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Thankful

November 22, 2007

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Among the sordid family history stories that circulated before my grandmother died, I remember hearing about a man named William Bradford, a man accused of knocking off his first wife by pushing her overboard so that he could marry my 12-times great grandmother. Tonight I learn that he is also the person supposedly credited with this day we call Thanksgiving. (I did already know about his position as governor of the Plymouth Colonies, though history was never my strong suit.)

Whether that little piece of family lore has any weight or not is unknown. The dates don’t match well, since it was two years from the date of Bradford’s first wife’s death until my great-gram sailed over. One account listed the first wife’s death as a suicide, but it also seems to have been debated throughout the years.

And I thought I had problems!

On that note, I’m happy to say that I feel that I can readily tap into the simple abundance principal of gratitude and feel led to give you a big ol’ list of all the things I’m thankful for. I know that gratitude is why I smile and laugh so much. I am deeply blessed on a daily basis and hope that I rarely lose sight of all the really wonderful people, situations and things I have in my life.

So, without further adieu, here are some things for which I am grateful that may not be readily obvious:

– Firstly, that I’m not my 12-great grandmother who had to deal with a lot more shit than I do on a daily basis. (She left her young sons in England when she came to America. It would be several years before they were reunited. I don’t think I admire — or envy — her. She had to crap in the woods, for God’s sake — AND, she chose to be married to a guy who quite possibly shoved his first wife off the Mayflower. Nice.)

– On a smaller level, I am grateful for a garage – after years of scraping ice and snow off my car, having a place to park at night is a blessing.

– On a similar note, I have a safe neighborhood in which to live, and that is up higher on my list than some might think. Have a child chase your child with a broken beer bottle, and you’ll be grateful for a good neighborhood, too.

– A good job with really wonderful people and work I enjoy

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– My car – it suits me, and I still get a rush every time I see it (or one like it). It’s 12 years old and has nearly 180,000 miles, but I really, really, really love my car. (Okay, not the way I love my kids, but you get the idea.)

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– The chance to be LJ’s step mom. Being a step mom is even cooler than being an aunt. I tend to think that it may be what it feels like to have a grandchild, the freedom to just relax and enjoy without the constant nagging guilt and worry that comes with being fully responsible for this little piece of your heart walking around outside your body.

– A really wonderful girlfriend for my ex who treats my daughter well and gives me, for the first time since I divorced, the ability to get a true night’s sleep when Babs isn’t here. I am deeply grateful that she came along and has made that entire situation infinitely better. I tried to tell her once, but I don’t think she’ll ever know how truly thankful I am for her.

– I’m thankful that LJ’s mom and Jon continue to learn how to work together. It’s still a little rocky at times, but on the whole, we are all in a better place than we were three years ago.

– I’m glad I had a chance to really hug my dad and have him show off his new car for me.

– I’m grateful for my friendships, especially the ones that have grown and deepened over this last year. I am nothing without the people in my life, and my gratitude to them could never be adequately expressed. (And y’all are in this list, by the way. I am more grateful for you than you can know.)

– With one of my best girlfriends once again facing surgery to remove a brain tumor that stubbornly continues to grow, I am grateful for my health and pray for her and her family on her journey.

– And last, but certainly not least, this wonderful man who has come along and made the lives of two girls infinitely richer for the experience. I would not be where I am today without him.

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We have so much. And yes, every life has problems, and nothing is ever perfect, but the adage about someone always having more and someone always having much less is true.

Today, I realize that not only is my glass half full, it’s overflowing. I hope the same for all of you — that your cup is so filled with blessings that you have to have an overflow plan to catch them all.

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18 comments

  1. G’day from Australia,

    Your phrase “simple abundance of gratitude” really struck a chord. That’s the way I live my life.

    Our parents must have given us the same sort of upbringing.

    The trick is to count our blessings, not hanker after more than we need.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.


