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Ten Things of Thankful: I'd Like to Buy a Vowel, and Other Memories from Home


Tile letters D D L N N P R R on a Scrabble tray

This past week, I flew up to Oregon to spend some time with my parents. While I tried to be helpful, and managed to do some household chores, I think my main purpose there was for comic relief, which often manifested itself in the form of Scrabble games.  At one point, I texted a photo of the above Scrabble letters to my siblings, along with the plea, "HLPM! (Help me, with no vowels)".  The astute among you will realize that I had too many tiles on my tray, a fact I didn't notice until the next play. It obviously doesn't pay to cheat--particularly in a Scrabble game without vowels! My mom drew most of the vowels that game, and I was stuck trying to make words with only the vowels available on the board. The next game, I was rewarded with "AEOQOAY" as my letters. Somehow that wasn't much better. Anyway, regardless of how many and which letters we had, we managed to laugh our way through daily Scrabble games. 

I'm thankful for time spent with parents. I'm thankful for games. I'm thankful for consonants and vowels, and how we need both to make words. Yes, there is a lesson there.

My hand holds a blue rag and dusts the amber-colored base of an old lamp

I always enjoy returning to my childhood home. Common objects or routines bring back memories, as was the case when I was dusting the amber glass-based lamp. I remember feeling so capable and responsible when I was able to do that job as a 3- or 4-year old, and how satisfying it was to remove dust from that beautiful, smooth surface. My mom is just as capable of dusting as she was decades ago, and her appreciation for the help hasn't changed, either. "You dusted!" she exclaimed, with a big smile on her face, when she returned home from an appointment to find I had, indeed, dusted. And I felt the same way I felt in the 1960's: happy that I had been such a good helper. 😊 Frankly, though, I think the only reason she noticed was because the dust cloth was in the hamper, because I'm not sure there was any dust around to pick up!

I'm thankful for patient, kind parents, who always make me feel important and needed, no matter how young or old I am, nor how much dust I actually remove.

I returned to the familiar smell of home, that clean mixture of the exposed wood that makes up the walls and ceiling of the house, and the yummy aromas of supper cooking. We moved into that house before it was completed, and have many memories of the changes over the years and the experiences we had while living in an unfinished, earth-sheltered, passive-solar home. My parents have always been great examples of environmentally-conscious living.

I'm thankful for the sweet familiarity of home.

A cloudy sky, tall oak and fir trees in the background, green grass in the foreground, and a weathered bench with blooming daffodils next to it

I returned also to the cool damp cloudiness of the rural Willamette Valley of Oregon. My skin loves the humidity, my eyes love the greenery, and my ears love the sound of the birds singing. 

I'm thankful for the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

While I really enjoyed the time spent with my parents in Oregon, I did miss John, so it was nice to fly home on Friday night. I was able to read a book (The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett) on the flight to Oregon, and a good portion of another (Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut) on the flight to Utah. Last night, John and I went to see the play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) at the local theater. It was very entertaining and kept us laughing. 

I'm thankful for transportation. I'm thankful for books. I'm thankful for laughter. I'm thankful for John. (We celebrate 36 years of marriage this week!)

This has been another entry to the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Go check out the other bloggers posts!

What are you thankful for today? What games, chores, smells, or weather remind you of home?



  1. Congrats on the anniversary.

    Say hello to Pat*

    Returning home (as you describe) is a treasure trove to writers, no? Not merely memories, but emotions.... which may fade over time but, don't tend to lose their fidelity. Careful listening brings much back.
    Have a good week

    *it's ok, she's always been good with 'Pat' on the comment/reply process on the

  2. What a joyful time, and joyful post! I'm always thankful for what you share.

    Happy Anniversary!


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