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Ten Things of Thankful: Timing is Everything


Pink tree blossoms frame a picturesque scene from Sitka, Alaska, of soaring white-capped mountains in the background and various small boats docked in the water in the foreground 

Time is such a funny thing; minutes can take forever, and years can pass quickly. Since I last blogged, John and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful for our marriage. On the one hand, I don't think we're old enough to have been married that long, but on the other hand, we've packed in a lot of adventures in those years, so I guess the years do add up correctly. We are the same people, and yet we've changed. I wonder if butterflies ever think back to their caterpillar days with as much wonder and amazement? 

We had scheduled a trip to Alaska, not because of our anniversary, but because we wanted to go with my parents on a cruise. We had everything booked and ready to go, but a couple of weeks prior to the departure date, my dad required surgery and so my parents needed to back out of the vacation. I'm thankful my dad is OK. I'm thankful that he was at home, and not on a ship in the middle of the ocean, when he needed medical attention. 

Once I had gone to Oregon, spent time with my parents, and realized that they both are, in fact, doing fine, John and I could go ahead and go on the vacation. (We just might start purchasing travel insurance from here on out, though!) I'm thankful that our son and his girlfriend were able to go with us at the last minute. I'm thankful we were able to stay with our daughter the night before the cruise departed. I'm thankful our son's girlfriend's brother was able to housesit and take care of our dog, Drexel, while we were gone.

I am the kind of person that really likes a view. I'm also the kind of person that doesn't like to spend money on frivolous things. In the past, we have always gotten interior rooms on cruises. They are cheaper, and the room is just a place to sleep at night. Well, because we were introducing my parents to big cruise ships (or so we thought), we had booked balcony cabins for this trip, so that we would have our own private chairs and places to watch the glaciers. Let me tell you, balconies are so nice for cruising Alaska! They offer some protection from the elements; although for the most part the weather was dry, it could still get windy and cold. Also, if it was too cold, we could come inside and just look out the floor-to-ceiling windows. Do I think we will always book a balcony in the future? No, but it sure was nice to have on this particular cruise. 

Alaska is beautiful. At the risk of getting a camp song stuck in my head, I will say I love the mountains. The photo at the top of this post is one of my favorites from this trip. I'm thankful for this beautiful world. The photo was taken in Sitka. While we were in Sitka, we booked a walking tour with Bob, owner of Taste of Sitka Sea Walk Tour. Bob is a retired professor whom everyone in Sitka seems to know, and he gave us a wonderful introduction into the history and culture of the town. He purposely keeps his groups small, so the four of us were the only ones on his tour that morning. If we had been just walking around town on our own, we would have missed meeting the WWII veteran, we wouldn't have heard someone playing the 1844 organ in the Lutheran Church (across from Sitka's well-known Russian Orthodox church), nor would we have noticed what was unusual about the stained glass window in the Episcopalian Church. We also wouldn't have realized Bob's family's connection to the canoe upstairs in the Sitka Sound Science Center. I'm thankful for Bob, and others like him, who share their knowledge and love of places. 

The center of the stained glass window in the St. Peter's-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Sitka, Alaska, features a Star of David. 

A convocation of bald eagles in an evergreen tree

Margerie Glacier. The scale is hard to grasp from the photo; the height of the ice is 200 feet tall at the point it meets the water.

We enjoyed the scenery, from the mountains to the glaciers, from the bald eagles to the humpback whales. 

The cruise itself was wonderful, too, with good food, good entertainment, and good company. I'm thankful we had the opportunity to spend so much time together. 

Once we disembarked in Seattle, we took a bit of a detour home, driving by our old house, and then going to the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. Lilac Days were going on, and that is the only time they sell lilac plants there. Hulda Klager lived in the 1800s and was a hybridizer of lilacs. I was able to pick up a few of her varieties (to go with lilacs I have growing in my yard currently) and John has planted them in our backyard already. I'm thankful that the timing was right for us to be at Hulda Klager's gardens during Lilac Days, that I could bring a bit of the festival home, and that John is so willing to do the hard work of digging and planting.

When we got home, we were greeted by our own little lilacs--and flowering trees--putting on a colorful display. I'm thankful for spring, the beautiful flowers, and for watching how the yard is changing over time.

A Ludwig Spaeth lilac (not from Hulda Klager) is starting to blossom in my yard

Because the drive from Seattle to Utah is so long, and we made it longer by stopping at the Lilac Days festival, we didn't get home until around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. I was tired at church, but understandably so. However, the next day I started feeling a cold coming on. On Tuesday, I thought I'd better take a quick test to rule out covid. I'm sure you can guess what the result was. I'm thankful I didn't get sick until after vacation, I'm thankful I have only a mild case, and I'm very thankful that it looks like (knock on wood) no one else is coming down with it. 

So, although the last few weeks didn't go exactly as planned, the timing worked out for the best, and I'm thankful. 

Dyanne has started this week's Ten Things of Thankful blog hop link on a similar theme. What didn't go as expected in your life this week, and why are you thankful anyway? 


  1. I'm thankful you got to go and share the trip with us. I'm praying you recover quickly!

  2. Excellent list. A travel post with photos! Happy Anniversary. Get Well Soon.
    While not necessarily a fan of cruise ships, the idea of that being the most comfortable way to see such an 'outdoor state' as Alaska just seems the way to go.
    Have a good week.


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