The Friday 5 + the Saturday 7 = 12 Thanksgivings

Yes, I can do math as long as it’s simple math! I did not write yesterday because we were in the car for 10 hours on the way home from Tennessee. Since dear husband and step-son are away for the weekend doing their Boy Scout thing, my daughter and I stopped at our local quick mart and each bought our favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and settled in for a Mother/Daughter Movie night. We watched the Coen Brother’s rendition of True Grit on Netflix, followed by a couple of episodes of Dr. Who. The combination of chocolate bliss and travel fatigue knocked me right out for a solid seven hours of sleep. It was a meaningful trip and a wonderful night of time spent with the youngest daughter.

Sometimes Thanks-living means being present enough to live in the moment, making choices that perhaps are not the most logical or efficient but that carry the most relationship capital and time/love investment. It is a necessary challenge to balance thinking and living between head and heard.

So without further commentary let the thanksgivings begin…

1.  Mother/Daughter Movie Nights (My daughter gave up time with her step-sister and another friend to stay and watch movies with me. Thanks dear daughter!)

2. Time with Parents (I had some precious time with my father and mother this week. I am particularly grateful for the time my mother spent sharing stories of her childhood. I’ll write more about that one later.)

3.  Safe Travel (Other than the senior citizen from Florida who veered her “land yacht”  into our lane so close that I could feel my skin crawl and the Big Rig driver who almost clocked us, we had an uneventful and safe trip. Whew! Thank you, God!)

4.  Lunch with my Cousin (I always have a blast with my cousin who lives in Chattanooga. Like me, she stays “busier than a bird dog scratchin’ fleas, so I am especially grateful that she took time out of her day for a long, leisurely lunch filled with laughter and catching-up-conversation.)

5. Dinner with a Good Friend (My mom and I had dinner with a dear friend and former neighbor at Wally’s, a local Chattanooga restaurant specializing in Southern home cooking. Again, it was a time filled with laughter and good conversation.)

6. Facebook (Yup, as annoying as it can sometimes be, I am grateful for this social networking tool that allows me to keep up with family, friends, and colleagues. Technology is neutral; how we choose to use or avoid it makes all the difference.)

7. Amazing Teenagers (From the high schooler who has identified an amazing potential weapon in the fight against cancer to the homeless teen on Long Island who won a national science prize for her discovery about adaptability in two marine animals, I am amazed at the gifts and talents youth have to offer. Our job as adults is to encourage, support, and avoid squelching their dreams. Click here for more on these amazing stories.)

8. The Joy of Finding Great Clothes at Second-hand Stores (While I was in Tennessee, I stopped at a local non-profit’s resale shop, where for under $10 I picked up three like-new items that would have totaled about $150 if bought new at their name-brand retailers. I saved money, I gave a second life to three items of clothing, and I circumvented the consumer stream. Cool!)

9. My Laptop (I bought this laptop from a local computer store in North Dakota on a clearance special. It’s a Dell Vostro 1510, and it it a bit too heavy and clunky, but it is sturdy and meets all my computing needs. Best of all? My total investment was under $400. It is essential for my work and writing, and I am so thankful to have it.)

10. Health Insurance (I am so fortunate to have a good health insurance plan made possible as part of the benefits packages provided by my husband’s and my congregations. As a cancer survivor, I would have a difficult time finding coverage otherwise. One of my daughter’s friends, a working actor who lives with diabetes, just tweeted that he cannot find any plan that will cover his preexisting condition when he ages out of his mother’s plan next week. Something has to give with our healthcare system!)

11. Steel Cut Oats and Green Tea (Both of these foods are among my favorites and are healthy choices offering significant dietary benefits. Based on the reality of #10, healthy food choices are especially important. Click here for a quick trip through the 10 best and worst food choices from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.)

12.  Simply Being Alive! (I give thanks for another day and another opportunity to live life to the fullest, loving my family, friends, and neighbors, and reveling in God’s good creation.)

It is my prerogative to make this list of thanksgiving into a “Baker’s Dozen” (but with no calories or fat), so…

13.  I am thankful to you for joining me on this thanks-living journey. Please take the time to post at least one thing for which you are thankful this very day. You guys rock!

Photos by Jason Riedy, stonysteiner, and theseanster93 used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!



Snow & the Friday Five

Yes, I’m thankful that it’s snowing outside. After all it is January in Pennsylvania, so we should be having a few snow showers. As long as it will be clear by Sunday morning, I’m tickled pink to enjoy watching its silent fall.

The dogs had a blast playing in it, Dexter rooting his snout into it and tossing the fluffy bits into the air and Pete looking like a giant snow bear. It is good to end a delightful Friday with a covering of clean, white beauty. All seasons have their delights, and winter is wonderful for its crisp, clear air, minimalism, and snowy artistry. Thank you, God, for snow and four distinct and lovely seasons.

What’s your favorite season? What joys do you find in winter?

The Friday Five

For my Friday Five I’m thankful for

  1. A date night with my spouse and the pretty pink roses he gave me yesterday,
  2. Yummy homemade tomato soup,
  3. A delightful discussion at our Coffee, Tea, & Theology Book Club meeting today AND two new participants,
  4. The promise of a lazy Saturday morning, and
  5. SNOW!!!

What five people, things, or events brought you delight this day? For what do you need to offer thanks?

Photo by lalofont used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!


Hallelujah! Friday Five for the 13th

Hallelujah, it’s the weekend!  I’m not a bit suspicious. Are you? It’s Friday the 13th, and I am simply thankful that it IS Friday. We’re planning to go see Joyful Noise tonight, starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. It should prove to be an uplifting and fun way to usher in the weekend. Check back tomorrow for a review.

But for now, here’s my list of the Friday Five Thanksgivings:

1) I’m thankful for a husband who loves, encourages and supports me.

2) I’m thankful for my children, for my parents and in-laws, and my extended family. Their love lifts me higher.

3) I’m thankful for a dedicated fun group of folks with whom to serve on our Church Council. We had a long meeting last night, but it was a good one. Thanks, ya’ll!

4) I’m thankful to be going to see a movie tonight. I enjoy film, and I’m especially excited to see Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah together. What a pair of amazing women!

5) I’m thankful to have enough good food to eat, water to drink, a roof over my head, and heat to cut this bitter wind that’s blowing across the state of Pennsylvania.

What are you thankful for on this freaky Friday?

Photo courtesy Thanks!

Epiphany Light & the Friday Five

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. –Isaiah 60:1

Today marked the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the revelation of God as Son in the human Jesus. Most observances focus on the visitation of the foreign Magi, who presented the unlikely infant king with gifts. The 12 days of Christmas are officially over, and we move into a season of light, or awareness, and of seeking.

To that end, today I invite to you find your “Friday Five,” five people, places, or things for which you are thankful. I am thankful for

1) new beginnings,

2) quality time with family,

3) the return of our cat,

4) a great group of people with whom to work and worship, and

5) recovery from a nasty cold.

Now it’s your turn! Identify your five, offer a prayer of thanks for these gifts, and if possible let any people on your Friday Five know how much they mean to you. If you’re willing to share your Friday Five, please post them as a response. Let’s share the blessings and live thankfully together.

Pax et lux (peace and light),


Photo by ceratosaurrr used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!