’t cooked a single item. Score for Mom!

Grandpa Bob enjoying a movie with our greatgrands (L-R) Everett, Parker and Kylie.
Grandpa Bob enjoying a movie with our greatgrands (L-R) Everett, Parker and Kylie.

When we arrived we were greeted by hugs from our three great grandkids, one of whom we seldom see because of…you’ve probably guessed who and/or why.

Although she doesn’t know us well, three-year old Parker realized her cousins, Kylie (9) and Everett aka Buddy (6), were wrapping arms around us.

Obviously, this clued Parker in to the fact we were safe and loving. She too joined in sharing hugs! Our hearts soared with this welcome. My gratitude list was growing.

Parker and Kylie sharing a stool. Remember sharing a bench or a stool at family gatherings?
Parker and Kylie sharing a stool. Remember sharing a bench or a stool at family gatherings?

When it was time to eat, there we were…my husband Bob and me, son Craig and his wife Gigi, Gigi’s daughter Alyssa and her son Tyler, and those adorable great grands. How could anyone top this on your gratitude list?

Well, we could top it only if we’d had our daughter Suzanne (living in South Carolina) and her son Kory and her brother Steve, his wife Amy, and grandson Mikey with us. The table would have been complete. But not all things are possible.

Everyone ate their fill, and Alyssa’s delicious pumpkin cake had to wait until later. Leftovers were packaged up for all to carry home, and I’ve still not cooked a meal since last Tuesday! Cover that with gratitude too.

What did you experience over the days of Thanksgiving that brought gratitude to the forefront of your celebrations? Share below, won’t you?

Gratitude: The Healthy Attitude

As my recent writings can attest to, my focus the last couple of years has been on renewing and recovering health. Step by step, inch by inch, exercise by exercise–progress is being made.

With Thanksgiving Day just hours away, my thoughts have focused not so much on how I feel or don’t feel, but on what I have to be thankful for. On Sunday, we gathered with our son and part of his family to celebrate a sixth birthday for our great-grandson. And additional family time is planned throughout the holiday. Family gatherings or any other gatherings are beautiful expressions of shared love.

In the past couple of years, although some days haven’t been so easy, I’ve learned that showing gratitude for something improves my attitude. It’s a prescription that comes without monetary consideration. Lately, I’ve been letting my gratitude slip and the difference is notable. And it’s so simple. Gratitude is truly a healthy attitude.

Before I go, I want to wish you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration. May your turkey be juicy, your stuffing not dry, your cranberries a deep red, and your favorite pie on the dessert table!

Attribution: Aliexpress.com Attribution: Aliexpress.com

What Does Thanksgiving Mean?

What Does Thanksgiving mean to you?

Hear the word “Thanksgiving” and what comes to mind?

  • Food and lots of it;
  • Football and lots of it;
  • Napping after the food and football;
  • Family gatherings, and realizing perhaps why you don’t get together more often;
  • For farming families it means the harvest;
  • For moms and grandmas it’s baking and cooking sometimes for days;
  • And the day after we now call “Black Friday” even though some retailers begin on Thanksgiving evening.

These are some of the most common responses to the meaning of Thanksgiving. But in our country we have so much to be thankful for that these responses seem inadequate, in my opinion.

My gratitude list for thanksgiving

Gratitude should be part of our every day, and yet we live very different lives one from the other so pick your best way to show your gratitude. On this day, this Thanksgiving eve I am grateful for:

  • My family–a loving husband, our three children and their families;
  • Our church family;
  • Our home sheltering us from the cold wind, rain, and maybe snow;
  • Nature and its beauty all seasons of the year;
  • Music, which lends harmony and peace to our days;
  • Books, which teach us and bring pleasure to our lives;
  • Love, peace, hope, and faith–cornerstones of our spiritual lives;
  • And for God’s enormous gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

Taking time for gratitude allows the joy to fill your world in greater abundance.

To you and your family wishes for a ~