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Ten Things of Thankful: Yes, It's December!

Orange poppies bloom on a hillside in December in California. White wispy clouds punctuate the blue sky.

I've put up a small tree and a few other decorations. A wreath is on the front door and Alexa is playing carols. By the looks and sounds of things inside, it's nearly Christmas. Outside is another story, as you can tell from the photo above. The poppies are blooming (!) and I've traded my sweaters and boots for short sleeves and sandals. While I'm not a fan of the summertime million degrees temperatures (OK, I might be exaggerating a tad on the number), I really can't complain about "winter" weather here. 

I'm thankful for shirt-sleeve weather and mixed-up flowers. 

Even though we lived in this general area of California for quite a few years, we didn't live in this rural community. When we moved to Utah, I noticed differences between California and Utah, and now that we're back in California for a while, I'm noticing differences again, but some of those differences this time are due to our specific location.

A black walnut tree grows outside my kitchen window. Throughout the day, I hear a thump and then the sound of a walnut rolling down the roof. It always makes me smile. 

I'm thankful for shade trees.

When I drive into town, I first must open (and then close) the livestock gate. While it is an added step, I always feel a connection to the past while doing gate duty. I think it was my dad (but it might have been John's dad) who said that sitting in the middle seat of the truck or car was preferred because the person sitting by the door had to open and close the gate. 

I'm thankful for routine jobs that remind me of family.

Many people in this area are "in the industry," or in other words, their livelihood depends on film. The property next door has an entire Western town movie set, and filming occurs there. This week, while I was opening the gate to drive into town, a man in full cowboy costume was practicing his lasso skills while his trusty horse waited patiently nearby. 

I'm thankful to live in an interesting place. 

I ventured back into Hobby Lobby this week and I didn't see any shoplifters!

I'm thankful for law-abiding citizens. 

Sunday we attended church in our local ward (congregation). We have attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all over the world, from Japan to England to the Bahamas, and all across the United States, and no matter where we've gone (or what language is being spoken), the services are familiar and uplifting. 

I'm thankful for church.

We have friends who used to be in one of our old wards, but who now also live here and so attend our new ward, and they invited us to dinner one day this past week. The time flew by as we caught up and they filled us in on all things local. 

I'm thankful for friends.

I checked out a local thrift store run by the women's club, based on my friend's recommendation, and found a little watering can--something I've been looking for since moving here. 

I'm thankful for serendipitous finds. 

I also visited the local library this week. I see story times with grandchildren in the future!

I'm thankful for libraries. 

It's been years and years since John has had to go into an office for work, so this has been a big change for him. It's a change for me, too, but I find myself with more discretionary time, while his time is filled with more obligations. I'm glad that he is happy with his job and we can view this as an adventure. 

I'm thankful for John. 

What are you thankful for this week? If someone suddenly moved to your neighborhood, what might they find unusual or noteworthy? 

Be sure to visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to see what others are thankful for, and feel free to link up a post of your own!


  1. I'll trade you the million degree weather for what we're having. (Full Disclosure: not extremely cold, mix of winter and late October.)
    Interesting sounding geography. And, how cool is it to find people you know when you've moved to a new place.
    Have a good week.
    That's a wrap.*


    1. Our million degree weather will hit in the summer months, so we can revisit this topic in July or August. LOL However, the current temperatures are wonderful compared to what we left in Utah.

      It's a small world, and I think that is particularly true in the church. It is nice to see familiar faces!

  2. I'm thankful to hear things are going well for you and hope you are having a blessed and beautiful Christmas season.


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