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Ten Things of Thankful: Planting Seeds of Gratitude

If Google is to be believed, there is a Chinese proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." We planted some trees this week, and while it will be nice in future years when they are full grown, I am thankful for the beauty and shade they already add to the yard. Like trees, a thankful heart grows over time, but is something to celebrate even in its early development. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, started by Lizzi in 2013, has provided an opportunity for me to reflect weekly on what I am thankful for in my life. Big things, little things, things that weren't necessarily great, but were better than they could have been--all those things count. Over time, this regular exercise shows me that situations and circumstances change, but there really is always something to be thankful for. When storms arise, those silver linings in the clouds are visible, if one looks closely. I am thankful for Lizzi for starting this blo…
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Ten Things of Thankful: At Least it Wasn't a Boring Week

The front cover of the children's book, "NOTHING ever happens on MY BLOCK" shows a sulking child sitting on the curb, with a fireman and a robber behind him
I've mentioned the children's book Nothing ever happens on My Block in a previous Ten Things of Thankful post. In the book, a child complains that nothing ever happens on his block. Meanwhile, in the background, a whole lot of things are happening. In 2020, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, it felt like everyone was isolated in their own homes doing quiet things while the world raged on. It was as if all the excitement was happening outside, but inside remained calm. It still feels like the world is raging on, but (wearing a face mask and observing all recommendations) I'm not quite as isolated as I was in spring. I still don't get out much, though, and even when I do, it's often to use curbside pick-up at the store, so all-in-all, I lead a pretty basic (yet satisfying) life. This week, …

Six Sentence Story: Kettle

an antique typewriter
It's time again for another Six Sentence Story. Each week, Denise posts a prompt word and invites all to compose a story in only six sentences based on the prompt. This week, my inspiration came as I was dealing with the abundance of pears from my tree. The prompt word this week: kettle. Be sure to go to Denise's blog to check out the other entries. I'm always impressed by the talent of the other writers, and by the diversity of stories each word inspires. 
Standing at the kitchen sink, her sharpest paring knife in hand, and with a bushel box of pears at her side, her thoughts turned to the past: how many years had she been an active participant (let alone captive witness) to the event that was about to unfold yet again? The air was muggy due to the heat of late summer and the big kettle of boiling water on the stove. Though it always seemed like so much work, the act of preparing the fruit, ladling it carefully in…

What's in a Name? Being Thankful When I'm Not

Ten Things of Thankful: Being Settled in Unsettling Times

Every day, it seems there is more evidence that 2020 is one strange year. It's not "just" the pandemic; Mother Nature has also had a heyday, with extreme weather and related events. This week, my dad took some very eerie photos from his yard. Because of nearby fires, everything had a reddish-orange glow. It hurts my heart to hear of the destruction in the beautiful areas where I grew up, and it would be easy to get discouraged because I can't do anything about it. However, as I have learned over the years, there are ways to find peace in stressful situations. 1. I'm thankful for a change of pace. We have been doing a really good job of staying home over the past months, but on Monday, we decided to not spend the day doing yard work, but instead, we drove to the Great Salt Lake to see the Spiral Jetty. We left early enough that there was really only one other family there when we arrived, and not too many more by the time we left. We could maintain distance from t…

Ten Things of Thankful: Harvest Time Edition

Although I have come to love summer once again, I have always loved fall. As a child, I loved the excitement of back-to-school time. There was something so satisfying about checking off the required school supplies from the list, and the new clothes and shoes were waiting so patiently for the first day to arrive, so I could wear them. The air developed a crisp coolness, and soon it would be the holiday season. I don't have new school supplies, nor do I have a new outfit in my closet, but I still love autumn. As an adult, September brings harvest time. I have been enjoying the bounty of the garden, and am taking mental note of what worked and what didn't, in preparation for next planting season. The temperatures are beginning the roller-coaster ride of changing seasons, and soon enough we will be celebrating holidays.One of those holidays, of course, is Thanksgiving, and what better way to prepare than to reflect back on this past week and express gratitude? This week, I am tha…

Six Sentence Story: Twist

Each week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge blog posts a prompt word and invites bloggers to come up with a Six Sentence Story. It's a fun challenge for writers, and a delight for readers. Go over to her blog to read what others have written, and feel free to post your own story, too! This week's prompt: twist.*********************************The kids who moved in next door were big kids--much older than her 3-year-old self--but they might be fun to play with, and as they were coming towards her, the idea of them being new friends seemed at least possible.She was rather shy, but she understood the basics of making friends, so when those neighbors crowded all around her and asked her what her name was, she didn't hesitate to answer.  She thought she had spoken loudly enough, but apparently her shyness got the best of her, because they didn't seem to have heard her. "Twisty?" they asked, and recognizing she needed to be even louder, she raised her voice and practic…