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Ten Things of Thankful: 2017

Time just keeps on passing, and here we are again at the end of December. I find myself momentarily pausing, glancing backward over my shoulder to review the past twelve months, while simultaneously leaning forward, anxious to propel myself forward on both new and familiar paths in the upcoming year. 

Much has happened in 2017--life and death, hellos and goodbyes, laughter and tears. Opposites add dimension to life, letting us appreciate the good times and assuring us that the bad times will not last.

One thing that can endure, though, through all of the ups and downs, is thankfulness. Each week, I join with other bloggers to express thanks for things we are grateful for in our lives. As this is the last week of 2017, for this Ten Things of Thankful post, I look back not only on the past week, but on the past year. 

The year started off with me attending a party in honor of my grandma's 100th birthday. I'm thankful (1) for her influence in my life. My memories of her sharp, inqui…

Six Sentence Story: Suspend

Every week, Ivy at Uncharted gives a one-word prompt and invites everyone to write a six-sentence story based on that word. While my contribution this week might stretch the rules a bit, I suppose it's OK when the prompt is suspend.

No work, no appointments, no meetings
Only fun on the schedule today.
Grown kids are home, and their friends have come
To join with us for the holiday.
We talk, laugh, eat, and play
And suspend routine 'til after New Year's Day.






Ten Things of Thankful: Pre-Christmas Musings

The darkness of the night slowly gives way to the light of day. Besides  the ticking of the clock, all is quiet. Multiple cars, with out-of-state license plates, fill the driveway--evidence that the home's usually-empty bedrooms are now occupied. Today's forecast calls for lots of laughter, good conversation, and shared activities. The anticipation does not demand a hurried approach to the day, however, and a peaceful mood envelopes the house. 

In this calm moment, I reflect on the past week. The nearing of the closure of 2017 prompts my mind to go back further--to reflect not only on the week, but on the year, then back yet further to when the visiting adults were children, then back to when I was a child. More than a half-century's worth of Christmases mesh together. The details take back-stage to the warm feelings of contentment and joy. 

Of course, some years were more challenging than others. No one is immune to illness, grief, tragedy, or pain. Everyone will probably e…

Ten Things of Thankful: Counting Down Edition

As we are counting down the days until Christmas, I thought, "Why not do a countdown Ten Things of Thankful post--featuring numbers?" So pull up a seat, and get set to read!


10. I'm thankful for ten more days until Christmas to finish preparations.

9. I'm thankful for the nine different wards (church congregations) John and I have been in since we've been married.

8. I'm thankful for eight years spent in our last house.

7. I'm thankful for our seventh home purchase, the one we will be moving into sometime next year. 

6. I'm thankful for Drexel, who, having recently turned five, has entered his sixth year of life. (I would say, "They grow up so fast," but he is still goofy and puppy-like.)

5. I'm thankful for five wonderful children. 

4. I'm thankful for four fantastic grandchildren.

3. I'm thankful for my grandma, who will turn 101 years old in three weeks!

2. I'm thankful for two sets of parents (John's and mine.)

1. I'm thank…

Six Sentence Story: Tune

Ivy atUnchartedhosts a 6-Sentence Story challenge, with a new prompt each week. This week's prompt: tune.

The congregation rose on cue from the chorister, while the organ started playing the hymn's introduction. The blonde-haired tot stood on the pew, glad to have an approved chance to wiggle. Her ears perked up as she recognized the familiar tune. She didn't seem to notice--or if she did, she didn't care--that everyone else was singing, "Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing," while she belted out, "Go tell Aunt Rhody the old grey goose is dead!" 

Her mom blushed, while her older sister collapsed in a fit of giggles. From that time forward, whenever hymn #163 appeared on the program, the memory of their daughter and sister singing at the top of her lungs washed over them, and they struggled to maintain a composure of reverence. 




Ten Things of Thankful: Snowy Day Edition

Last Monday, it snowed. I've been a bit surprised at how little snow we've had since moving here, and I'm beginning to think we won't have a white Christmas. But last week, it snowed. We had some come down here at the house we are renting, and even more at the house we bought. 


1. I'm thankful for the beauty of the snow. 

2. I'm thankful that, at least this time, the driveway and roads remained clear.

3. I'm thankful for quail, and I'm happy that large numbers of them frequent both the yard of the house I'm in now, and the yard of the house I'm moving into.

