"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
Ralph H. Blum
I think I get the "quiet joy" part of that quotation. Haven't quite perfected the calmness!
It's the night before Thanksgiving. I've baked 3 pies, 4 loaves of pumpkin bread and a pan of brownies (which I forgot about until just now so they may be a tad overdone. I hope no one notices) today. As I write potatoes are boiling away before being smashed and buttered. Wow! That almost sounds like I'm organized. But I'm not going to jinx things by patting myself on the back just yet. I think I'll wait to do that after the burnt brownies have been served.
I may be organized when it comes to making a gala feast, but shamefully I've been so busy baking that I haven't stopped long enough today to count my blessings. Even though I whine a lot, I know that I am blessed; perhaps in more ways than I deserve. I've read some really good gratitude blogs and letters today. I'm pleased to say I know some pretty grateful people.
As I think back over this year I see that there is a common thread among the items on my gratitude list ... people. I've met, and re-met, some really neat people (and kritters) this year. People who made me smile and held me when I cried. People who praised my abilities, understood my failures, shared their truth and accepted mine. People I can't imagine not knowing. People I try to say thank you to on a regular basis. Friendship is a two way street, I hope I give as much as I get.
I believe that what goes around comes around. If I live my life trying to bless others, then those blessings will come home to roost. I haven't perfected the art of gratitude yet, but here's a list of people to whom I offer a heart full of thanks.
- To Georges Jallouf thank you for showing me what it's like to have a brother; for being so good to my dad; for sharing your love and your smile; for teaching me the meaning of humility.
- To Ana thank you for accepting my dad as he is and for always giving us service with a smile.
- To Terri St. Cloud thanks for sharing your heart - with me and with so many others. [http://www.bonesigharts.blogspot.com]
- To Carol O'Dell thanks for sharing your creativity and caregiving skills; for inspiring me and encouraging me to write my story. [http://home.comcast.net/~cdodell]
- To Dale Beaman thanks for the example of your strong yet gentle spirit. [http://beamancoaching.com/]
- To Linda for everything you do to put the fun in dysfunctional.
- To Sorrow thanks for your circle of giving. It's a great lesson to all of us, not just your kids. [http://sorrow11.wordpress.com]
- To Jean for showing me how important it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how many times you get turned down.
- To Johnson thanks for being my own personal hurricane predictor, for sharing your great photos, and for making me proud.
- To Chuck thanks for continuing to lift my spirits by working you haircutting magic
- To unnamed health care workers thanks for making hospital visits, if not pleasant, at least bearable.
- To the unseen cooks at Paneras, thanks you for bear claws and broccoli cheese soup. Mmmm. Divine, simply divine!
- To the women in my writing group thank you for your honest yet gentle critiques; for letting me know "I'm okay" just the way am.
- To Fr. Miguel and his "happy band of Christians" thank you for breathing life back into our church. Seeing Dad clap his hands to the salsa beat of a praise song is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks!
- To my vet, thanks for all the information on how to keep a cat from peeing on the furniture. I pray I'll never have to use it again.
- To the two black cats thank you for reminding me the need to be forgiving
- To Fr. David thanks for listening
- Thank you t0 the EMT's who didn't blink an eye when I dropped the F-bomb because I was so worried about my Dad. I guess you've seen it all.
- To Carol Sanchez thanks for helping to make my vision a reality
- To Barak Obama thanks for your ideas, your dreams, your hopes for this country.
- To the men and women in uniform at home and in foreign lands thank you for your sacrifice(s). May God keep you safe.
- To Wendy thanks for coming to visit me. You continue to light up my life.
- To the lady from the Walmart electronics department who cut fabric for me even though she clearly didn't have any idea what she was doing.
- To Spud Bud, aka Frank, thanks for adding a little canine excitement to our otherwise ho-hum days.
- To Black Beauty thanks for continuing to watch out for us. You are a big hunk of dog love.
- To Bill McCarthy thank you for the work you do and for opening my eyes. [http://www.southwestindian.com]
- To John Katz, thanks for sharing your life at Bedlam Farm. [http://blog.bedlamfarm.com]
- To Ewell and Hoppin John, thanks for your songs.
- To Gary and Molly Jo thanks for giving me a window into the world of Ice; and for coming all the way to Florida so I could meet Ivy Jane! [http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-palms/special-events/kissimmee-orlando-events/best-of-florida-christmas]
- To Dad thanks for the ever present opportunities to practice patience and compassion. I pray I'll perfect these skills before it's too late.
- And last, but never least, to my everloving Sweetie for all you do to comfort me, teach me, help me, guide me, and love me. You are the best. [http://coachjackcook.com]