“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cuddle your ♥ with good friends, good memories, good times - remarkable blessings for the soul

I think today's post was encouraged by the way my morning began. I received a phone call from someone who is very dear to me. Someone who had been on my mind for the past week or so. After I hung up the phone, and for most of the day, little snippets of my past would flutter into my field of thought. Today's blessings to be thankful for are some that give me the most comfort.
  1. Unexpected phone calls from good friends. Today I picked up the phone to hear a voice on the other end I hadn't heard in quite a while. No words can express the warm feeling I got talking to a good friend and connecting with her all over again.
  2. Memories. Not all memories are good but memories, none-the-less, are all blessings. We learn lessons from our memories. We remember what to do again and what to never do again. We recall wonderful moments in time that we wish we could grasp one...more...time. We also recall some not so pleasant moments but when we do - after time - most of the sting is gone and a lesson lives on. 
  3. Babies. The way they look. The way they feel. The way they smell fresh from a bath. Their tiny fingers and itty bitty toes. Hair that feels like spun silk and glistens like sun on honey. The way their little heads fit right under your chin when you cuddle one close and begin to rock and sing it to sleep. I am totally in ♥ with babies.
  4. Giggles. Nothing better to make the heart sing than to giggle with a friend. Nothing more lyrical than the giggle of a little girl. Giggles can mend broken hearts.
  5. Old movies. Good, old, black and white movies. The kind where sex was only implied and it felt so romantic. The kind where there were good guys and bad guys and the good guys always won. The kind where each and every word could be repeated in front of a child and you wouldn't worry about the content. The kind that when you saw the words THE END, you wished there were just ten minutes more.
If you haven't already, check out my sidebar. There are a couple of buttons there that will take you to the blogs of two lovely ladies who are hosting a month of days for giving thanks. I began this journey thinking it would be fun to do. Little did I realize that the experience would be so profound.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little things mean a lot when you're counting your blessings...

I'm thinking of blessings that I am so thankful for that give me a sense of comfort and leave me with a warm fuzzy when I think about them. Things that I have always considered to be soul food. Those little bits of enjoyment that cost little to nothing but reap millions in returns.
  1. Small towns. You can leave your car unlocked when you run from store to store without fear that you'll come back to an empty back-seat - all your parcels gone. You can leave Jimmy's bike on the front lawn when he takes his nap and it will be there when he wakes up to play again. It never fails, when you go to the store there will always be someone there that you haven't seen for ages and the two of you catch up on news at the checkout - small town blessings.
  2. Flower bulbs and rhizomes. Inside each and every one of them is the promise of spring and blue skies and birds building nests. When we cover them with soil in the fall we are placing trust in God that spring will come again and the earth will renew itself bursting forth with color and scent and texture.
  3. Church bells. On Sunday morning I can hear the bells peeling from the Presbyterian Church about three blocks from my house. A free concert lasting about 15 minutes playing selected classical music with rich tones and resonance. I close my eyes, sit back in my chair and take in the magnificent chorus - ushering their message of good will all the way to my soul.
  4. My soaker tub. Nothing more relaxing in the winter months than sliding down into that deep tub filled with bubbles and letting the whole, wide world disappear. I have been known to fall asleep in that tub only to wake up wishing I hadn't snoozed because the water was less than cozy when my eyes opened an hour later!
  5. Baby powder. Spring, summer, fall or winter after a good soak I dust myself all over with baby powder - just like sprinkling a favorite dessert. Baby powder has been a staple in my home for years. When the grandsons were little they always got powdered after their sleepover bubble bath and had ample amounts of the silky stuff shook into their little slippers. The boys just loved to wriggle their little toes around in them and feel the powder's silky goodness - quite frankly, so do I

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What in the world would we do without these? The unsung heros of the blessing world☺

My blessings to be thankful for today are a little of this and a little of that but every little thing is a tiny treasure. Small things that we don't use everyday but when we do use them, we love them and appreciate them. Not very expensive and not very chic but always welcome!
  1. Rubber bands. What can't those little gems do? They can: make a ponytail on a little girl's head, hold together love letters, secure a fistful of ink pens in your junk drawer (everyone has a junk drawer, don't they?), hold plastic wrap tight on a jar of leftovers, keep your wad of $100 bills together
  2. Spices. Any kind or type or variety. Each and every one of them is a blessing to cooks young and old. Imagine making soup or a roast or Thanksgiving dressing without them. Our taste buds would be doomed to a life of bland meals and desserts.
  3. Marshmallows. Make some s'mores, float them on a cup of cocoa, add them to a salad, stir them into some homemade ice cream. The lowly marshmallow appears in so many places but, sadly, doesn't get the credit it so rightly deserves. Whether mini or jumbo they are up to the job!
  4. Straws. Something that every hospital has in abundance and smart mothers, too! Use them in crafts and in sick rooms. A must for malts and smoothies and floats, whoever came up with the idea was an inspired genious!
  5. Paper cups. Use them when family members have a cold or for making yogurt pops or for crafting bells at Christmas with the little ones. A boon to mothers with families large and small. A safe drinking cup for little hands and a planter for apple seeds when your little guy wants to grow a tree.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

