Monday, August 28, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Where can we find evidence of the good things that are happening? That is my question for this week as I contemplate what to write for my Ten Things of Thankful post that I will be linking to Josie Two Shoes bloghop Ten Things of Thankful.

Ten things for which I give thanks. . .

1. The sky, but more specifically, the sun and the moon - It will be difficult to forget the ethereal display of light surrounding the moon on August 21. Even though the magnificent event mid morning didn't last very long, I am so grateful that the sky wasn't filled with clouds in our area which would have made it impossible to view the solar eclipse. Our son and his two daughters were able to join us that day and he and my husband had a great time discussing how to get the best photos as they waited for the opportune photo shoot.

2. Retirement - If it were not for being retired, I would have had to take sick leave a couple of times this past week for two PT appointments and a dental appointment, and would have had to make special arrangements to get our car serviced. My husband would have had the same challenge because of one follow-up medical appointment, and a yearly eye appointment.

3. That I can laugh at myself - I need some physical therapy to help me with some stability challenges I've been having. For one of my appointments this week, the therapist thought it would be helpful for me to walk in the grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of the therapy building. That probably doesn't sound too difficult, but she wanted me to walk as though I was walking a tightrope, the heel of one foot touching the toe of the other foot. The distance I had to walk was about 80 feet. She stood behind me ready to help me stay upright should I get wobbly. She had her work cut out for her, because this proved to be hard for me to do. I commented to her that I was wishing I'd worn something green or brown so I would blend into the surroundings better, rather than the purple pants which made me stand out like a sore thumb to the passengers in the cars passing by on their way to town. That wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't looked like a drunken sailor trying to walk the plank. This may have been a motivation for me to practice my PT exercises at home, so I don't repeat this humorous walk in the grass next time.

4. Clean air - Today is perhaps the smokiest day I've ever experienced here. There are a lot of active forest fires in our state, plus an air inversion here today. After going outside to put some trash in the garbage can, I returned quickly to the house, as the smoke is so intense it hurt my nose and stung my eyes. I feel for those who actually live closer to the fires. I'm thankful for all those days of the year when we have clean air. 

5. Online forums - These online sites offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and feedback from others to address just about any question or subject. I've used these sites frequently, especially when I don't know someone personally who might be able to assist me. Of course, I do a fair amount of research trying to find answers, but often the experience of others offers additional insight. How have online forums been helpful for you?

6. The impact of a quiet calming voice - I recently watched how a chaplain in a nursing home helped calm a new resident. The elderly lady had been put in a wheelchair and rolled out into the area where many of the residents eat their meals, but she was alarmed and yelling quite loudly and speaking unintelligibly for the most part. The chaplain got down to her level and spoke quietly and assuredly telling her that she was safe and that the people were there to protect her. He stayed right at her side continuing to speak softly. He remained there even after she became calm and she let an aide feed her. He left at the point she was being returned to her room. I remember years ago how a whisper from a teacher in a room full of preschoolers or kindergarteners could gradually get a bunch of rowdy children ready to transition to another activity. As a mother, I used this approach at times when our children were small. The following might be of help to those who have difficulty falling asleep. Apparently it helps some people to listen to a whispering voice.

7. Scrabble - I know that I've shared this one before, but I really do like playing this game, and do not get a chance to play it often. When our son was here last Monday, he played it with me that night. It ended up being probably the longest Scrabble game I'd ever played. I think that if either one of us expected it would take so long, we might have either started the game earlier, or not played it. Once started we were determined to finish it though. Both of us took turns trying to keep Old McDonald out of the picture.

8. Oldie Goldies - When I was a junior in high school I took a shorthand class. The teacher told us that we could check out a record of shorthand dictation so we could practice at home. Although I'd hoped that we could have a record player, that wish had fallen on deaf ears until not having one might interfere with me being able to get a good grade in shorthand. My parents bought the record player and also some very old records of music like my parents may have listened too when they were young. The music on the records sounded quite tinny, but it grew on me, like perhaps my Dad thought it might. (By the way, the record player did help me get the desired shorthand grades.) Do you enjoy listening to the music from your parents' generation?

9. Crickets - When we first moved into our home, it wasn't finished. We didn't even have walls up to separate rooms, so we used some paper, similar to that used to make brown paper grocery bags, to separate the rooms. It didn't do much to quiet sounds coming from the rooms. It was slightly better than having the whole family share one bedroom like many pioneer families did. Well, the first night after we moved in and after an exhausting day, there was a very loud cricket chirping that was disturbing my sleep. My family remembers me getting up that night hunting for the noisy intruder and putting him out of the house. Fast forward to the present day when I actually love the sound of what seems like armies of crickets chirping outside at night, or when a solar eclipse happens. Now it is a pleasant sound to me. Are there some sounds that you once disliked, but now like or perhaps even love?

10. My husband - He makes my world complete, by the things he says to brighten my day and the things he does to help my life be easier. It is so nice to be able to go through this season of our lives together and to be able to laugh as we stumble through it. 

I am thankful for the many people who have reached out to those who have been impacted by the horrible hurricane and accompanying flooding in Texas. Those who have experienced flooded homes and businesses are going to need a lot of help in the weeks and months ahead and need our prayers too.


  1. I too was thinking today of how useful the internet is for finding out information. Unfortunately there are downsides to it, but it enables people to be brought closer together no matter where in the world they are. I'm unsure how I'd go about finding information without it now :)

    1. There is still the old way of going to a physical library, but even libraries have the internet to allow people to quickly access the most current information. The internet allows so many ways to communicate with family and loved ones almost instantly.

