Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Sports, Chili, and Neighbors Edition

I love fall. There's a bit of a nip in the air, yet the daytime temperatures don't require a heavy coat. The beautiful colored leaves contrast against the blue of the sky--until they fall to the ground and provide a delightfully crunchy walking surface. Fall elicits cozy feelings, but doesn't trap us inside our houses. Fall brings sports games, chili cook-offs, and association with neighbors. 

1. I'm thankful for nice people, even (and perhaps especially) when there are accidents. I got rear-ended this week, but there was no real damage to cars nor people, and the overriding feeling I took away from the experience (besides unbelief at being hit) was how nice the young man was who hit me. He was remorseful, gracious, and pleasant. If I Have to Have a Fender-Bender, Let it Be in Provo.

2. I'm thankful for Hruska's Kolaches. Yes, this is a repeat from last week, but can I just say YUM! As I'm typing this, I am realizing that we ate kolaches last Saturday, again on Monday, and then again yesterday. I might have a kolaches problem. In my defense, I had to go yesterday, because Hruska's had a special Harry Potter day, with specially-flavored kolaches, butterbeer, street magicians, an owl, and very elaborate decorations. 

Photo: A painted cutout of a castle, reminiscent of Hogwart's castle, disguises a fence at Hruska's Kolaches.

3. I'm thankful for what feels like a local team in the World Series. No, I'm not talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers; I mean the Houston Astros. Many of the Astros players are former Lancaster (CA) Jethawks. John and I had the chance to cheer on George Springer, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel, and others when we would attend the Jethawks games. It's nice to see that their hard work has paid off and they are living their dreams.

4. I'm thankful that winning isn't everything. The BYU football team isn't having a particularly good season. (Yes, that is most definitely an understatement.) 

5. I'm thankful for the chance I've had to live in various places. It is so strange for me to now be living in a town where I belong to the religious majority, and Mormon culture doesn't require explanation. Hopefully my experience of being in the minority most of my life will keep me aware of those who are in the minority here. 

6. I'm thankful for chili cook-offs. When I was in the grocery store Thursday night buying ingredients to make chili for a ward (congregation) chili cook-off, I realized that several other people were visiting the same aisles I was, and were looking for the same types of ingredients I was. Though they might be in my ward (I'm still getting to know everyone), I didn't recognize them. I think perhaps another ward (or two or more) was also having a chili cook-off this past weekend. Chili cook-offs have nothing to do with Mormon doctrine, but are a pretty common ward activity. I was just struck once again how immersed I am in Mormon culture here in Utah, and it made me chuckle. (For more of my observations about the influence of Mormon culture here, you might want to read Seven Signs You Might Be Shopping in a Utah Costco.)

7. I'm thankful I could help with the activity Friday night. As I asked participants to sign-in with their pots of chili, I got to put more names with faces, and had a chance to chat with people a bit. Learning names helps turn strangers to acquaintances and friends. 

8. I'm thankful that our new house is also in a very welcoming location. We were invited to a neighborhood get-together that will be held next week. Already, five families in what will be our new neighborhood have come over to introduce themselves to us as they've noticed us at the house raking leaves, etc. We are excited to get to know them better, as well as to get to know the other families on our street. 

9. I'm thankful that we live close to John's parents. We were able to take them out to dinner this week to celebrate John's dad's birthday. It's just such a treat that we can get together so easily with them. 

10. I'm thankful for John. We are approaching the empty-nest phase of life, and as much as we are looking forward to that, John and I also recognize that it is going to be a major change for us (and it will particularly impact my daily life, as I can hang up my taxi-cab hat, for example.) I'm thankful to have such a supportive husband by my side as we go through the various stages of our life together.

How has your week gone? Have you been in an accident, eaten good food, watched a game, or spent time with friends or family? Whatever you've done, there is something for which to be thankful. Let me know in a comment, or write a post and link up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog. I'm thankful to be part of such an encouraging online community!



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12 comments:

  1. #6 and #7 sound great. I like cooking and sharing it too, and tasting what other people brought. I am happy for your for number 1. I had similar experience a long time ago. Have a good week. https://carinsgratitude.blogspot.com/2017/10/october-gratitude.html

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  2. Food brings people together. As for accidents, I'm sorry you experienced one too, but glad that it turned out OK.

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  3. I haven't made chili in years, but I have a favorite recipe. I have all the necessary ingredients, so I might make a pot this week.

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    1. Chili just seems perfect for a cool fall day.

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  4. Getting to know the people in your church and neighborhood is a huge blessing. Hope everyone enjoyed the chili!

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    1. I didn't win the contest, and I came home with an empty pot, so I do think that everyone enjoyed all of the chilis!

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  5. Great list of thankfuls. I am glad no one was hurt in the accident. I love chili, it would be fun to taste test it, not too hot though :)

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    1. I don't think there were any that were too hot this time. Someone did bring a chili made with moose meat, though!

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  6. To have a hometown waiting, in a whole different state! I would imagine that 'the culture' extends beyond a common belief/interest and fills out into a (common/similar) way of life.
    cool

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    1. Yes, there is definitely a culture beyond religious doctrine. Being immersed in that now is both familiar and strange--familiar, because it has always been my culture, and strange, because I have always been surrounded by friends and some family members who do not share the same culture. (Perhaps like someone with dual-citizenship feels?)I don't want to forget that what is familiar to me might not be familiar to all those around me. Just because something is culturally familiar doesn't make it better/right, and there is a danger of being around so many who are alike that those who find this culture not familiar feel apart/outside. I don't know if I'm making sense; I just don't want to inadvertently make anyone feel uncomfortable.

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  7. MMMM, I love chili. Not too spicy though.

    My neighbour is someone who likes to make a bunch of warming soups for wintertime and she is kindly sharing with me. It sounds like we could all use more neighbours like mine and like your new ones.

    Ooh, Harry Potter Day anywhere sounds good to me.

    I am a big nip in the air fan myself.

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    1. That is nice of your neighbor to share! I find it is really difficult to make less than a huge pot of soup. Even though there are just 3 of us now, I still find myself making as much as I did when there were 7. Maybe I should see if someone would appreciate some of our leftovers!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!