Making a List…

Some weeks it’s hard to know what to blog about. My life is prosaic, and I value my privacy, and what, in the territory between those two realities, is worth sharing? Then I see somebody else dart forward with a simple, worthy why-didn’t-I-think-of-that idea, and I know for one week, if I’m willing to indulge in a bit of attribution, I’ve found my topic.

Author Vicky Dreiling writes a fun, warm hearted, Regency romance, and has many, many accolades to show for her efforts. She’s also one heck of a nice lady, and came out with a Facebook post this week along the lines of: Thanksgiving is coming. I’m posting one thing I’m grateful for every day this month.

Brilliant! And when wouldn’t that be a good idea?

So with a tip of the quill pen to Vicki, here’s a short list of things I’m grateful for, in no particular order:

1)      Loving family of every description, including friends and pets, also strangers who help when they see the need

2)      Health, enough health to (mostly) do for myself

3)      A life where at least for today, the necessities are tended to: Food, clothing, shelter

4)      Literacy and all that flows from it

5)      The arts—music especially, but the visual and plastic arts too

6)      A niche in the legal profession where I can be helpful to those disempowered by circumstances beyond their control

7)      The green growing things, whether we use them for food, just for pretty, or to keep us supplied with oxygen

8)      Weather. For reasons I don’t understand, I need the variability of weather and season to keep me moving forward

9)      Imagination, for when all my blessings don’t feel like enough, and I need to grasp an image of happiness that’s not yet realized

10)  You. You read my words, and that helps give my life a bit of its meaning. Last week’s posts about our pets reminded me of this emphatically. I’m grateful for you.

Your turn! To one commenter, I’ll send along a signed Advanced Reader Copy of “Lady Eve’s Indiscretion.”

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63 comments on “Making a List…

  1. I am thanks ful for a loving husband and two beautiful children,a loving family A lovely cat , That i have enough money to buy food, that I have the vote , That i live in a country where i can say what i think as long as it is not libel or criminal without getting arrested , that i have been able to travel to some lovely people and that i have lots of friends and one close one who is the most important person inmy life after my family .

  2. I most grateful that I have a wonderful family and we aren’t stuggling financially. I have great friends and I have a good job with benefits. I am able to vote and that I live in the US. There are people that are have it worse than I do and I pray that things will get better for them and the people hit by hurricane Sandy.

  3. I am grateful for
    friends and family (because they soothe my soul)
    love of reading (because it soothes my soul)
    Nature (because it soothes my soul)
    Lilly and Max (my cat and dog- because they soothe my soul)
    Music (because it soothes my soul)

    Am I painting a clear picture ; )

  4. I am thankful for my family. For help from others that I have received this year and help that I was able to give others as well. My laptop and internet connection..being a caregiver I am stuck inside almost all the time. The ever changing weather, I love when it finally snows, when spring arrives, when I can wear shorts again and when the leaves start changing color. I am thankful for Mocha Cappuccinos, as I have no taste for coffee. And so many other things as well!

    • I’m with you on that internet connection. It creates the perfect compromise for me between enjoying people and yet needing not to be overwhelmed by them. I’ll have to try a cappuccino.

  5. I am thankful for my family and for the memories of family and friends who are no longer with us. I am thankful that my husband is willing to work while I stay home to raise our daughter. I’m thankful for my dog who makes life fun and playful. An I’m thankful for books like yours that allow me to escape into a different world while still loving my everyday life.

  6. I am grateful for my husband, who has been by my side for 17 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have someone who knows that,and is willing to weather the rough seas with me to get to the good times. There have been some amazing good times, the birth of our children, buying our dream house-a 40 acre farm with our nearest neighbor 1/2 mile away. There have been some bad times too, job losses, illness, but I have never felt that my position in his live has been in jeopardy. No matter how hard it gets, he will be there.

    • Sherrilyn Kenyon has a great speech about ending up living out of her car with her new baby, and her husband. She’d hit the lists six times, had a great career, and then… two college educated people ended up living out of their car. As she says, it shouldn’t have happened, but it does.
      She learned that only SHE could give up on that dream of writing successfully again. Nobody would take that dream from her, or forbid her to dream it. If she tossed in the towel, that was her choice.
      She also learned that there are men who STICK, unlike her dad, who’d walked out on a wife and eight kids.
      You got one of the guys who sticks. We call them heroes.

  7. It’s amazing that we often think of what we don’t have or what life should be like, but in these moments when asked to reflect for what you are grateful for it really puts my life in perspective and how grateful I am for what I have and done in my life.

