Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Unforgettable Thanksgiving

There are some things in this world that we simply cannot forget.

Today I am writing about a To Do list. One that I wrote probably six or seven years ago in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, which I have hosted for my family and friends almost every year since I've been single. One that only stands out in my mind because of the P.S. attached to it.

I wish I would have dated it, but I guess it doesn't really matter the year. What matters is how it made me feel. How I feel every year right before Thanksgiving when I am busy getting the house ready for company and the food prepared for the big day.

That was one of the first years I made my itinerary for the day – probably to keep me on track and to make everything seem manageable. Planning and carrying out this dinner can be difficult by myself. For some reason, that year I must have been more stressed than usual.

As a reminder to myself I wrote this little note – serving two functions. One to remind me exactly what this day is about, and to be thankful for all that I have. The second to make a practical list to follow so I wouldn't forget anything. I don't know how many times I've left important dishes in the refrigerator or microwave until long after dinner and dessert.

So here it is, in all my humdrum glory. I typed it up (so organized!) and set it on the counter at night. When I woke up in the morning and took a look at it – this is what I found...

My daughter added that last part. You know, the part that says everyone loves and appreciates me even if it all doesn't go as planned. You know – the part that brought tears to my eyes when I first read it. The part that still does.

Oh, my wise and loving daughter. You really "get" it. You truly understand. Those few words have stayed with me through many Thanksgiving preparation times, and no doubt will remain with me until the end of my days.

What a wonderful gift. What a treasure. Perhaps you never knew your words would touch me forever. They will, my dear. Always.

So this Thanksgiving, I am doing it all over again. I'm getting better at planning ahead, but still, this Thursday it will be busy, a bit crazy, and hopefully I'll get all the menu items cooked and ready to serve, and the cat hair off the sofa, before my guests arrive.

Whether it all goes as planned, or it falls apart like a house of cards in an earthquake, it will be fine. We will laugh, we will reminisce, we will tease and joke, take pictures, and remark on how the little ones have grown so tall.

I am so blessed every day, because there is love around me. In the end, nothing else matters. This Thanksgiving, I'm sending a special thanks to Cera. I will always remember, and cherish forever, that simple postscript from a Thanksgiving many years ago.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Love Thy Neighbor

I previously blogged about some of my neighbors, and how helpful they were when I was trying to re-landscape my front yard (take out two monster shrubs that threatened to eliminate anything in their paths.) 

Now, during an unusual November cold snap, I need to add to it.

We were hit with a record-breaking eight inches of snow. It's unusual this early in November. Usually the first snowfall sort of meanders to the earth, sometimes melting, sometimes sticking around until the sun hits it.

Last night we had snow, about an inch and a half. I merrily scooped it off my three-car driveway. Haha, what great exercise, and nice, fresh air...

Then this morning I woke up to about three or four inches. Rats.

I had places to go.

I spent an hour outside, managing to clear the sidewalk, the walkway up to my door, and a little path up the driveway. Grateful that I chose a vehicle with four-wheel-drive, I went to lunch. Two hours later I returned home.

The snow was almost seven inches deep. Curses...

So I bundled up, grabbed my shovel and proceeded to join several neighbors attempting to get ahead of the weather. I noticed that the downpour of snow seemed to be lessening. Then to my surprise and delight one of my subdivision angels had driven his 4x4 with snowplow attached down our street. He visited each driveway that had a person shoveling (I assume he didn't want to plow driveways without permission) and proceeded to clean off the rest of my snow in five minutes. It probably would have taken well over an hour by hand.

Wow! I was so thankful! He went up the street, and helped several other folks out as well.

Aren't people grand? Most folks just want to do the right thing, to help their neighbors, to make this world a little better place.

I'm so thankful for the blessings I've been given. There is so much in my life to appreciate – my family, my friends, and even this awesome neighbor that I barely know.

Happy Snow Day. Happy November. Happy Thanksgiving. Please remember to always count your blessings!