For many years, on Thanksgiving, I've given thanks for the big things in life: for my family and friends that I love, that we have enough food to eat, that we have roofs over our heads, and a great country to live in - that sort of thing.
This year, I decided not only to be thankful for the big things, but for the little as well. Because while we may not always recognize them for changing our lives, those few seconds when something goes right, can make right now just that little big better.
So over the weekend, I decided to jot down everything that I even felt a little bit thankful for.
It went something like this.
I am grateful...
that my parents have been married for 40 happy years as of October 9, and still look at each other with love, though they are getting to the point where they don't hear what the other is saying all the time.
that the weather was beautiful this weekend, and because there was neither snow on the ground nor ticks in the grass, I got to go on a lovely, stress-free walk in our pasture.
that my companions on my walk in the pasture were not only two dogs and two cats, but a human as well.
that we were able to locate the vegetable peeler I use for peeling potatoes and turnips - it was finally recovered from an unknown trip into the compost pail after a disastrous attempt to use another peeler at the last family gathering.
that my multi-tasking mother kept us all on task so that everything - laundry, cooking, etc. etc. got done and we got to my sister's on time for supper.
that the appetizer I made for our family meal went over well, and was almost gone before every family member had shown up.
that I was seated between my youngest brother and my oldest niece for supper, which made me feel like I was at the cool kids' table.
that I wore a skirt with a stretchy waistband, and that I was still able to stand after eating all I did in a half-hour's time (the standing was not done without difficulty).
that my family is so funny, including my parents, that we work off calories laughing even while we consume more.
that my 90-year-old grandmother still enjoys spending time with all of us, even though I think she thinks we're all a little crazy, and that she told me she reads this editorial every week in the Journal (this one's for you, Amma!)
that my brother-in-laws and brothers can imitate the people on the "Swamp People" T.V. show so well that it makes trying to eat dessert difficult.
that after eating far more than one should at one sitting (perogies, potatoes, turnips, turkey, three kinds of salad, three kinds of stuffing, and three glasses of wine), we all agree that if we have a little bit of tea to settle everything down, we should be able to have a piece of pie, and maybe even a slice of that chocolate cake.
that everyone pitches in to bring food and clean up after family dinners, so that the host is not left with a huge burden either before or after.
that everyone in my immediate family is, at this moment, healthy. That's a big deal.
that (we all agreed on this while laying around, digesting) we did not all bring our pets with us to share in our Thanksgiving. Nineteen people plus six dogs and eight cats would equal disaster.
that the family is able to get together often, and that we all like to be together. We're lucky in that, and I know it.
that I had comfortable pajamas and a good book waiting for me when I got home.
that we live in such a peaceful place - with no war, and no strife - that the biggest battle we'll face this weekend is the drive home on busy highways.