    My husband: for encouragement, support, laughter, love and safety.
    My Country and the Military: Allowing everyone to have the opportunity to create the life they want, and keeping us safe so we can have that life.
    My Family: teaching me that people may not always be fair and nice, but there will always be a group of people that will love you no matter what.
    My pugs: they make me smile on the worst and best of days.
    Friends that just know when you need a smile.
    I am very thankful that I have a job that allows me to stay financially stable during these weak economic times, and it allows me to give back to my community.
    Authors that write books that can take you away to a different world in a sentence (Grace you’re one of them!).

    Lately, I have been thinking that technology is wonderful, because we can connect with authors that write stories we love, and I am grateful for that technology.

    • Family is an interesting blessing, isn’t it? I’m reminded of Robert Frost’s description of home: “Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” He doesn’t say anybody’s happy about that when it occurs, but its speaks to family.

  8. I am thankful for for…

    my sons. Although neither one were planned, they have brought great joy to my husband and me.

    my husband. In our 12 years of marriage, he has tolerated my weirdness.

    my parents. They paid for college, even after I was married.

    my dog. He’s the sweetest mutt.

    my job. I cannot imagine a different career for me. I love being in the classroom.

    my grandmother. She is 82 and visits with my children each week.

    my students. They (all 150 each year) keep me on my toes.

    my house. It’s taken my husband and me 6 years, but I think we are finally finished remodeling.

    my MINI Cooper. It’s the coolest car I’ve ever owned.

    my Kindle. Reading is my addiction.

  9. 1- I’m thankful for my children an handy husband.
    2- my house that was not effected by the hurricane that slammed nj.
    3- my family, near an far.
    4- being able to stay at home to raise my children.
    5- nap times where I get to read my many books!
    6- authors like yourself to create great books I can dive into.

  10. I am thankful for a fulfilling job (teacher), enough money to pay my bills and help others, my independence, enough free time to read, public libraries, my cats Dragon and Isabelle, and my nephews. I am also thankful for fireplaces, fragrant candles, wifi, mocha frappes, and books (again).

    • Public libraries are right up there, Kathy. I was reminded the other day that libraries are among the biggest purchasers of books written by people like me. We’re not topping any lists, but people do read us when they’re done with the bestsellers.

  11. I’ve rewritten this several times but it all really comes down to this…I’m thankful for everything I have and I’m thankful that I don’t have many things.

    • Profound, Lea Ann. I’m considering moving in the next year or so, and thought I wasn’t much of pack rat. Twenty years in any one location will result in too much stuff–unless one is wise and vigilant.

  12. I´m grateful for my health, and for the love me and my fiancee have for each other, for our pets and our life in our house, for my mother being as strong as she is after my dad passed away two years ago, this november 2. And that i´m able to read what i want, don´t know what i would do without my books =)
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Sunday!

    • Linda, my dad turned 92 on November 2, and as with each of his recent birthdays, I have to wonder: Will I have him to love this time next year? You remind me that eventually, I will not.

  13. (Especially in 2012)I am grateful for:
    – my two sons who were both able to find jobs that they can live with
    – my husband for his support of my many endeavors
    – my wonderful cat who reads my mind
    – MY TERRIFIC FRIENDS with whom we vent our frustrations at the pool 3 days a week
    – the many fabulous authors I follow on Facebook for the inspiration and humor they share as I struggle with my writing journey.

  14. So many things to be thankful for this year…my husband and three kids, our family & friends, a new job that I enjoy, my photography business, our cozy little home and so many others! Also very thankful for my iPad full of e-books from all of my most favorite authors (including the entire Windham series) which allows me to escape into so many different places & times!

  15. My first thought was that I’m thankful that the election will be over in two days (of course that really depends on who wins). I’m thankful for a sense of humor because otherwise I don’t think I could manage. I am thankful for hope. (And, of course, all the many things that were mentioned above from basic needs to loved ones – pets included – and books, books, books which save my sanity lol).

    • Catslady, I think we’ll all be glad election season ends, even if our candidate doesn’t grab the brass ring (or is it an oval)? You mention hope, about which I have at times been ambivalent, but never without. Good thought.

  16. I am thankful for family and good friends. I am so thankful that I was born a “babyboomer” and raised by parents of “The Greatest Generation”. I have loved living by and with the morals, values, and the religious beliefs from my parents and “tweeked” by the society of the 60’s.

    • So many of our blessings have to do with the accident of our birth. When I tell my daughter that in my father’s life time, women could not vote, she thinks that’s ridiculous…. Yes, child, it was. Glad I was born when I was, where I was, to the parents I was.

