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Ten Things of Thankful: Planting Seeds of Gratitude


The shadow of a newly-planted oak creates shade on a hillside

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 blog hop. 

Although there were no car wash accidents this week (thankfully), there were enough things going on that I felt rather stressed. I looked forward to sitting down to compose this post, because I realized that I would, without doubt, feel calmer when my focus switched from those things that were stressing me out to those things in my life that bring me a sense of gratitude.

So, let me start (continue) my list with two items that definitely fall into the latter category. This week (on the same day) my parents celebrated 57 years of marriage and my oldest grandson turned five years old. I'm thankful for family. 

After remembering that, it's easier to look at the buggy parts of the week and put them into perspective:

John and I both came down with a cough. Mine was never much of a cough at all, but with the pandemic running rampant in our area, we did the civically responsible thing and got a covid test. I'm thankful our results were negative, as we expected. 

Other items I am thankful for fall into the "counting my chickens before they are hatched" category, but I think the eggs are cracking, at least, which I believe can be attributed to prayer, for which I am also very thankful:

I'm thankful that the air purifier I had to return to the company in August for repairs is supposed to ship back to me this week. 

I'm thankful that the car wash company where I had my accident has accepted responsibility for my car repairs, and I just have to go get estimates now.

Our other vehicle didn't pass its smog test, and its tags expire at the end of this month. We had an appointment to get it into the shop to figure out why the check engine light is on and repair the problem, but due to the covid testing mentioned above, we needed to cancel. When our tests came back negative, I called to reschedule the appointment. I'm thankful we were able to get an appointment for next week, and I hope that we'll be able to get everything taken care of before the end of the month.

After multiple phone calls regarding an anticipated reimbursement for a medical procedure from January, I'm thankful that my claim has been "expedited." 

Sometimes, stress can be a good thing for me, because in my attempt to have a sense of control, I get things accomplished. I'm thankful for homemade tomato juice, a clean kitchen, bulbs that actually got planted, and a challenging 1000-piece puzzle that got completed. (Yes, I broke down and decided to do a puzzle in 2020.) 

I look forward to 2040, when the oak tree will be bigger and provide even more shade, and when my heart will be even more thankful. I'm thankful for John, who planted the tree and who has given me endless reasons to be thankful. 

John stands next to a wheelbarrow in front of the newly-planted oak tree

How has your thankful heart grown this week? Come join the Ten Things of Thankful community and share your thoughts!

Joining me this week:

The Prolific Pulse


On my Way Home

messymimi's meanderings

A season and a time

the Wakefield Doctrine

Carin's Gratitude

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Way to turn it around! Nice job! We had several trees removed from our community because they were sick and uncurable. It is looking so much different. There are some low boughed spruce trees behind us which do need haircut, but not a complete removal. The birds love these trees and we enjoy watching them play and building nests. It is sad to see a tree go away, but - as in life - sometimes it is for the best. By the time winter is over, we probably won't be able to notice where they were. Right now, it's mulchy piles.

    1. It is sad to see trees go away, even when it is for the best. Hopefully by next spring, the piles will be gone and things will look better.

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of gratitude, and of planting trees.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. :-)

  3. That saying is old, i read it in a book before anyone even thought of the internet. The person who said it never said anythiing about it being Chinese.

    Anyway, i am thankful your cough was just a cough, and hope all goes well with getting those repairs done.

    1. I couldn't remember where I had first heard it, which is why I searched on google for the source. That's how I came up with the Chinese proverb accreditation, though I'm somewhat skeptical, too.

  4. You may have heard that expression from your Dad. :-)
    Today we received the air filters to use in conjunction with the box fans we recently bought to try filtering the air should we have anymore hazardous air days due to the fires in our state. We are more prepared now.
    Love that oak tree. It is way bigger than I was expecting it to be.
    Stress can be a motivating factor to getting things done, as long as the stress doesn't get you.
    But talk about stress! That puzzle would have tested my mettle!
    Hope this coming week allows you to take a deep breath, of clean healthy air, and COVID-19 free.

    1. Our neighbor loaned us his trailer so we could get the trees home from the nursery. We wanted to get something big enough for instant impact. :-)

  5. If Google is to be believed... such a simple insight, too bad more people don't maintain this perspective.*

    I share your gratitude for Lizzi's creation. Funny, how hypograts (as they are known in some circles lol) can often be the highest form of the expression of gratitude. Nicely done.

    Excellent tree.

    *good example of the difference between 'perspective' and 'knowledge'... the former allows a caution without outright prohibition and the latter is merely black-or-white, on-off, good-bad... not overly helpful

    1. Thank you.

      I'm looking forward to watching the tree grow.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I don't know where my comment went. Forgive me if I'm double posting.
    Planting seeds of gratitude sounds so inspiring in all essence. I really like that line.

    1. I don't understand why comments disappear sometimes. It's happened to me before, too.
      Thank you!


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