Tag Archives: gratitude

Read history

“If you think you have it tough, read history books.” — Bill Maher I’m no fan of Bill Maher, but he has a point about history.  It’s a great way to gain some perspective.  Not long ago I read Bill Bryson’s fascinating book At Home, and I realized I’d never fully appreciated such things as electricity and sewer systems.  From …

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More than a hundred

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” — George Herbert Watching someone fight bravely the battles Jeff has fought these past 9 months, it’s easy to get overly sentimental about him.  Yet I think I can say without exaggeration that I have never known a man more devoted to his wife and children than …

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God’s handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Travel is one of my favorite ways of searching for …

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The celebration

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.” — Paul Sweeney This month, Jeff and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Without question the past year has been the most difficult and challenging time we have ever faced together, but the “together” part …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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The sense of the beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound …

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Expect nothing

“Expect nothing.  Live frugally On surprise.” — Alice Walker It may seem contradictory for a self-proclaimed optimist to quote Walker’s counsel to expect nothing, but there is very real difference between expectation and optimism. Admittedly, optimism involves some expectation, but it is mostly of a general sort. We expect that joy lies ahead if we …

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You should ramble

“To enjoy scenery you should ramble amidst it; let the feelings to which it gives rise mingle with other thoughts; look round upon it in intervals of reading; and not go to it as one goes to see the lions fed at a fair. The beautiful is not to be stared at, but to be …

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The world would kick the beam

“If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”  — Henry Bickersteth, Lord Langdale Even after I became a mother, I have never liked Mother’s Day.  It seems to me an artificially contrived and ultimately inadequate invention designed primarily to sell cards and …

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Each moment an occasion

My dog lives freely each moment an occasion to cherish and leave — Drew Denton Years ago I found this haiku, along with several others, among some handwritten drafts and school papers saved from Drew’s 10th grade year. He was probably around 15 years old when he wrote this, and I doubt he even knows I …

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After ecstasy

“After ecstasy, the laundry.” — Zen saying Perhaps no quote can so succinctly capture the experience of parenthood, especially in its early stages.  The unsurpassed joy of holding a newborn baby is quickly tempered by the grinding realities of sleep deprivation, miscellaneous messes to clean up and a never-ending pile of laundry to be done.  Yet there is joy even …

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A thousand small ways

“When we are willing to be open-minded, art and beauty come flooding into us in a thousand small ways.”— Julia Cameron I tend to think of open-mindedness as a trait useful primarily to our rational minds, vital to the examination of ideas, cultures and opposing viewpoints.  Yet there are many ways our minds can be open rather …

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To all of you

“I want to say to all of you that are reading this right now: You are not allowed to lose hope, because maybe a miracle will happen. DO NOT LOSE HOPE.” — Malka Chana Roth We interrupt these re-runs to bring you a new real time post. I started this blog seven and a half …

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This most amazing day

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — E. E. Cummings It’s a bit hard for me to imagine what it would be like living in a town …

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Not a harbor

“The past is a lighthouse, not a harbor.” — origin unknown Change can be difficult even for those of us who crave novelty.  It’s especially frightening when we are brought face-to-face with our own mortality, or that of someone we love.  If we have been blessed with happy memories to treasure, letting go can be …

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The thief of joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt Which bridge do you like best?  Perhaps you favor the sleek, clean lines of the new bridge, and find the older one unattractive.  Or maybe you like the ornate and romantic construction of the older bridge, alongside which the new one looks bare and cold.  Regardless …

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It’s helpful to remember

“In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey Today’s post is dedicated to all of us who are FED UP with: 1. traffic, gas prices and ridiculous parking costs; 2. the hassles of air travel; 3. public bus or rail system problems; or …

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Happily ever after

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.” — Margaret Bonanno Did you ever wonder why the fairy tales end when the happiness starts?  When the character slays the dragon or the enemy, saving the loved one or rescuing the world at large, the story usually ends (or at least …

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Give thanks

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”  — Tecumseh Long before we had any idea Jeff was sick, we planned a …

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Welcomed and recorded

“Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid” — Henry David Thoreau For me, writing is an effective way to train my thinking.  I find that most people give more thought to what they write than to what they say, and this may …

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Travel the back roads

“To read the papers and to listen to the news… one would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads and the small towns do care about their country and wish it well.” — Charles Kuralt Recently I’ve had to sharply curtail my exposure …

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How we remember

“How we remember, what we remember and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.” — Christina Baldwin Among the countless ways my sister has blessed my life, one comes to mind often: she read to me and taught me to read.  Over fifty years later, I have wonderful memories of the …

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Good thoughts

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — attributed to Confucius In honor of Chinese New Year, I thought it would be appropriate today to feature this quote from one of the most famous philosophers of all time.  This blog was started to help me …

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Mad with joy

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  — Iris Murdoch Go a little mad with joy today.  Visit a florist  or plant nursery, or just the floral department of a grocery store, and take a few minutes to see– …

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Practices that sustain life

“After a day of too much information about almost everything, there is such a blessed relief in the weight of wet clothes, causing the wicker basket to creak as I carry it out to the clothesline.  Every time I bend down to shake loose a piece of laundry, I smell the grass. I smell the …

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