I am grateful. . . 

Grateful to live where I drive around a lake nestled in the country to get to the grocery store. . . 

Grateful for neighbors who feel like family. . . 

Grateful for the phone call from my son a couple of weeks ago when he was out to dinner with a friend - 

just to say,  

“thank you mom for all the canning you did while I was growing up”.   

He went on to say they were talking about growing up in a family and what was special to each of them.  He recalled all the canning that took place in our kitchen every summer. “Especially the pickles” he said.  I can remember all the fruit from our fruit trees being made into sauce - but I can’t for the life of me - 

remember the pickles. . .  

This is the same son that many years ago said, “thank you mom for sacrificing your career and staying home to raise us kids".  He didn’t know it was far from a sacrifice, but a special honor and privilege to be home every day, not missing any moment of their growing into the beautiful adults they each are today. 

Every day as a mom we’re busy doing all the things that feel routine to us,  

for sure - nothing extraordinary to us,  

but then some of those moments attach themselves to our children,  

they notice - 

Grateful on 9/11 when my hubby called at 7am to tell me to go turn the TV on.  There was a terrorist attack on New York City. Heading out for my morning walk, passing by a neighborhood church that already had hung a sign out front inviting our community to stop in to pray for those across the United States whose world had just been changed forever.   

A place to feel peace for that moment.   

As I sat down in the back pew I felt connected to all those people 3000 miles away, even though I didn’t personally know any of them.   

That’s what tragedy does.   

It brings out the best in each of us. And draws us close to strangers. 

And then coming home, getting out a bowl + flour + yeast and kneading bread dough.  Picking up the dough and holding it close to my nose to inhale the smell of yeast.  The smell of the yeast was calming and gave me a strong sense of normalcy. My oldest daughter calling  

to say - 

you’re kneading bread, aren’t you mom? 

She knew. . . 

Grateful for a loving heavenly father who loves me and  

cherishes me. . .

Who holds me in the palm of his hand everyday.   

Just because I’m His child. 

Grateful for this very special friend in my life.   

They’re one in a million - 

They’re like no other. 

If you have one, you know what I mean and how blessed I feel. 

Where there’s accepting and forgiving, laughing at each other, hours and hours

of endless, meaningless conversation about white dishes and even whiter pillows

and linens and - 

where there’s loving and caring and sharing. . . 

To the two of us - 

it’s all meaningful. 

Grateful for family because that’s where it all begins and ends. . . 

Grateful for my hubby, our four children, our granddaughter and most importantly all our

friends who form an invisible circle around us with their love, who become family. 

Grateful for the memories of this past year -  
For the special moments -

For the ordinary moments. 

And grateful of course, that I love the smell of fresh falling rain. . .