  17. Oh, for so many things I am thankful: my family, my job, my friends, good health. How do I just pick one? If I must pick one that encompasses it all, I would have to say I am grateful for the life I have lived thus far and the experience it has granted me. I am a firm believer in learning from the past and that everything happens for a reason. We may not know the reason at that time and we may rant and rail at Fate for the challenges presented to us, but regardless of what they are those challenges shape us into the people we become. It is up to us as individuals to learn from these challenges and use them to make us the best human being possible.

    I am forever grateful for these challenges and experiences and for the ability to recognize them as the learning experiences they were. And for those challenges and experiences yet to come. They will only make me stronger.

  18. There are so many things in my life that I take for granted, and holiday seasons remind me of just why I should be grateful for the course of my life.
    As a child I fought constantly with my parents, and have at multiple points of my adolescence wish I had different ones. But now I am entirely grateful to not only giving birth to me and letting me enjoy all that life has to offer, but in giving me a good education and not spoiling me as I asked as a youth. It dawned on me while Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom that life really is too short to be filled with unhappy thoughts and regrets, especially on things that cannot be changed. So in that, I wish both my parents a happy holidays, and to my ailing grandparents who gave birth to them.

    • Mary, I was well into my thirties and a mom myself before I got to the point where I realized my parents had done their very best, and no matter how I pouted, ranted, held my figurative breath, and otherwise deserved a do-over with better parents, my turn to be the baby was over. It became their turn to be the baby (babies), their turn to have an entitlement to unconditional love, patience, and generosity, and all the things they’d shown me and my siblings.

      Sounds like you’ve moved along that curve much more quickly than I did.

  19. I am Thankful for my husband, children and my grandchildren.
    I am thankful for my extended family, who are also my friends(who could ask for more then that)
    I am thankful that my husband has a good job.
    I am thankful that my house is still standing and not washed away by Sandy.
    I am thankful that my chronic illnesses are not as severe as they have been is the past.
    I am thankful for hot baths and good books.
    I am thankful I get to watch my grandchildren during the day and watch them do and say the most amazing things.
    I also am happy that I live in the best country in the world.
    I am also so thankful for our military! Thank you all the men and women who make my small world a safe place to be.

  20. I am thankful for my children, who are a great reminder to appreciate the little things in life, and for my wonderful husband. I am also thankful that I have so much more to be thankful for.

    • Brinda, little people are precious, aren’t they? When I started my list, I was only to going to name two or three things, then five, then ten… Delightful realization, to think I could fill up all of cyberspace with my gratitudes.

  21. I read down through there and so many lovely, touching things are said, and, oh, the mean streak in my wants to post about stupid things like having long blondish hair (Thanks, John Frieda) and blue eyes (Thanks, Mom & Dad). That mean streak is a mile wide. But I’ll play nice.

    1) Health. It’s not perfect and never will be but this time last year I was in excruciating pain due to a disc that was in the process of bulging to the left. I spent a week in bed, in tears, yelling at nurses on the phone (I’m not very nice when I hurt), trying to get some relief. Today is a complete 180 degree difference.

    2) My CrossFit friends. I’m constantly amazed at this random group of people that has come together because of a workout regimen. They are so supportive in and out of the gym.

    3) Friends that will listen when work is good, bad, and/or ugly. And will take me out of town when necessary.

    4) Women like Grace and Cynthia Wright and Lucinda Brant who keep me distracted with wonderful storytelling. And are just so kind when I “talk” to them about a myriad of things.

    5) And I guess I should give my family a few props. After all, I’m sitting in a beautiful house because my daddy was able to help me build it. My mother….is my mother. She’s always been supportive of any of the crazy choices we’ve made. My sister and my brother-in-law have given me an awesome nephew this year. And my brother has hauled himself (and his wife) to California so that he can learn how to re-fuel a plane in mid-air.

    • Sabrina, it’s not mean to be grateful for long blond hair. I’m grateful to HAVE hair, and if that makes me vain, well, shame on me. I like my blue eyes, I like my figure (what remains of it), and in my liking is the knowledge that I won’t get to keep any of it forever. Where’s the harm in appreciating it now?

  22. I’m grateful for my children, husband, extended family, cats, everyone’s (relative) good health and success, the roof over my head, the food in my pantry, the money in my wallet which buys what we need, and the books in my bookshelf and on my kindle 🙂

  23. My gratitude list is so blessedly long, and includes many of the items already mentioned. This month one stands head and shoulders above the rest: a dear friend is helping me keep my home. Because of health changes and those pesky economic changes I don’t fit standard mortgage guidelines. Because of those same two things moving isn’t an option either. Keeping my home means not living in an assisted living facility, or burdening my sister. There is no benefit/gain for my friend helping me. Nice to know such people are still in the world, and at least one is in my life.