♫ It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ♫ Common, everyday blessings + a Veteran's Day thank you

Today I was thinking about things that I take for granted but are so precious to me. Things that I count on to be there when I need them or want them. If they disappeared I'd miss them and want them back. Today I am thankful for the most common, everyday services and experiences but blessings, none-the-less. Do you have things in your life that you take for granted that would be dearly missed if they went away?
  1. Electricity. Think about it for a moment. All you have to do is flip a switch and you have light or warmth or cool air or a running appliance. There are people on earth who live in cardboard houses or tents or mud huts. Our fingertips can activate a little miracle several times each day.
  2. Indoor water. When I was a little girl my mother and I would visit friends of hers that lived in a farmhouse with no indoor water or plumbing whatsoever. I remember pumping water to drink that tasted yucky but cold and going out in the middle of the night to sit on a circular cut-out hoping nothing would grab me from underneath before I was done with my business☺ I had fun when we would go there to visit but boy, was I ever happy to get home to a toilet that flushed and water that came out of a tap!
  3. Telephone. Yes, I mean the kind that is attached to the wall and not tucked into your pocket☺ Sure, I have a cell phone - have for years - but there is something comforting about the old-fashioned ring of a telephone telling you that someone is on the other end that wants to talk with you. Sometimes you don't want to talk with them (people soliciting for business) but all-in-all, the call is usually someone whose voice is one that you are happy to hear.
  4. US mail. Postage costs are rising but when you really think about it, if you gave someone a letter and asked them to take it from Michigan to California and then told them that you would pay them 42 cents to get the job done - what do you think you'd get for an answer? Mailing a letter is still a fair bargain and nothing is more welcome than receiving a card or letter in the mail. You can hold it in your hand and read it several times. You can put the card on your counter for display and then tuck it safely in a box tied with satin ribbon. Even in the age of the internet, receiving mail can be like having coffee with an old friend.
  5. Neighbors. You don't have to be bosom buddies and chat over the fence every day but isn't it nice when you are coming home or getting in your car or walking the dog or mowing the lawn to raise your hand to wave at someone accompanied by your best smile? It's a connection to your neighborhood - to something outside the four walls of your home. My neighbors are always on the go but when we are outside and notice each other it feels good to smile, wave and say hello☺

Joseph Korzecki 1911 - 1999
My last blessing and the one I am MOST THANKFUL for on this Veteran's Day is my father. He fought in the Pacific theater in World War II but never, ever talked of his heroism. He did share with his family the heroism of his buddies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunshine, leaves and little boys, the blessings of Autumn

  1. Indian Summer. The sun was out today - shining so bright the sky looked nearly purple - a pristine sky - not a cloud to be found. You could almost be fooled into thinking that it wasn't November the air was so warm. I think that days like today are God's way of giving us that last summer kiss before we have to bundle up against the cold until spring.
  2. Fall sounds. Leaves brushing against each other in the breeze, hanging on for dear life to the branch where they were "born" all green and fresh only months ago.
  3. Fall perfume. Last night when I let my dogs out just before bedtime, I stepped outside, closed my eyes and took in the full aroma of the season. There's just something about the smell of the leaves in the fall - pungent, hearty, robust. That unmistakable Autumn scent will be gone all too soon and replaced with snow and ice but for now, and for a few more days, that beautiful Fall perfume will hang in the air.
  4. Windows that clean from the inside. My home is an old Edwardian - three stories - so, the windows I had installed shortly after I moved in are a modern miracle to me. Today I was able to clean them without having to hire some young, wiry guy not afraid of height (or death) to do the job for me.
  5. Little boys and big boys. My son and his youngest son were over today to help with a few outside chores that needed to get done while the weather was still nice. Watching my youngest son and his youngest son together was such a treat for me. As Jeff would hammer away at something, Josh would stand nearby watching his daddy - hands in pockets - having a little "guy talk". The kind of talk a five year-old has with the man who, in his eyes, can do anything in the whole, wide world.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bits 'n bites 'n ATMs - reasons to be thankful for modern miracles

Monday. Time to hit the ground running. Loads of little things to get accomplished around here today. So many tasks that my son, Jeff, will be dropping by to help and to have lunch with his mom. It isn't all that often that he and I get to spend time alone together or that he has a day off during the week. Usually when we see each other the boys and his wife are with him and that's just fine with me, but sometimes a mom wants to just be with her son  After all that's how we started out - just me and my boy.

