|Drexel the yellow lab points his nose up toward a bowl of banana bread batter
Though I haven't done much baking recently, I made Drexel very happy by making some banana bread the other day. You might recall that Drexel used to be a guide dog puppy in training, but he "career-changed" due to scent distraction--and one of the scents he enjoys most of all is bananas! Even though gingerbread or peppermint might be more traditional, I think that the scent of bananas might evoke a feeling of Christmas for Drexel. I'm thankful for Drexel.
Christmas has a different feel for me this year. Our place here is perfectly small for the two of us, but doesn't lend itself for entertaining big crowds, so we will have a quiet Christmas morning, then head to the grandchildren's house for the day. Later in the week, we'll visit our son and his wife, then our oldest daughter will come here for a few days. We will miss seeing our two youngest children, but know we will be back near them next year. I'm thankful for family.
Living closer to the grandchildren means that I was able to attend school Christmas programs. I loved seeing their eyes light up when they saw me in the audience! I'm thankful for grandchildren.
John and I hiked the hills behind our house last weekend, and I only fell down twice. I'm not sure if I feel like an old lady or a toddler, but in any case, falling down is ridiculous! Maybe I should design pants with built in airbags? I'm thankful for health.
Guess what happened since my last blog post about the gate? The landlord installed an electric gate opener! I feel spoiled. I'm thankful for conveniences.
Last week, our next-door neighbor came bearing a gift, along with an apology that filming was happening after sunset and the actors were shooting blanks and he hoped we weren't bothered by the noise. Quite frankly, it really just adds to the charm of this place. I'm thankful for considerate neighbors.
We've had some rain lately, but at least so far we haven't been impacted by flooding. I know some is expected in the local area, because I saw some "flooded" signs preemptively put up along some of the roads. I'm thankful for moisture.
Last weekend was filled with church Christmas dinners. Friday was our ward's (congregation's), and we were asked to help with the set-up. It was nice to be able to contribute. Our daughter invited us to attend her ward's dinner on Saturday, and we enjoyed spending time with her and her family. I'm thankful for church Christmas dinners.
On Tuesday, I was able to donate blood. I'm thankful to have found an easy way to help others.
Hopping on my soapbox for a minute: Something I feel strongly about is that we all have different strengths and when we bring our talents to the table, everyone can benefit. Service doesn't have to be a sacrifice to count. Find something you are good at or that you enjoy doing, and figure out how to use that skill to help your family or community. One of my talents is that I can donate whole blood without passing out or feeling sick. It's a weird skill, to be sure, but it turns out it is a helpful one.
The other day, John and I went to a store, and as he always does, John opened the car door for me. In the parking lot, a woman approached us and complimented John's chivalry. Her comment brightened our day. Her talent was noticing the actions of others, and going out of her way to say something.
How will you brighten someone's day with your talent?
(Off my soapbox now.)
Today is John's last day of work in 2023. I'm glad he is enjoying his new job, and I'm also glad he gets some time off for the holidays. I'm thankful for John.
And of course, I am thankful for a little baby born in a stable years ago who brought hope to all the world. May we all feel the peace and joy that He brings.
Be sure to check out the other Ten Things of Thankful posts this week!