OK, I know that title sounds like it belongs on an elementary school bulletin board but sometimes that's just the way my mind works. : ) And can't you just see all the little handprint construction paper cut out turkeys modeling phrases all carefully scripted or hastily scrawled attached to a board of orange or gold. (Actually red or green would be better, so as to be ready for next month's Christmas bulletin board!) I wish I had a good picture of my favorite Thanksgiving bulletin board with a wonderful cartoon style bird of the season in the center and the phrase, "Don't be a turkey, Be Thankful!" swirled around it. I know you can picture that too!
The other day in a moment of lightheartedness, I said I was thankful for a new dryer when asked to say what I was thankful for. And after hanging laundry for a period of time during both colder and warmer months, I really am thankful for a new dryer. I'm thankful I didn't grow up during the colonial times or the pioneer times or the Victorian times, as interesting as they are to study and as much as I think I'd like to be a "Williamsburg lady/tourguide" one of these days. Daily life was pretty hard then and I'm thankful for electricity and indoor plumbing and as annoying as all the technology of today can be, I'm thankful for all the connections and reconnections it's given us. If you lost power during Hurricane Sandy, I'm thinking you're nodding your head in appreciation of those things too! Our house was built in 1740 and I often sit and look at the beams or the deep windowsills or the hearth and try to imagine what life was like for all those who lived in this house throughout the many seasons it has stood here. And I wonder what their Thanksgivings looked like and if they nabbed their turkey as he sauntered through what is now our backyard! : )
For me, there's just so much and I know I don't stop and express my gratitude often enough. I have a wonderful husband who works so hard and always loves me. I know he must have days when he simply shakes his head in an attempt to figure out once again who in the world did he end up marrying? : ) But he hangs in there with me and we laugh and we cry and we'd say "I do" all over again if we had to. Commitment in today's world is priceless and I'm thankful for him. God's blessed us with two great kids who have grown up entirely too fast (I kept pushing down on the tops of their heads but it just didn't seem to work) but I'm excited to see where God is going to take them and use them. My parents are both still alive and I'm thankful for them, to still have them with us, and for all they gave and continue to give with love. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Shellenbergers and I'm looking forward to some great Christmas time with Kaisers - having family all within driving range for the holidays and not having to go near an airport for those get togethers is a gift as well!
And please don't groan, but I am thankful for Facebook. It has given me the opportunity to reconnect with friends and students and colleagues and campmates and people from all the different seasons of my life and I truly am thankful for that! It brings me great joy to have those connections again - some of them after as many as 30 plus years since we've been together! I love chatting with and seeing the pictures of colleagues I taught with both near and afar and of students who tucked their 5th grade knees under desks in PA and P.I. (the Philippines!), and hearing what they now doing in their adult lives, many who are now raising their own families with 5th graders of their own! (Not sure how that happens when I'm still 19 in my head!) Fellow "Chiefs" who I spent such memorable summers at camp with as well 'my girls' who I helped learn how to be good "Chiefs" themselves are scattered from Africa to Arizona, yet we've been given the gift of reconnecting all these many years later. A summer spent in Belgium as a summer missionary can be remembered with old pictures and stories brought back to life on Facebook so vividly I can almost still taste the Chocopasta! : ) From classmates from as far back as elementary school days to new friends just met at a church - each one is treasured and has been used by God to leave their handprint on my heart as He continues to weave throughout my life what I can learn from each one.
And for that, and so much more, I am truly thankful.