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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankfulness continues

It seems hard to believe that a little over a week ago, I was swimming in the warm waters of Maui. Paddling around and taking in all that the ocean has to offer. Snorkeling until my skin was puckered and my lips felt as though the salt would never come off of them. Now, wind, rain and leaves twirling all around are my view.

I've made a conscious decision to find one thing each day that I'm thankful for. I have more than most. I know this, and I am grateful. A beautiful family, a lovely home, and material things most likely more than I truly need.  I still appreciate the small things. Laughter, small children, flowers,and the buds on the trees, that are coming strangely early.

This Thanksgiving was a time to remember. Receiving Thanksgiving flowers made me remember my mother. My mother died eleven years ago. She always sent a bouquet for my table. I think she was so thrilled to not be cooking, to be invited to someone else's home, that she showed her appreciation by sending a bouquet. I loved it. I love it today, and when the hubs walked in with this gorgeous horn of plenty bouquet, my smile was wide, and I felt as if my mother was smiling down also. I haven't had a bouquet sent on a holiday since she left.

As I set the table, silver from my mother, a pitcher from my sweet mother-in-law, I remembered to past Thanksgiving dinners. It was only two years ago that sweet Nana my mother-in-law sat for the last time at my Thanksgiving table. Her dementia had escalated, she was so full of energy and was insistant that her mom and dad were waiting for her in the family room.  Now two years later, my father-in-law who is looking every bit of his 94 years, has a lady friend who sits at his left. These two years have been hard on him. I'm thankful he has a companion. I hope he's with us another thanksgiving, but it's hard to know. None of of know what the next year will bring.

Children are grown, there are in-laws to share the holidays with.  To counteract this, my daughter has had an annual "turkey trot."  We all gather at her home, and jog/run a course in her neighborhood.  This year, the weather was beyond horrid. Wind and rain to the point that taking things from the car to the door was a mission impossible. Ugh.  We made the most of it, had a blind wine tasting, yummy appetizers, a new signature cocktail, and games.  It works, it feels festive, and after all, Thanksgiving is just a day. Getting together with family and friends is what counts.  The party was to be from 6:30-8:00, but we were rolling home close to ten. I'm thankful for a daughter who likes to entertain and organizes this trot, so we can all get together.

baby boy loves shoes, and just had to try on the neighbor's boots

story time with Uncle Luke. I'm thankful he has a love of children. He will be an amazing father. I'm thankful that I have a son who loves the little ones.

faux in town daughter, and birth daughter.  I'm thankful that these young women trust me with their children. They are all so unique, and bring so much happiness to my week.

son-in-law, hubs, and faux in town son are all wonderful examples of how husbands should treat their wives. I'm thankful that they love their families and are good role models.

This was such a pleasant surprise. This centerpiece arrived on Wednesday.  A gift from a stranger I met while in Hawaii.  I was snorkeling, saw a baggie floating, took it in and discovered, cash, credit card, and driver's license.  Long story short, I made several attempts to track him down.  My young years of Nancy Drew books are still with me. I eventually caught up with him, and returned his goods. A lovely older man and his wife from Minnesota.  He asked if there was a charity at home that I support. I quickly told him about the Auxiliary of the Assistance League in Salem, OR.  My friend and I are co-chairing the spring forum which is our largest fund raiser of the year. We use our money to provide backpacks and school supplies for local school children, as well as birthday supplies for homeless children, and also get young adults who are fazing out of foster care set up for their first indpendent living situation.

Not only did this angel in disguise send me this beautiful bouquet, but he sent a check for $100 for my charity.  Daughter is convinced that there was a reason I was supposed to meet this gentleman.  It is interesting to think if I wasn't honest, if I had taken his cash, or tried to use his credit card. It all comes down to another thankfulness.  I'm thankful that I was raised with morals of what is right, and what is wrong. I'm thankful that I did the right thing, and how sweet the outcome was.

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