‘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?