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Ten Things of Thankful: Bloom Even When You Aren't Planted and Other Thoughts


A pinkish purple petunia blooms in the lawn next to a concrete slab

I did not plant petunias, and yet I have a petunia plant blooming in my backyard, at the base of the stairs leading to my backdoor. Despite having to compete with lawn and weeds, and probably having been stepped on a time or two by people or Drexel the Adorable Dog, somehow the little petunia managed to survive and bloom. It was a pleasant surprise! 

The adage, "Bloom where you are planted," doesn't quite apply. "Planted" sounds planned and permanent, but this petite petunia was neither wished for, nor did it appear in an ideal location. To make this into a life lesson, I think the saying should be, "Bloom even when you aren't planted." No matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, by just being ourselves and doing what comes naturally, we can bring joy to those around us. 

1. I'm thankful for unexpected flowers in unexpected places. 

"Seatbelts and a heater" were my requests when John purchased a car right before our wedding over (35!) years ago. My wish lists have expanded a bit since then, but not much. Basically, if a vehicle can get us safely from point A to point B, I have no complaints. We drive our cars until they can't drive anymore. All this to explain why it might take me 15 years to realize that the glass covering our headlights has gotten rather opaque. I ordered a cleaning kit and WOW! Now I can't wait to drive somewhere in the dark! Even though the paint colors in the photo below seem to be different, I can assure you it is the same car.

A before and after photo, showing a cloudy headlight before and a crystal clear headlight after

2. I'm thankful for clear headlights. 

I read several different gardening pages on Facebook, and whenever anyone asks the question, "When is the best time to plant a tree?" inevitably someone will respond, "Ten years ago." Ten Years in the Future Me is really going to be happy, because John and I planted a linden tree this week. As it is, Current Me is delighted, too. Not only did we find the specific type of tree we were looking for (Sterling Linden), it was also on sale. The tree is a bit reminiscent of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, but I trust that it will fill out as it grows. 

Our new linden tree, in the process of being planted. 

3. I'm thankful for our new tree, and look forward to the future shade it will provide. 

John dug up shovelful after shovelful of native "soil," screening out the 50-80% which was rocks, then putting back the 20-50% of dirt that was left. He did that not just for the tree planting hole, but also for the rest of the bed, thus providing me a place to plant tulip bulbs. I had purchased a truly random assortment of bulbs from Thanksgiving Point this spring. I'm excited to see what comes up in the spring--and curious to see if our fence still does well at keeping the deer out, or if they will suddenly be lured in by the tulips, which I have heard are their favorite snack. 

4. I'm thankful for an anticipated springtime surprise ("anticipated surprise" oxymoron notwithstanding). 

The last time I visited my parents, I was impressed with my mom's never-ending "to-do" list, and even more impressed with how many items she checked off every day. While I am a list maker, I don't always write down everything I need to do. This past week I decided to write down all the little stuff. I think I've been more productive; in any case, it feels like I have been, because I've had the satisfaction of crossing so many items off the list. (And yes, I've added completed items to the list just for that feeling of accomplishment when I could immediately cross them off!)

5. I'm thankful for lists. 

I like to "yard walk" and see how my plants are growing. In the case of summer squash, a daily walk helps keep the produce from reaching baseball-bat size. On one of my walks this week, I realized that I had some beautiful flowers that would look nice together, so I picked a bouquet to bring indoors. 

a vase filled with love-lies-bleeding, red and pink roses, limelight hydrangeas, bright pink zinnias, and ornamental grass 

6. I'm thankful to be able to bring the outside indoors. 

Facebook memories help remind me of events from past years. Recently, photos of 10K races have been popping up. Though I haven't signed up for another run yet, I have used the treadmill again this week. I would like to get back into running shape. Being able to "run and not be weary" (Isaiah 40:31) is a great feeling, and I look forward to once again being able to run ("jog" is a more accurate word for my pace) for miles at a time. I'm not there yet, but I'll get there! 

7. I'm thankful for a physical body.

Of course, bodies don't always stay healthy or work as we hope they will. Several members of my family (myself included) have benefited from blood transfusions in the past. My transfusion was decades ago, and since that time, I have tried to give back by donating blood whenever I can. I know that not everyone has the same experience with blood donation, but whole blood donation is easy for me (platelets are another matter). Anyway, it had been a while since I had donated blood, but I was able to show up at a Red Cross blood drive this week. I hope to return to the every-8-weeks schedule I had been doing a few years ago. 

8. I'm thankful to be able to serve in easy ways. (And somehow writing that phrase made "serve in bigger ways" pop into my head, along with the rest of the "Thank You World" song by the Statler Brothers. Go have a listen, if you'd like.)

I'm on the Activities Committee at church, which could also be considered an easy way to serve. Even though party planning isn't really in my comfort wheelhouse, the committee is large, so tasks are broken down into manageable pieces. We had a dessert and campfire program up the canyon this week. John and I helped a little with set up and clean up, and were able to enjoy watching the various skits that were performed. I think a good time was had by all.

9. I'm thankful for a church family. 

John loves hot peppers. Not hot for hot's sake, but flavorful peppers with a bit of a kick. I enjoy some heat, but my tolerance for it has decreased over the years, so I leave pepper production solely in John's hands. This year, he grew many different varieties from seed (thanks to Baker Creek Seeds and Territorial Seed Company). It is now harvest time, and I love to see his excitement for all his different peppers.

10. I'm thankful for John.

How has your week been? What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below, and check out the other blog posts on the Ten Things of Thankful blog!  Write and link up your own post, if you are so inclined; we have a great community of bloggers!


  1. Timely TToT at least to the extent of grass and lawns and such are current topics here (southern New England). While I'm indulging in the ambition of a 'perfect lawn' it is only because it frames the cottage. Part of the 'look'. With the lawn around the house proper we're also adherents of the 'at least it's green' school of landscape architecture. (and the bees and such thank us).

    have a good week
    ?!?! really? that's the name of the plant? ayiee

    1. The name of that flower certainly gives off a Romeo and Juliet type vibe! (It's a named variety of amaranth.)

  2. I've been wondering if those headlight cleaning things they advertise work, it's good to have proof from someone I can trust.

    Love your list!

    1. They absolutely do work, and the instructions were simple to follow, too!

  3. I definitely need the name of the headlight cleaner you used. As we have discussed before, we are in the same club about keeping cars until they fall apart, and we have one that desperately needs its headlights polished!
    I love your Charlie Brown tree and I love making lists.
    I planted 50 tulips bulbs a number of years ago, and squirrels dug up a bunch of them
    I tried to donate platelets for Power Red but it made me feel icky. Whole blood is the only way for me to go.
    Did you know Baker Creek isn't very far from me? I can't remember if you went to Mansfield to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum when you and John visited, but that's where the seed company is located (in Mansfield, not at the museum!)

  4. Cerakote Ceramic Headlight Restoration Kit (
    We must share whatever gene it is that makes a person react to the citrate (?) solution they use with platelet donations. Apparently only a small percentage of people react to it, but there aren't enough Tums in the world to keep me from feeling icky, so I'm sticking to whole blood, too.
    We did visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum, but although I think I remember seeing the signs for Baker Creek, we didn't stop there. Have to save that for another time, I guess!


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