Sidebar – Counting blessings

Every year when Thanksgiving rolls around everyone is focused on what they are thankful for.Posted Nov. 22, 2013


Jamie Spainhower



Every year when Thanksgiving rolls around everyone is focused on what they are thankful for. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – everyone eats too much, cooks too much, but enjoys being together.

Not for presents, or special events or mile-markers in our lives – just for the day set aside for family and the people we love to get together and spend time together.

Not only am I thankful for all of the usual things, such as healthy, happy children, grandchildren and family, but for the small things as well.

And I find myself paying attention to the little details of my day that seem to make me and those around me smile. I love my little house, and am thankful every day I had the means to keep it and have it shelter my tiny family. My neighbor who is determined I will have a garden, and plants flowers in my yard, ever hopeful they will survive. Every night when I have my before bed tea I think how lucky I am to have a home – furnished by my kids and friends. From refrigerator art to the couch one son got for another and got passed around until it ended up making the journey from Oregon to North Dakota.

It should be the other way around, however, I have furnished them with a roof and couch and other necessities along their path to adulthood as was needed. So we switched it around a few years ago, and I passed on the things my mother passed on to me. And the coffee table means a little more, since I never had one before. The bed is more comfortable because it is the first brand new bed I’ve ever had.

I am thankful my daughter-in-law has been in my life for more than 15 years, and knew I really did need my own dog when I really didn’t think I did. But, she used the mom tone so well, I didn’t have a choice, and I now have a dog who chases squirrels up trees and is always happy to see me.

I have a great job that I love and have been able to do most of my life, which is a blessing for anyone – to be able to get up and go to work doing what makes you feel good. And I have great co-workers, and we make a good team. I have discovered friendship in places I never would have thought to look, and had the support of friends and family when it seemed as though the road was just too long and bumpy. They were there to kick me in the butt and kept me going. I am glad they are getting to know each other as adults, and their children play together and know their cousins. There were days they kept me going, and now are there for each other.

I have not only my own five grandchildren, who I miss, but have gathered a couple of extra ones to give snuggles and hugs to because nothing surpasses the smell and warmth of a small child sleeping in your arms for comfort.

And although we won’t be together for Thanksgiving Dinner, and bread on the turkey (a family tradition) every day is Thanksgiving. For we are thankful we have each other  – be it the clerk who says “hi” in the store, to our family, friends near and far who we can truly count on to be there when needed. Pay it forward everyday. Smile at a stranger on the street and make a friend. Hold the door for the person coming in behind you. Let someone in line ahead of you and admire the baby in the grocery cart. Life is a circle, what goes around comes around, all the clichés are true to some degree or other.

Tell the people in your life you love them every day and be happy with where you are in your life – then go out and share that happiness with everyone else. Before you realize it, you too will be thankful for the small things you never even noticed before.

Happy Thanksgiving!