As we prepare to celebrate the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, this old saying keeps running through my mind:

"Let us be Grateful and Thankful for what we have today for none of us knows what tomorrow may bring!"

 

I like the idea of a ‘tally sheet’, used by ranchers here on the plains for many years to add up expenses and income for the year. But, my ‘tally’ is of things and people to be grateful for in my life, and to teach my children and others that I come into contact with to ‘count the blessings’ you have and enjoy. Don’t spend time concentrating on the ‘have’s’ that abound in your life and on the "I wish I had’s" – especially in these tough economic times.

As this year’s meager harvest draws to a close (or with a thump), we all survived another year. The crops were not what most of us had hoped for, but we take what we can get, and salvage anything that managed to grow in the awful depths of the drought in the summer just past.

The deer and wild turkeys got all of my tomatoes, but we did manage to save the pumpkins and squash, with enough to even share with family and friends. I had planted the pumpkins for a friend of mine’s little pre-schoolers, and discovered that if I watered the garden overnight, the deer kept out!  We have enough pumpkins for the kids and then some. I am so very grateful.

My old-fashioned blue Hubbard squash were attacked by the deer, but we still have some – more than enough for family and friends, and that is a blessing for sure.

I love the early morning hours – especially the sunrise, and this morning the sun was a bright red orb on the edge of the sky. I’d never seen a red sun before. It was absolutely gorgeous when I went to the chicken house to give the biddies their morning drink of water. I am grateful for the ability to see and enjoy the beauty of nature here in the country.

When I walked back toward the house, a flock of Canadian geese was honking and calling to one another as they passed by on their journey south for the winter. The deer and their babies were grazing in the field to the west of the house, and since they are used to me tromping around, they just look up as I walk to the garden.

The bittersweet vine I have planted in the yard has some berries on it. Wreath decorating possibilities? Perhaps, if I can keep the kittens from playing with them…

On my walk this afternoon, I caught sight of some bright yellow and red leaves already turned on the edge of a Badland ravine, and observed a coyote loping along. It was just out, looking around. My Cup runneth over!

I am grateful to be able to add to my ‘tally sheet’ that we have the freedom to worship as we please, and:

  • I am thankful for those who came before us who gave us the freedom to vote without interference in our local and national elections;
  • I am also grateful for the generosity of my neighbors who share their chubby-cheeked babies, just learning to smile and walk so I can play with them;
  • I am grateful for the toddlers, pre-schoolers and little ones just learning to read, draw and explore their worlds, sharing their fun of learning with me. I learn as much as they do;
  • I am grateful for the elders who taught me so much about ‘using what I have’ over the years, and sharing their wisdom so freely. This newsletter would not exist without their help and guidance!
  • For family and friends – even those I haven’t yet met – I am grateful beyond belief. May November be an amazing month for you and your family.

 
–Paula