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Ten Things of Thankful: Holding Down the Pew Edition

Photo: Six felt creatures of assorted colors, which look like puzzle pieces with faces, sit together on a couch

What a week! Let's just jump right into the list of thankful things, shall we?

1. I'm thankful for snow plows. Last Sunday, we managed to get to and from church OK, but then left the house in the early afternoon. When we tried to get back up our street, we couldn't do it. We tried another street, thinking maybe we could get home the back way, but that didn't work either. So, we headed back to our street, drove up as far as we could, then walked uphill and in a snow storm to our house. (I might not have walked uphill for miles to school each day, but at least now I have my own story!) Once the snow plow came by later that day, John drove the car back home. 

2. I'm thankful for cars. Our vehicles are each 10+ years old, but they run pretty well (on non-icy roads), and they are paid for. John and I are starting to see the wisdom of at least one 4-wheel-drive vehicle in this climate and elevation, but we aren't in any rush. It's the rare day when we have to be anywhere.

3. Even though I really love decorating for Christmas, I'm thankful that the inside decorations are all down and put away. (I still need to take down the sad-looking garland, etc. from the porch--this week, I promise!) Empty space is so calming.

4. I'm thankful for the convenience of a washer and dryer. The dial on the washer is temperamental, and the dryer sometimes complains loudly, but both appliances do the job they were designed to do. I was able to get caught up on the laundry this week.

5. I'm thankful for (g)old friends. A week after we got back from Oregon, one of my good friends and her kids came to visit for a couple of days. I'm so glad that she has been able to visit several times since we've moved to Utah. We have so much fun together!

6. I'm thankful for (silver) new friends. Although I missed book club this week, members reached out to me to make me feel welcomed. I'm looking forward to getting to know the women in the club better.

7. In another example for #6, my neighbor and I were chatting this week and realized that we had several similar interests. I can see her becoming a gold friend. 

8. I'm thankful for the temple. John and I attended again on Tuesday, and appreciate the peace that we find there.

9.  I'm thankful for fun childhood memories. Years ago, my mom made me the orange "puzzle man" in the photo at the start of this post. My children played with it when they were young. This year, I made each of my children their own puzzle man for Christmas. Even though my mom clearly is the better seamstress, my kids were genuinely delighted with my efforts, and I'm glad they are happy with the gift. 

10. As always, I'm thankful for John. Last Sunday's venture down the hill after church was to meet with a member of the stake presidency. He extended a call to John to serve as the first counselor in the ward bishopric. Although John has served in this capacity before, when we lived in California, this is his first time serving in a bishopric when we're still just learning people's names. He's upstairs as I type this, poring over the ward directory and map, memorizing names, faces, and just generally trying to figure out who is who in the ward. I appreciate his dedication and willingness to this "crash course" of getting to know people, so he can better serve them. 

Thus concludes our time sitting together at church, at least while he is in this calling. I'll sit in a pew on the right-hand side of the chapel, so I can see him better as he is sitting on the stand. There's plenty of room, though, so feel free to join me! 



  1. Having a vehicle that can get you through the snow might be a wise idea, but i don't blame you for moving slowly on that. Getting another vehicle is always a risk, even a new one can be a lemon and a used one is really an unknown quantity.

    It's a blessing to make new friends and have them become old friends over time.

    1. The urgency could change if being snowed in is a regular occurrence, but if it's just the occasional event, we can get by with the cars we have.

  2. I can relate to John's "crash course" to learn names and faces in your church. I'm gradually making that connection with every service I attend in my new church.

    1. You do know what I mean! Slowly but surely, I'm starting to figure out names/faces.

  3. It sounds like you have had some adventurous times in the snow. I see that more snow is headed your way this week.

    Will you still be teaching Primary, now that John has new responsibilities?

    Yeah for getting caught up on laundry. Me too! Having washers and dryers that work is definitely a blessing.

    Love the happy family complete with the new generation!

    1. As far as I know, I will still be teaching Primary, but I don't know yet who the team-teacher will be.

  4. Many a snowy mile have I trudged from my abandoned vehicle...we all have our stories!
    The puzzle men are adorable! Really happy to visit here and see you at Uncharted.... here's to reconnecting with rusted friends ( me not you!)xo zoe

    1. Even though I know you weren't referring to me, I am not offended by a "rusted" description. Growing up in Oregon, I often heard the joke, "Oregonians don't tan; they rust!" ;-)

  5. I have had no vehicle, obviously.


    However, a washer and dryer are essential. We bought them when my sister and I got this house together, but a lot has happened since then, and it's just me here now. Those machines have worked hard and are still working and I am thankful for that. It's the little things that matter so much.

    1. Small things do make a big difference, don't they? I remember the first apartment that John and I had didn't have in-unit laundry facilities; we had to go to the complex' laundromat. It's SO much nicer to be able to do laundry without leaving the house!


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