4. I'm thankful for Snowy Day stamps. When I asked the postal worker what Christmas stamps were available, I didn't even listen past, "Snowy Day." I was instantly transported back to childhood and knew I would be purchasing those stamps.


5. I'm thankful for a Relief Society progressive dinner. It was nice to get to know the women in the ward better. 

6. I'm thankful for a …

#LightTheWorld, Search the Scriptures

Occasionally, I hear of the odd person who realized they were feeling weak because they forgot to eat something that day. Though I don't typically forget to eat, it is easy for me to understand that I function better when I take care of my physical needs. 
Similarly, if I find myself feeling impatient, irritable, or generally down-in-the-dumps, I can sometimes trace those feelings back to a lack of spiritual nourishment. Perhaps I forgot to kneel before I hit the ground running that morning, or perhaps I failed to take time to read from the scriptures. I've heard it said that prayer is how we talk to God, and the scriptures are a way He responds to us. I know that often while I'm reading scriptures, thoughts and impressions come to my mind that have little or nothing to do with what I'm reading, but when I have followed those promptings, I feel happy and at peace. 


Today's #LightTheWorld theme is from John 5:39: "Search the scriptures." As we study and pond…

Ten Things of Thankful: Before My Flight Home Edition

I took a flight to California yesterday to see my grandchildren (and their parents, too, of course!) and am currently in a hotel room before my flight home. It was a quick trip, but a fun one. 

1. I'm thankful for airplanes that make such quick trips possible. 

2. I'm thankful that my laptop made it through the security check--twice! After I was through the TSA checkpoint and had put my shoes on and picked up my carry-on bag, I realized my bag was lighter than normal. My laptop (which I had taken out of my bag and put in its own bin) was missing! TSA officials told me that sometimes it takes a while to get the bins through, and to wait a few minutes. I waited, but couldn't imagine how the bin couldn't have gone through already. An overheard announcement was made to all waiting passengers to check to make sure they hadn't inadvertently picked up someone else's belongings. After more time went by, a TSA worker found my computer. I think someone (maybe even me) stac…

December 1st: #LightTheWorld by Giving

Happy December! It's time to kick-off the #LightTheWorld campaign. Each day through Christmas, a scriptural verse is featured and the challenge is to find some way to implement the counsel in our own lives. It's not meant to be overwhelming; participate however you can.

Today's verse, Matthew 10:8, sets the tone for the whole month: Freely ye have received, freely give. I love the feeling that comes with giving, especially when the gift is truly appreciated--something needed or wanted. 

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to drive to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the unveiling of some very unusual kiosks. Set in the lovely Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square, these vending machines allow visitors to donate to various charities. After inserting cash or credit card, the giver punches in the letter and number of one of the items displayed, and watches as the selected gift falls to the bottom of the machine. Unlike normal vending machines, there isn't a way for the purc…

Ten Things of Thankful: Post-Thanksgiving Edition

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I'll jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for cooperative return policies. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to return a range that I had purchased, and I hoped that the particular range was just a lemon and that the replacement wouldn't have the same problem. Well, unfortunately, it did. On the bright side, the store quickly picked up the second range and refunded my money. I'm putting appliance purchases on the back burner (!) for the moment. 

2. I'm thankful for temples. I went one morning this week to the temple. I'm always amazed at how much insight comes in just an hour or two of reflection. 

3. I'm thankful for my sister. She and her family came to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and I got a chance to see her and her family on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was in January at our grandma's 100th birthday celebration. We feel lucky to have two visits in one year! 

4. I'm thankful for my brother. …

Are We Willing to Act? #LightTheWorld

Have you ever read, seen, or heard something that caused you to really take notice? Perhaps it changed the way you thought of a particular concept. Perhaps you understood a situation from another's perspective, in a way you previously did not. One way John and I judge movies is by how much we talk about them afterwards. A well-written script causes us to reflect upon the meaning and talk about how it translates to real life.

While talk is good, action is better. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Whatever the initial motivating force--an idea from a book, a speech, a movie, or a life--a magnifying effect occurs as that idea takes hold of one's actions. The acted-upon idea has not only the power to change the individual's life, but others' lives as well. 

