Howell woman thankfull“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

~ Guillaume Apollinaire

 Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and give thanks for our many blessings.  I think it’s natural sometimes to focus on what we don’t have instead of the things we are grateful for, so I decided to put together a random list of the many things in my life that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for. . .

– Good health

– A roof over my head

– Food to eat

I am thankful for. . .

– Hearing the laughter of babies and little children, because it carries me back to when my own three kids were young

– Music, especially songs that bring back old memories

– Mistakes, because you learn from them

– Challenges, because they make successes sweeter

– Always learning, because there are so many things I don’t know

– Green leaves changing to dazzling red, yellow and orange

– A smile from a stranger

– A really good hug

– The United States of America, where we are free and which is still the greatest country in the world

I am thankful for . . .

– Books, because there are millions I have yet to read

– The cool underside of my pillow

– Coffee.  And then more coffee

– Fresh baked bread or pizza. . . or both

– Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

– Libraries, because they are a boundless collection of knowledge and imagination

– A good night’s sleep

I am thankful for. . .

– Sunshine that warms my face

– Sand between my toes and waves crashing on the beach at Lake Michigan, because it reminds me of my brothers and me climbing the big sand hill in Muskegon, and wonderful times with my aunt and grandparents

– The smell of campfires and burning leaves

– A boat ride, because it reminds me of our family’s old dry-rotted Chris Craft and awakens memories that I wouldn’t trade for the biggest yacht in the world

– A long hike in the red rocks of Arizona

– Sunrises and sunsets anywhere, but especially over the water

– Snow days at school, even now, because no matter how old you are, you remember how good it felt to get that unexpected day off

– Hard rain on the roof, because it reminds me of sitting on the porch during thunderstorms telling silly stories to my kids

– Old photos that make me laugh

– Old photos that make me cry

– Stars in the sky, especially in the Upper Peninsula, because it makes me ponder how small we really are and wonder what else or who else is out there

I am thankful for. . .

– My work, which most times doesn’t feel like work at all because our office is fun and filled with great people

– My clients, because I’m passionate about the seniors and families we meet and help every day

– Other local professionals who work with us and our clients to make our clients’ lives better

I am most thankful for. . .

– Loyal friends, whom I would trust with my life

– My three children, who are growing up and finding their own way.  I couldn’t be more proud

– My son-in-law, who is a great guy and a perfect fit for my daughter

– My wonderful wife, who after 30 years is my best friend and seems to know what I’m thinking even before I do.  She is the glue that holds our family together, and raised our children to love each other

– My mother, who is smart and independent, and who has never stopped learning

– My older brother, Denny (yes, I will remind him that he is definitely older), who is caring, bright and successful, and who has a terrific family of his own

– My little brother, Rusty (I can still hear him saying: “Little, I’m taller than you!”), who we lost in an accident at age 18.  Way too young, but it gives meaning to the old saying “a short life can still be a good life”.

– My mother’s cell phone, which still has my father’s voice message on it even though he has been gone for over ten years.  When she doesn’t answer the phone, I listen to my father’s message all the way through, every time

In making my list, I was reminded of Robert Brault’s quote:

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize that they were the big things.”

I am thankful that I am loved, and that I can wake up every day and say, in the words of Maya Angelou:

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”

Here’s wishing you and your family health and happiness this Thanksgiving, and asking you:

What are you thankful for?

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