    • Yeah, but Larisa, there is a benefit. My dear old mother is 88. She doesn’t hear or see well, but she still has all her buttons and can march around the neighborhood at something between Mach 2 and Mach 3. She has a route, and on that route there are old people sitting on benches, mothers out with their children, proprietors sweeping the steps of their businesses. Mom patrols, saying hello, keeping an eye out for trouble, and saying prayers for the people she thinks might need it.
      At the end of her life, she’s determined to find ways to be of use, even if all she has to offer is a muttered Hail Mary for a stranger. That sense of being useful is vital to our well being, I think it’s Mom’s code for needing people to love. It’s not enough that we love her. She must find meaning in love extended toward others.
      Your friend helped keep a roof over your head, but your willingness to accept that support keeps a roof over your friend’s heart.
      Says me.

  24. Thanks for reminding me, Grace.
    I’m grateful for:
    True friends who are my family
    Good health
    A creative mind
    A business that allows me to make children (and others) smile
    A roof over my head. Though not fancy, I have heat (or a/c); I have food to fix for dinner, clothes to wear, and few real worries.

    We do take so much for granted and things can change permanently overnight.

  25. Listing all or just some “things” I am grateful for would be rather boring and tedious to read after all these other lovely comments. It is great to know that all of you above can be thankful and do appreciate what you have! – And thank you Grace, for making us think of it!!! –

    And this is, I think, what is most important: (I think I may have said that on a previous blog before). I am so grateful that I CAN be happy and satisfied and with so little and small things no less, to APPRECIATE what I have got, to look “down” on others who are not so lucky than me (or us) and be thankful rather than just looking “up” and comparing to those who may have “more” and wishing to have hit it “better”…

    And thinking about it and knowing I am able to appreciate and be grateful right away makes me happy!

    My chances are little with so many commenters, but having Eve in my hands soon would make me just deliriously grateful 😉

    • Conny, You make an excellent point. My dad used to refers to certain people as “having the wants.” No matter what good fortune befell them, they were afflicted with a desire for something more, something different, something better, something, always something… contentment eluded them. I guess that’s the rotten underbelly of ambition and goals–to never be satisfied.

  26. I am thankful …
    that I can read
    that Romance novels exist
    that my parents really are my favorite people, and they care about me
    my sister
    for my dogs (those here and in heaven)
    for my extended family
    that I have a job
    that I have my mind (and don’t suffer from depression)
    for PostSecret (for those who suffer, you aren’t alone)
    but, most of all….
    I am thankful for my 8th grade educated grandmother (who sacrificed going to high school so she could share-crop farm for her parents — just so that they would have a home) passed along her awesome McGuyver skills to me (actually, she taught McGuyver). When/if the sh!@ goes down, I want her there — she can survive.

    • My grandma had a tenth grade education, and unbeknownst to me until recently, put food on the family table by accompanying dance classes. That’s how I paid my way through college. Maybe we’ll make good grandmas one day, RJ.

  27. I am too thankful for being able to read and for the joy of romance novels. My amazing great kids…and their understanding of civic duty….
    I am thankful for the air I breathe and leaves I see…..
    I am thankful for every moment I get to enjoy in this life.

  28. Personally (especially in an election year!) I’m thankful for family and friends that enrich my life. They’re a source of comfort, laughter, warmth, cuddles and stimulating conversation. I’m thankful for my boyfriend’s support and love and the way he warms my cold feet every night. I’m thankful for my parents’ support through the stressful medical school application process. And I’m thankful for my friends – they never fail to lift my spirits.

    • Very best of luck with the medical application process. Medicine is a vocation, and when we say we’re grateful for our health, there’s an implied gratitude to and for the people who help us protect our health and regain it when it goes walkabout.

  29. The 1st thing I am thankful for I did in person yesterday for the 1st time in my life as I have had to use an absentee ballot since age 18… The 2nd is being able to make the decision to serve my beloved nation freely as did my father & step-father… We had many generations & cousins serve yet I was the last one to leave the calling. I now have a huge family today in all branches because we call each other brother/sister regardless of when we served. I cannot ask for more than to smile this day after such an emotional election & be happy to be born knowing that with great rights come responsibilities & know our nation is going to endure as she has done for over 200 years…