Since Reflections Around the Campfire wasn’t up and running until after Thanksgiving, I missed the opportunity on that special day to count my blessings with you. Working under the “better late than never” theory, I’d like to share a few things for which I’m grateful. Without a doubt, husband, children, siblings, other family members, friends, good health and the financial resources to live comfortably are all at the top of my list and I would guess that is true for many of you. But there are times when I find myself saying, “Wow, isn’t that nice?!” Not in a big boisterous way (“WOW! Those fireworks are spectacular!!!”), but in a quiet moment of realization that there is something in my day that I’m extremely grateful for. I think that I’ve become more mindful of those moments as time goes on and so, here’s my list of some small, ordinary things which make my life fuller or richer in some way.
Our wood stove, and the kindness of friends and strangers who pass along wood from downed trees. Our wood stove is nothing fancy, just a big metal box that resides in our basement. But the 5 to 10 degree difference it creates in our home during the winter months is no small benefit. To be able to enjoy meals in a cozy kitchen and curl up on the sofa with a good book without needing to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothing plus a blanket to be comfortable is a great blessing to me. I don’t like the cold weather and I love that delicious feeling of walking in from outdoors to the enveloping warmth and comfort of our home. So, my thanks to our hard working wood stove and the friends and strangers who keep us supplied with wood for it. You know what they say about wood, don’t you? It warms you twice – once when you cut it and once when you burn it!
The shoelaces on my Keen Targhee hiking boots. Please don’t laugh! They really are amazing! This is the first pair of Keen hikers that I’ve owned. I do own and like Merrells, as well, but they didn’t offer a style and color combination that I liked when I was looking for a new pair of hiking boots recently. These Keens have shoelaces with fabric ribs on them which are unlike most other shoelaces that are round with just a hint of texture. The ribs really grip when the laces are tied and the knots hold up so much better than the knots on my other laces. (I double knot my laces and I still have trouble with most hiking boots staying tied.) So, is this a quirky little thing? Absolutely. But I’m really grateful for these laces! And no, neither Keen nor Merrell have sponsored this post in any way. I just love both of these lines of hikers.
Clouds. Yup, that’s it. Just clouds. Both my daughter and I take great pleasure in the ever changing canvas of the sky above us. There is simply something magical about clouds to me – their shapes and colors and the way their appearance is constantly changing, being reinvented due to shifting winds or moving light. Actually, as I think about it, they reflect my life – sunny days, dark days, shifting plans and goals, spectacular moments and calm, quiet drifting. Nearly every day, clouds will spark a “Wow!” moment for me and I never take those moments for granted. I stop and I watch because those moments are fleeting and the clouds never appear in exactly the same way twice. Just fascinating!
My Mom’s old Revereware stove top coffee pot. I don’t know how old this coffee pot is. I know my Mom had it when I was little and I was blessed with it when she passed. The glass knob on top has a chip out of the edge and you have to hold it to keep it from falling out when you pour. The copper bottom isn’t shiny like it always was when my Mom had it – I just don’t take the time to polish it every night like she did. But it makes the BEST coffee ever. It lives in our travel trailer during the summer months and in our house during the winter months. Yes, it takes longer to brew a couple of cups of coffee than an electric coffeemaker would, but the coffee is really hot and really, really good. I’m so grateful for this tiny relic that connects me to my past and, of course, to my Mom.
Our local library. I love to read; it’s one of my passions. And I’m really frugal. (If you ask my kids, they’ll say I’m really cheap.) It would cost me a fortune to feed my appetite for books but, thanks to my local library, I have everything from older classics to newly released novels and reference books at my disposal. It’s not that I don’t actually buy books because I do. But what I love about borrowing from my library system is that I can test the waters on any subject I think I may be interested in – without putting money down on something I may not enjoy. If I don’t like a book or it doesn’t provide the information I was searching for, I can just return it – for only the cost of my time and gas to drive to the library and back. I easily borrow 100 books in a year. At even $10.00 per book that would be over $1,000.00 worth of books in just one year! I can’t imagine life without our local library; it and the staff members there will always be high on my gratitude list.
Thank you for indulging me with my late entry for Thanksgiving. As far as I’m concerned, every day is a day to be grateful, for blessings both large and small. Our lives are full of them even during rough times, but we’re often too busy or overwhelmed to realize it. So I encourage you to take a moment today to reflect upon your own blessings and, if you’d like, share them in the Comment section below.