Let's see what's rolling around in my head for blessings that I am thankful for this morning:
  1. Lists. If I couldn't make a list I think I'd spin around my kitchen most of the day not knowing what to do or who to call or what appointment to keep. It isn't age that is driving me to produce a list every morning - I've been doing that since I was in my 20s - it's genetics My mom was a list maker and so was my dad. I came upon my list fetish honestly.
  2. ATM machines. For most of my life I never used one. For years after they became a prominent fixture outside every bank and inside most large malls I still didn't use one. But then one day I told myself that I had just better get with the program. After I found out how easy they were to use I hardly walk into my bank doors anymore.
  3. Online banking and bill paying. I just love using those services. In the winter when the weather is really rough I can sit inside my home watching the latest blizzard pile the snow high and make deposits, transfers and pay bills. No more stamps - a savings in itself given the fact that the cost of a stamp is now hovering on fifty cents.
  4. My digital camera. My gosh, I remember buying film, taking numerous photos (hoping one would look good) and waiting for them to come back me developed. You would have to pay for all of them back then. What was in that envelope was yours even if it looked like Godzilla married your Cocker Spaniel. Now, heck, shoot a million to get that perfect photo and just delete the rest. You don't even have to take them anywhere to be put to paper - print it at home or send it over the internet to Walgreen's or Walmart. What a convenience.
  5. My doorbells. If I didn't have those little wonders I'd never know when I had a package to collect or a friend to invite inside my home. You see, I have dogs, big dogs, but usually they are with me - just about melding to my body - so if I'm not near the door they don't hear someone trying to get my attention, they don't bark - they're too busy hanging around half an inch from me snooper-vising whatever I am doing at the time. I think they want to know if what I'm up to involves food

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday blessings, so much to be thankful for...

It's Sunday! Sunday, to me, is always a new beginning. Bright, shiny, soft and sweet, it brings hope with it and anticipation - what will the new week bring? Today I am thankful for:

  1. Cheap reading glasses. I don't require a prescription yet to read, so I can have the luxury, and fun, of picking up several pairs in oodles of colors - a real rainbow of spectacles - so I can grab a pair that will compliment whatever I happen to be wearing that day. I used to have to wear glasses for distance - since fifth grade - but something happened as I aged and now my vision has corrected itself and I don't need them anymore. Go figure. My eye doctor said that it happens every now and then. I'm happy that it happened to me.
  2. My eyes. Without them I wouldn't be able to see my grandchildren or my children or the colors of fall. I wouldn't be able to  crochet or knit as well as I do and I wouldn't have the freedom to drive my car whenever and wherever my little heart desired. I could probably list thousands of things that I couldn't do without my eyes but you get the picture☺don't you? Being able to see is such a blessing, such a gift.
  3. My hands. They can rake leaves and make gifts for people I love. They can cook and bake and change diapers. My hands can feel the soft fur of my dogs and cats and the silken strands that cover the heads of babies. My hands are beginning to looks like my mother's now (she passed in '83). If I was younger that would bother me. Now that I am older I find it comforting and pleasant. My mother had loving and creative hands.
  4. My ears. Today when I was visiting blogs I came upon one that had music - Amazing Grace - my all time favorite hymn. I was able to just sit back, close my eyes and listen to words that I cherish and a melody that is unmistakable. I can hear the laughter of my grandchildren and the laughter of my daughter-in-law, Cindy. If you could hear her laugh you would know why I love it so much. When Cindy laughs you can't help but smile and want to laugh with her - it is like music - it's beautiful and lyrical.
  5. My voice. I can call my dogs into the house. Share stories with my grandchildren. Dial a phone and chat with a friend or hum a tune (you really don't want to hear me sing☺). My neighbor, John, lost his voice shortly before he died of throat cancer. He was such a wonderful, gentle man whose voice was silenced too soon.