Giving Thanks

Written by Rose

‘Tis the season, dear readers.  No, not the annual “capitalistic countdown to Christmas and the Toys R Us ad playing non-stop in our heads! <”…more games, more toys, oh boy!…>.  ‘Tis the season to be thankful.  Frankly, it’s yet another reason I love Fall; it’s the “slow down and look up” season, a time to really look

at the fall foliage…

the fields of pumpkins…

geese honking and flying in formation…

It’s the look-and-really- SEE-what-you-have-to-be-thankful-for season.

It reminds me of a trip I took many years ago; I must have been 18 or 19. I flew out to visit my brother who was, at that time, at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.  As we drove together to pick up his future-wife’s engagement ring and traveled the scenic roads through one imposing mountain range after another,  I said “Dave, you are so lucky- this is absolutely gorgeous!  You must be able to see two dozen peaks from here and the way the sunset turns them pink and purple is breath-taking…” and I went on and on.  It surprised him and snapped him back into being able to SEE, really SEE, what had been all around him.  He said, “You know, you’re right.  When you live in a place for a long time, you kind of forget and need to see it through someone else’s eyes for a moment to appreciate it again.”   It’s the same for a lot of us, I think. We look as we move through our daily surroundings but we don’t really SEE.

And perhaps this year, especially on the east coast when so many are still without power and facing heartbreaking clean-up/recovery, there’s no more fitting time to SEE, to take stock in what’s important and give thanks for simple blessings all around us: health, family, friends and warmth.

When our children were small, I started the tradition of the Turkey of Thanks.

On each day beginning on November 1 and leading up to Thanksgiving, we each add colorful “feathers of thanks” to a turkey made of a Styrofoam base covered in yarn.

Some days, the thanks are simple blessings; other days, they are “parent-mandated” (“I’m thankful for you because…” from our 11-yr old daughter to her 9-yr old sister and vice versa!!); sometimes they’re grab-your-head-and-say-“whew!’-blessings like “I am thankful my husband yelled “Farfegneugen!” when he banged his ankle with a piece of tree-chopping equipment (instead of yelling something else)!”, “I’m thankful my in-law’s house did not go up in a ball of flames after all the gas leaked out of their generator onto their garage floor” or “I’m thankful our daughter’s best friend is recovering from his hockey concussion”.

The blessings easily add up and provide a daily reminder (and sometimes chuckles!) about the blessings right under our noses…even in the midst of great loss, frustrations, post-Sandy recovery and life’s greatest speed bumps.   They’re things we discuss over dinner and that’s also part of the blessing; sharing a meal and conversation surrounded by those you love.

No matter how cold the house gets, when I look at and SEE our Turkey of Thanks I’m warm inside.

1 comment for “Giving Thanks

  1. Catherine Pasierb
    November 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    What lovely sentiment! Let’s SEE what we all are thankful for.

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