  2. I love messages of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude will save your soul and bless your life.
    You know, I read a history of Bradford many years ago. Little did I know I would someday know his 12-times great granddaughter. Cool.
    And, my car is about as old as yours and I too love it still. Ironically, my house looks quite similar to yours, and I also cherish my garage.
    Blessings on your Thanksgiving to you, my dear.


  3. My cup isn’t. But that’s okay. More room for alcohol that way.


  4. Love your list – it encompasses it all! From friendship and health to not having to poop in the woods!
    May your glass remain overflowing…


  5. The Tofurky is in the oven (I just put it there, LOL) so now I have an hour or so to blog surf. Yeah baby!!

    Happy Thanksgiving Ang. You know what I’m thankful for right now? For you. Cyberspace is a much brighter place because you’re in it Ang. Thanks so much for being my friend this past year. Thank you so much.


  6. I love that last picture of the princess and her king. Happy Thanksgiving. Awesome list.


  7. Hi David ~ Thanks for dropping in. I wholeheartedly agree!!

    Hi Ian ~ Oh, and see, I misled you. πŸ˜‰ I am not related to Bradford. I’m related to Bradford’s second wife. My 12 great grandfather died in England, and she sailed over on the Anne to marry Bradford. Supposedly I’m also distant cousins with John and Priscilla Alden, Henry Longfellow and Rutherford B. Hayes. You may have heard of them. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Jim ~ One cup of blessings on its way!!!!! Open your arms up, buddy. I’m just optimistic enough to believe that if you really think they’re coming that they’ll show up. {{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Hi Beth ~ Thank you! I hope your holidays are wonderful!

    Hi Dan ~ YAY! I hope that it is scrumptious and that all your days are merry and bright. We truly are each other’s mutual adoration society, because I feel the exact same way about you. Love you, Dan.


  8. I love that last photo. So sweet.
    Funny. Your Thanksgiving post and mine are so different.


  9. Well…

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  10. ACG ~ Isn’t that photo great? I love it so much. That was us at the diner just after we got married at the courthouse. On a Tuesday. Babs was the only one who got new clothes, but she wanted a princess dress, so a princess dress, she had! They were on their way to put money in the jukebox. Life is hard sometimes, but maybe that’s what makes moments like that one even more magical. Happy Thanksgiving, my dear.


  11. Meleah ~ Happy Thanksgiving, Love! I hope yours was a good one. I’ll be making the rounds soon, hopefully. As soon as my oh-my-god-I’ve-eaten-and-drank-too-much hangover wears off. Cheers!


  12. Happy Thanksgiving! Beautiful post. It reminded me how many blessings I have and showed me a new way of looking for ones I’d not thought of. Thank you.

    Congratulations on making David’s Post of the Day.

    Peace! Hope! & Joy!


  13. Hi Lee ~ Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you for your kind words. Have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!


  14. David was right. You deserve his special award.
    Your Thanksgiving post needs to be repeated every year. I intend to put a link to it on my pages.
    And I, too, love that last picture.


  15. Catmoves ~ Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words. Learning how blessed I really am has been the biggest blessing I could ever have received. I am completely convinced that gratitude begets more blessings, covers over a multitude of sins, and brings people together. And it’s such a simple concept. Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to wrap our minds around. Many blessings to YOU!


  16. I try to review things I’m grateful for fairly regularly – I really believes it makes your life better. I loved your list.


  17. Once again, I have to thank David McMahanon for pointing me to a darned good post to read!
    I agree fully with your ideas, your points of things to be grateful for, to thank those in life who provide what sometimes are the really mundane for us but without which, where would we be?
    And as to pooping in the woods, boy, am I ever grateful I don’t have to do that!!!


  18. CS ~ Being grateful has been the single most positive thing I have done for myself in recent years. Gratitude brings more blessings and peace, I’m convinced of it.

    Jeni ~ So glad to have you stop by! Your point about where we would be without the mundane is so true. Imagine how many millions of people in the world wish they could have what we have. We are lucky, lucky, lucky, and we should thank our stars for it. Happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope your holidays are tremendous!



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