Tag Archives: blessings

From Rebecca: It has been a while since I wrote a blog entry

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe got caught up in Easter yesterday, and didn’t get to do his usual Sunday entry. He has begun spring cleaning today, as he wrote he would, and he asked if I would do an entry for him. I said yes, I’d be happy to put something up.

I’m not sure what to write about that isn’t the weather (really nice yesterday and today), politics (does anyone else think that the media/congress should be focusing more on the Russia interference with our elections and government, as well as what Trump and Co knew or did), or health (my knees are sore or painful a lot this last month.) Joe and I are trying to pick different topics for the blog, other than the same ones. That’s why for the last post he did a list of his blessings.

It is a reminder to me of my blessings. My husband, my mother-in-law, my sisters and their children, all my parents, my books, my library, my television shows/movies, my technology, and the health and mobility I do have. I have struggles and problems, but I am so lucky, too.

Joe and I will be back at work on Wednesday, and then he will dictate another blog entry for you. Until then, have a good week, may you be safe and comfortable at the end of your day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: The day before Thanksgiving

Darren and I are going to have his mother over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and we have a few things to do to get ready. The main thing today is to deep clean the apartment, something we do about every two months. We know we should do it more often, but we just don’t. We keep things clean in general all the time – we do the dishes every day, put things back where they belong so that clutter doesn’t accumulate, and take the trash and recycling out at least once a week. Today, though, we will be cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, and running the vacuum. It takes us about 45 minutes to get through it, and having his mother over tomorrow is a good push to do our deep clean.

Joe got on a bus this morning, traveling to visit his buddy-brother David and the family for a long holiday weekend. He has been so excited about seeing family members he only sees a few times a year. Many of them he last saw in August at Bear Spring Camps, but a few of them weren’t there this year, I think. Anyway, I expect he will have a lot of fun and fellowship.

Darren will cook the dinner tomorrow, while I get his mom. We don’t cook a whole turkey, but instead he will bake sliced turkey breast under gravy, and make some mashed potatoes and carrots to go with it. It will be a small family gathering but a good one. I am one of the lucky people in this world to get along with a mother-in-law. I love Mom a lot and she loves me back.

I am grateful for so much in my life; my family, my friends, my books and shows and other entertainments, as much health as I do have, my physical comforts, having a car (Joe’s life would be easier at times owning a car, so I see first-hand what a blessing it is), and my dear husband. I appreciate Thanksgiving day for the yearly reminder to count our blessings and say thanks. It is so easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we wish we had, and how we wish life was different. It is a good thing to be in gratitude.

That is it for today. Tomorrow I will post a quick greeting, then next week Joe will be back, probably with a top ten list. Take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

 

From Rebecca: I feel blessed

Yesterday was a really good day for me. It didn’t rain while I was on the way home, as I had expected, I had a good annual performance review at my other job, I briefly spent some time at one of my favorite places, the library, and Joe called while I was hanging out with Keekee at his place. The stifling heat and humidity was awful, as it has been so much of this month, but that was the worst part of the day. (Joe said that it is hot in Maine too, so my vision of him sitting on his porch with cooling breezes coming off the lake was false. Bummer.) Last night was the best though. I sat in the living room with my husband, me on the laptop while Darren and I watched a pre-season football game. Go Eagles. He loves football. We are very lucky to have air conditioning, so we were comfortable.

As I wrote before, I have had some long days lately. A family member was having a health crisis, and it took a lot of our time suddenly. That person is better now, and we are all getting a chance to rest. It turns out that Darren and I do not respond well to chaos. I did find a few moments of grace in the middle of it though. We once got a perfect parking place at the hospital during the day, which is not easy as the lots fill up with people scheduled for tests. We felt very lucky that day. Another time, we had a huge storm, with pouring rain, while we were getting ready to take our family member to an appointment. By the time we had to leave, the rain had stopped. So blessed.

Joe will be back next week with more blog posts. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Thanksgiving and my mom Betty Lee

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, the holiday where we celebrate the gathering of Pilgrims and Native Americans to give thanks for friendship and abundance. Traditionally we celebrate it with a big meal that we eat with as many family members as possible, where we say what we are thankful for, and then after the meal we fall asleep will watching football on television. The holiday is about family, tradition, gratitude, and food.

It was one of my mother’s favorite holidays. Betty Lee was big on counting your blessings, but she also really loved that every few years her birthday was the same day as Thanksgiving. Last Sunday I had conversations about her with my father and with my sisters. She passed away almost four years ago, and we are thinking about her a lot. We aren’t going to be all together this year, instead we are having small gatherings in our own homes. I never realized how much she and my step-father did to get us together for the holidays and birthdays until she passed away. Without her calling with the time, place, and expectation to be there for family get-togethers, we just don’t get many of them arranged anymore. We do see and talk to each other a lot, so that is good. Maybe the big meal together is more for families that are far apart from one another. We are blessed to live as close as we do. We are not as close as we would like to be my step-father, but we try to keep in touch as much as we can.

My mom and step-father, when they were still in good health, loved going places and talking to people. In restaurants they knew the servers and managers, in banks they knew the tellers, and in grocery stores they knew many of the cashiers. They really liked knowing about other people and had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. If someone had trouble and needed help, my mom and step-father would give that help if they could. Mom loved keeping in contact with people on the internet, especially Facebook. My sister Marjorie has inherited these traits. She also likes keeping up with a wide circle of friends on the internet. When I go to restaurants with her, she knows all the servers and managers. They stop by the table for a minute on the way by to chat with her and she cares about many of them. At one place, she is such friends with a few of the servers that for a while she was giving them rides to and from work when they had trouble with transportation. Mom would be so proud of Marjorie.

Mom also spent her life exploring her spiritual path, inner truth, and how to live her faith. She sometimes explored paths that were different from those her family, and sometimes society, were following, like A Course in Miracles. She followed her own sense of inner right and wrong, while accepting that others had different views. My sister Jennifer also explores her inner spiritual truth and how to live her faith. She participates in her church and struggles with how to follow her path and God’s plan for her. Her father, mother, and sisters are not a part of her church and that faith, but she is true to herself by choosing to be there. She also uses her artistic skills to help others who are in pain because of tragic loss. Mom would be so proud of Jennifer.

I am not sure what I share with Mom, other a love of books, but I know that her life on earth flows through us and with us into the world. I am so thankful that she was my mom. It is one of the things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, along with my dad, sisters, step-father, nephews, niece, brother-in-law, husband, mother-in-law, my friend Joe, and my other friends. Mom was a big believer in going around the Thanksgiving meal table and saying our list of what we are thankful for each year.

I know there are people who do not celebrate Thanksgiving the same way, and see it in light of the eventual oppression of the Native people of this land by the European people. I am aware that the Natives got the short end of every deal they made with the people and nation that followed the help that tribe gave the Pilgrims that first pivotal year. But I love the spirit of two different groups gathering together to celebrate friendship, generosity, and achievement. The Pilgrims had lost so many in the ocean crossing and the first devastating winter. Then, with help, they learned to live off the land and grow crops in their new home. They had food and skills to go into another winter from a better position. In gratitude, they invited their teachers to a feast, to celebrate having an abundance to share. We honor that meal with our holiday.

So if you are in the United States and participate in Thanksgiving, may you have a good meal and great company. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, may you still have many blessings to give thanks for this year. Happy Thanksgiving.