You might remember that last Christmas I participated in the #LightTheWorld initiative. Each day, for 25 days, we were encouraged to think of a way to follow the example of Jesus Christ. On one of t…

Ten Things of Thankful: This Week, and Always Edition

The nationally-designated day of Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and people are preparing for the feast: making lists, grocery shopping, figuring out the logistics of hosting, or making travel plans, if traveling. While all those preparations are good and necessary, Thanksgiving also requires reflection on what it is we are celebrating. What are we thankful for, right now?

When I started my blog nearly seven years ago (Wow! Has it really been that long?), I didn't really have any idea what I was doing, or what I wanted the blog to be. I decided upon the name, Thankful Me, in an effort to develop a greater sense of gratitude within myself. It is altogether too easy to be overwhelmed with life's circumstances, and bad news often screams out, "Listen to me!" Regardless of the trials and distractions that swirl around, though, there is good to be found and gratitude to be expressed. I knew that if I made it a habit to be thankful, I would be a more pleasant person and b…

Ten Things of Thankful: Running Late Edition

I'm nearly late for the link up, so will write a short post this week. I don't want to miss out on an opportunity to express my thanks!

1. I'm thankful for the first snowfall of the season in our backyard. Drexel seemed oblivious.



2. I'm thankful that when I drove up to our new house ("It can't be snowing yet! I'm not done raking leaves!"), I found a sweet welcome banner tied to our porch, and a plate of goodies by the front door.


3. I'm thankful that John and I were able to go to our last Disneyland run. Not only was it the last Disneyland run we have signed up for, it was the last Disneyland run period, in the foreseeable future, at least.

4. I'm thankful that the details of the running costume finally came together.

The race we ran was the Thor 10K. John dressed as Odin, and I dressed as Frigga, Odin's wife. We like to run in coordinating costumes, and we felt we fit the Odin/Frigga demographic better than the younger characters. One downsid…

Ten Things of Thankful: Bullies, Snowblowers, and a Birthday Edition

Hello, November! The sky is cloudy, and precipitation of some kind or another (depending on the forecaster) is in the future. 

I've been scouring the local online ads for a snowblower. After extensive research, I located just the one for us. I texted the seller, and agreed on a time for John and I to meet him. Later in the day, I texted again to verify, and was told another interested party would be seeing the snowblower at the same time. At that point, I informed the seller I would pass, as I didn't want to get caught up in a bidding war, and I didn't want to drive the distance to see the snowblower if we weren't going to be able to purchase it. I also didn't think it was fair to the other party to be stuck in the same position.

Later that night, I received another text from the seller, informing me that I didn't show up (I already had told him I wouldn't), and that the other party didn't either. The wording of his text was grandiose and designed to make…

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 …

Six Sentence Story: Menu

It's time for another Six Sentence Story! Each week, Ivy of Uncharted gives a cue, and, more often than not, I can record a family memory based on the clue. (Sometimes I do write fictional pieces based on the cue, but not this week.)



Her first-born was turning two, and Mom, trying to plan the birthday dinner, decided to ask the little guy what he wanted to eat. 

"He'll probably request ba-sketti, or perhaps hot dogs, but letting the birthday child pick the meal should be a tradition in this family," she thought to herself.

"Hey, Jake, what should Mommy cook for dinner? What would you like to eat?"

Though she clearly heard his response, it still caught her off guard, and she wondered about the economic feasibility of adopting the "birthday child chooses the menu" tradition.

Still, a promise is a promise, and that night (after a quick trip to the grocery store) the little family feasted on salmon. 







If I Have to Have a Fender-Bender, Let it Be in Provo

Ivy, over at Uncharted, is having a contest, asking for the best opening line of a country western ballad. When I was typing the title of this post, I could almost hear the twanging of guitar strings. That title, perhaps like many country western lyrics, was born of experience.


Monday morning, I was on my way back home after picking up some kolaches from Hruska's. (Yes, I had tried them for the first time on Saturday morning, and went back on Monday morning for more. If you've had them, you'll understand.) I was stopped at a 4-way stop, waiting for the car to the right of me to proceed before making a left turn, when BAM! a car plowed into me from behind. I couldn't believe it. I made the turn, pulled over to the side of the road, and the offender pulled up behind me. 

A young man, presumably a BYU student, got out of the car and immediately said, "I'm so sorry!" I didn't see any major damage to my car's bumper, so didn't bother to even get his …