Thursday, November 26, 2015

Count your blessings

I love the scene in "White Christmas" where Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing "Count Your Blessings."

And what better time to count them than today, on Thanksgiving?
So, just a few of my blessings:
-- My family, both immediate and extended. My daughter and son-in-law are my very close family, and I could not love them more or be prouder of them. They soon will celebrate their first anniversary and it has not been a year without challenges for them. But I know their love will continue to not only see them through, but bring them closer and build an even stronger bond.
-- My friends. Among them is one that I have known since junior high. This fall he was kind enough to have me as his traveling companion in Germany -- my first visit there. It was wonderful! And then he was brave enough to go to Vermont with me. Thank you Lynn!
-- My animal babies. Yes, I have cats. I think you all know that. Many are "seniors" at this point and some of them have health problems. But I am thankful for each one and the many years of enjoyment they have given us. Our dear Beatrice crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February, but we will never forget her.

That's Beatrice in the foreground, with her daughter Shel, the yellow cat, who is still with us.
-- My health. Overall, pretty good. I can't really complain -- who would listen? But really, I am happy that as a senior citizen, my complaints are few. Now if only I could get back to my high school weight!
-- Retired! Yes, I retired from the veterinarian hospital this summer. I retired as a newspaper editor a few years ago. So except for subbing in now and then, my time has been freed up considerably. A reason to give thanks!
-- I would like to think that I am not a nasty person who causes misery to other people. You may not think that's worth noting, but believe me, when you encounter people who go out of their way to seek to destroy happiness in other people's lives, you realize that being content in your own skin is a reason to give thanks.
May you all enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love.
And may those in your lives count their blessings -- and count you among them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Be thankful

Another Thanksgiving is upon us, a time to reflect over the past year and count our blessings.
With so much turmoil in the world at this time, you may wonder why we should be giving thanks.
But we all have moments in which we rejoiced this year. Perhaps it was a recovery to good health, a marriage in the family, new additions to the extended family, a new pet, a better job.
The possibilities are many. It is worth taking some time to quietly think about our lives, focus on the positive and then give thanks.
Perhaps it will help if we become less focused on ourselves, less focused on the little hurts that we have blown out of proportion.
Hey, sometimes we can just be thankful that we are NOT that person who is causing us pain, the person who is so miserable and self-centered that he or she must try to destroy others' happiness.
Please don't let yourself be that person.
Be joyful. Reach out to help others. Pray for those who need more help than you can provide.
Try to forgive those who have wronged you -- easier said than done, I know.
And yes, eat too much, watch the parades or football, laugh with your family and friends.
But please don't go shopping on Thanksgiving -- let's take this holiday back as a time for family and NOT a time to fill retailers' pockets. 

May you find happiness at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season ahead. And may we all remember to be kinder to each other as we give thanks this year.

Gotta love this holiday favorite from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, above -- and we love this weird thrift-store find that takes center stage on turkey day, below.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saluting our veterans!

 Today is Veterans Day, a time to thank all those living veterans who have served our country and to remember those brave men and women who gave their lives in service or have served in years past and have passed from this life.
There are services planned to honor them today, and some eateries are offering free meals or drinks as a way to say thank you.
But we should remember our veterans every day. There are many veterans who are now in nursing homes, many who are alone in their own homes, many who are homeless.
There are many wounded service people now back in the states, trying to get their lives in order once more. There are widows and widowers of those who have served; there are children whose parents have died in service to this country.
There are veteran organizations struggling to keep their doors open and maintain their services.
Yes, there are many opportunities to aid our veterans today that will also honor those who have served in the past.
If you can attend a service today, please do so. But also look for ways to daily honor those who are serving now or have served in the past.
And I would like to salute the veterans in my family, and offer just a few photos of those men and women.
The photos are of those who served in World War II. They are gone from this Earth, but live forever in our hearts.

My uncle, Edward "Buck" Harper

My uncle, Michael Harper

My mother-in-law, Helen Gerber Breaux Umberger

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


OK, so you can't vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or whichever candidate actually makes it to the ballot in that great run for president next year, but today IS election day and it's important to get out and VOTE!

Local, county and state candidates are on the ballot.
The weather is beautiful.
We've been bombarded with pre-election material.
So there are no excuses!
Exercise your right to vote -- it is a responsibility not to take lightly.