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Ten Things of Thankful: Only One More Week Until the Big Day!

Cupcakes on a plate, surrounded by a banner that spells out "Thankful," from last year's TToT celebration
Next week marks a milestone for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop: it turns SEVEN years old! Do you remember when you turned seven? I'm not sure, but I think my birthday cake that year might have featured little plastic dogs on top to decorate it, and to be party favors for my guests. I remember selfishly wanting to be able to keep all the dogs, but my mom taught me that it was nice to be gracious and share. 

The nice thing about sharing gratitude is that you can still keep the feeling, even as you share with others. AND we can all be happy for each other. I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland:

Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.

Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! 

Next weekend, just like every weekend for the past seven years, we will have the chance to come together in gratitude. I hope that the upcoming week is a happy one for each of you, but even if it turns out to be one of those weeks, I hope you will join us anyway. The TToT started as a way to see the silver linings in the darkness, and I think that everyone who has written a TToT post can attest that there is light to be found even in the worst situations. 

So grab a piece of cake, put on a party hat, and plan on celebrating with us next weekend! Take photos, share your TToT list, and go visit the other blogs that link up. Comment like crazy, and say hi to newcomers and old-timers alike. I have it on good authority that Lizzi, the founder of the TToT, plans on attending! 

Although I'm definitely looking forward to next week's celebration, I can't forget about the things I am thankful for this week. Without further ado:

1. I'm thankful for acts of kindness I have witnessed. Yesterday, I noticed some guys pushing a car through an intersection. None of the drivers who were slowed down by the broken-down car were expressing impatience. It's nice to see patient, understanding people. 

2. I'm thankful I found a document that has the name of my great-great-great grandmother. Everyone seemed to think her name was Martha Jerrell, but until two days ago, I hadn't found documentation of her first name, and no one that I talked to could list a source, either. Her daughter's death certificate listed her mother's maiden name (Jerrell), but didn't list a first name. On Wednesday, I found my great-great grandmother's brother's death certificate, and it listed his mother's maiden name as Martha Jerrell. 

A death certificate of James Monroe Swift shows maiden name of mother is Martha Jerrell

3. I'm thankful that what I feared was a scam, wasn't. A month or so ago, I ordered some face masks from an Etsy shop. I had made some face masks, but wanted to supplement our supply. A day or so after I placed the order, I returned to Etsy only to find the shop was gone. I emailed the shop owner and heard nothing for a number of days. When I did get a response, I was told to be patient, and that my order had shipped. I was given a tracking number, but when I clicked on it, it just indicated that a shipping label had been created, not that the order had shipped. I checked back several days later, with the same result. I emailed the owner again, and I was again told that my order had shipped. When the day came and passed that I should have received my order, based on my initial order date, and with no update on the shipping nor further response from the seller, I opened a case with Etsy. My money was refunded promptly. Well, earlier this week, I received my face masks! I felt so bad for not believing the seller, and for getting a refund. I have tried to contact Etsy to see how to pay again, but the Etsy website keeps sending me around in circles, and the shop isn't active anymore. 

4. I'm thankful for my cousin who told me she has a peony that came from my grandma's yard, and who offered to send me a start when she divides the clump in the fall. I love plants, and to have part of a plant that my grandma grew and loved makes it even more special. 

5. I'm thankful for books. I've started reading Daring Greatly, and it has made me think. It's one of those books where I read one thing, then I think of something entirely different, but totally related. Click, click, click, truths fall into place and bring a deeper understanding of concepts. 

6. I'm thankful for a growing garden. My TToTs have been plant-heavy for the last little bit, so I will spare you all the details, but the corn is on track to be knee-high by the 4th of July, the raspberry sticks are budding out, and the seeds of all varieties (notice I didn't say "all of the seeds") have sprouted. I have high hopes for a good harvest later this summer.

7. I'm thankful that the rest of the yard is coming together nicely, too. We planted red twig dogwood shrubs, an Eastern redbud tree, and will plant a couple of flowering quince later today or tomorrow. Every time I think we are about done planting, we decide on something else to add, but I think we're just about done planting--at least until fall. I think. 

8. I'm thankful for our neighborhood. Wednesday night, there was a little parade for the graduating seniors. Everyone came outside and cheered as a handful of vehicles, each driving one graduate, drove by. 

9. I'm thankful for our larger community. Last night, at 9:30, fireworks started going off all over the valley, as the school district had arranged. The seniors might not have been able to have a traditional graduation ceremony, but the district planned a fireworks celebration that didn't require gathering. From our bedroom window, John and I watched about a half-dozen simultaneous pyrotechnic displays. 

10. I'm thankful for John. He has dug so many holes (through the terribly rocky soil, I might add) over the past few weeks as we've been working on the yard. He never complains, nor does he suggest that we should stop planting--in fact, he sometimes is the one making the suggestion to plant more! 

What about you? What are you thankful for this week? Don't forget that next week is the big celebration! :-)

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  1. Jeffrey R. Holland's pickle juice story is one of my favorites.
    How exciting you were able to find confirmation as to Martha Jarrell's name.
    I'm listening to The Murmur of Bees and finding that there are many things that remind me of this time right now. When I got the book on Audible I didn't really know much about it.
    What a predicament re your Etsy order! I hope you are able to resolve the situation without having to spend hours on the phone.
    Sorry to say, but all the birthday cakes have merged together. It sounds like it was a hit though.

    1. I just found a photo from my 7th birthday, and it wasn't the one I was remembering--although, the cake was shaped like a dog! I think maybe Grandma made it.
      Etsy doesn't have a "contact us" number that I can find; when I click the links provided on their site, I just keep going in circles. I might just have to be content with trying to do the right thing, without actually getting any resolution.
      I was so happy to find confirmation of Martha Jarrell's name. I documented it on FamilySearch and Ancestry, so hopefully others will be saved the search.
      I haven't read The Murmur of Bees. I'll have to add it to my list.

  2. The act of kindness, yes! This week I dropped my $100 bill and the cashier at at restaurant returned it to me!

  3. You are a born gardener, you will never finish planting -- or weeding or digging or transplanting or anything else, and it's a good thing, too.

    Fabulous list!

    1. You are right; I will never be finished, but that is part of the joy. :-)

  4. I must confess, we may see a repeat Doctrine TToT post next week, per your intro, I do believe I had a touch of Merlin sickness.
    I will try to remember next week and that the celebration of seven years is celebrated, not this week.
    Item Six: growing corn already!

    1. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated for longer than one day (or week), in my opinion. And I won't tell if you had cake both weeks! :-)
      The corn is quite an experiment; we've never used the square-foot gardening method for corn before. We'll see what happens, but so far, so good.


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