Much to be grateful for

gordon belly‘Tis the season to be grateful.  When asked, “What are you most grateful for?” people inevitably say “for family and friends.” Adults are reluctant to admit they are also grateful for certain possessions. It sounds so shallow. But there’s nothing wrong with expanding the scope of our gratitude to include an appreciation for the impersonal.

Winter will be here soon.  Outdoor conditions in this season rotate between dank and icy; sunlight fades a minute or two earlier each day. As temperatures have recently peaked in the mid-thirties, I’m grateful for a furnace that pumps out warmth day and night at my command, and for windows that catch the distant rays of the sun. I’m grateful for a comforter at night, a bathrobe in the morning, and a newspaper to read with my first cup of tea. Along with gratitude for the machinery, comes an appreciation for those that made it possible.

I’m also grateful to have a washer and dryer. There’s nothing like crawling between clean sheets and putting on fresh clothing to create a sense of well-being. Then there’s the shower. When I was growing up, we went on annual camping trips. Alert: Camp grounds didn’t have showers in those days.  It was hard to know which made me scratch more, not bathing for a week or being covered with mosquito bites. Even these days, when we travel in more style, keeping clothes clean is a challenge. On our last trip we found a laundromat in Paris a few blocks from our hotel and some kind people who translated the directions for using the machines. It was wonderful to have vacationed for a week and still have a suitcase full of clean clothes.

Owning an umbrella for the dank days of winter is pretty nice too, especially when my husband and I choose to get our exercise by walking around the neighborhood.

When I worked for the school system, for years the slogan to guide all school remodeling projects was “warm, safe, and dry.”

My orange cat reminds me that warm, safe, dry isn’t quite enough. He also requires frequent chin, head, and belly rubs. In human terms this translates to a kind touch, a thank-you, and a smile.

It’s time for a walk before the sun goes down. Did I mention that having a warm coat, mittens and a scarf are also reasons to be grateful?





About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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3 Responses to Much to be grateful for

  1. bestissaquah says:

    Very nice piece Ann. I thank you 🙂

  2. Evelyn says:

    I agree. Maybe it is the season of Thanksgiving that gets us thinking about the things we are thankful for, but recently I too have paused to be thankful for things that most of the time I am too quick to take for granted. Thank you Ann for your lovely list.

  3. Reblogged this on Taste of Taiwan and commented:
    I love clean sheets and clean clothes from the suitcase! Excellent point.

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