  2. I'll add my vote for the multiple value of the internet for research.
    Just today I was looking up the symptoms of rabies (for a possible plot twist in 'Home and Heart') and found a site that was quite detailed case histories. It included medical reports and, not surprisingly they were full of medical jargon (I knowwho'd of thought. lol) But I enjoyed copy/pasting the terms and phrases and searching them. Being a clark, it was total fun.

    I also enjoy the use of the 'street view' function on google maps to drive along streets in areas I've never been. To learn the streets of a city or an area ('driving' across Kansas for 'Almira') helps me imagine the scenes, the feel of a place. (Especially places in the midwest... which are so totally different in nearly every way from the Northeast.)

    We had a lot of crickets when we first moved into our house. Ola was a puppy and would stalk them (didn't feel a need to eat them or anything) but would follow them around in the yard or the house. As a result I still have a positive opinion and... it reminds me of her.

    1. I've used the street view of Google Maps to look at homes where I have lived, or homes where ancestors have live. Of course some of those homes are no longer there. At times my Mom has enjoyed seeing some of the older buildings ini towns where she has lived.

      Watching puppies stalk insects and spiders can be quite hilarious. Sometimes they wouldn't stop barking, etc. them until I got rid of that intruder!

  3. That whispering story is a little spooky to me and less peaceful, but I do love old timy music like the song you posted. I recognize it and it does calm me to hear it.

    I also love the sound of crickets chirping and frogs croaking outside, but not as much loose inside my house. One cricket always sounds so lost and forlorn to me. I imagine a tiny insect lost in a great big space. Whereas, when they are all together, out there somewhere, I think they are making beautiful music. It was the sound of my childhood, living out in the country and at my mom's pond.

    I am thankful for the sky too, but not full of smoke. I am glad to live nowhere near that and I can't really imagine it. Sorry that had to be your experience of your outdoors. Hoping all wild fires will be extinguished sooner than later. It's going on out west here in Canada too. From smoke and fire to water and flooding. To all those struggling.

    This TToT was one of my favourites from you Pat. Just lovely.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this TToT post, Kerry.
      The air inversion and smoke cleared from our area last night. Yeah! The forecast is that the smoky atmosphere will return in a couple of days here. I'm so not looking forward to that.

      I did find it interesting that some people would need whispering sounds to go to sleep. My husband's comment was one could turn the radio on and just turn the volume way down. :-)

  4. Did you have a lot of E-I-E-I-O letters in your Scrabble game? Was that the Old MacDonald reference? I'm glad you were able to get a game in.

    We have lots of crickets (outside) here, too. We didn't really have many in CA.

    1. Yes indeed. We both did at various times in the game.

      I hope the cricket sounds brings back good memories. I didn't realize you didn't have crickets in CA. Maybe your chickens took care of that population.

  5. What a lovely collection of thankfuls, Pat, and many that I could relate to! What I liked best about the eclipse was how it brought people together and took their minds off our differences and dissention. This has proven to be even more true in the wake of this horrible hurricane, and maybe that's the lesson in it we needed to be reminded of.

    I so agree with you about retirement. I spent most of the morning in several calls to ATT to get our online account straightened out, yesterday I ran some errands for Papa Bear. I couldn't do either of those when I was working, and I'm also able to spend more time preparing good suppers for him to come home to. Now I pray that God will make a way for him to retire in another year or so, or at least to part time. He is tired.

    I had to chuckle at the visual you presented of you walking in a drunken manner across the lawn at therapy. I walk so carefully on uneven surfaces so I won't fall or twist an ankle, and I'm sure I look just as strange to anyone observing. The ability to laugh at ourselves helps so much in making the transition to senior years easier to cope with.

    I can't imagine living with that smoky air from your fires there! For people with asthma or COPD it would be even worse. I hope they fires are controlled and then extinguished before more longer. I know people are suffering there too.

    I have often found that advice from online forums is more accurate than what you might get from a company or their tech support. Sometimes they are reading from manuals while folks on the forums are speaking from experience.

    I loved the Whispering Voice poem. I once had a teacher who would lower her voice instead of raise it if her high school class was being boisterous. Eventually everyone had to quiet down to hear her, and it's a much gentler way to deal with it too!

    I have always loved Scrabble, I played hundreds of games with my son while he was in grade school to help him with his spelling. Now I play Words With Friends online daily and it helps keep my mind sharp. Do you have it on your computer or phone? Would love to play you!

    My father had a large record album collection of the music he and my mother grew up with... big band sounds, etc. He would often play an album or two on Sunday afternoons while he relaxed and now whenever I hear those songs it brings back sweet memories. I love the reason that you managed to get a record player!

    I like the sound of chirping crickets because they speak of country life to me, and nights spent at our little lake cabin as kids. Now the sound of cicadas is a bit more annoying, as is the sound of a flock of grackles.

    We both are so blessed with the husbands God has given us! A kind and caring partner you can share with, laugh with and cry with is such a treasure. It's the one thing I can say truly does make these years golden.

    May the coming days bring fresh air and sunshine, less smoke and raging water, and hope to all those who have endured suffering this week! Blessings to you and yours. XOXO

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      There were warnings that anyone with certain health problems should stay indoors and people over 65 should too. I suspect they assumed anyone over 65 would have some kind of health problem. :-)

      I used to play Words with Friends when it was a Facebook group, but I stopped playing it because I was spending more time with it than I felt I should. I play Words on my iPad sometimes, but just by myself.
      Thanks for the offer to play Words with Friends. If I get it on my iPad I will let you know. My cell phone is very old, so I just use it to call and text.

      I just searched online for the sound grackles make. (We don't have them here in our area.) Oh my, that sound almost hurts one's ears!