Sunday, October 10, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

My annual, random, sometimes painfully specific list of Things I'm Thankful For, with or without photographic evidence, in no particular order:

That someone, years ago, decided to plant a Weeping Willow Tree (a row of Weeping Willow Trees, actually) along the lake shore. I don't know if they're around to appreciate it anymore, but THANK YOU anonymous person, for that tree. It speaks of HOME and SUMMER and FAMILY and LOVE to me. (There's probably a sermon in this. Or a meme.)


I am grateful for stores that sell books and greeting cards and lined journals and magnets and calendars and stationary. I could spend hours just looking and breathing in stores like this. If I get a crack at another career, I think I'd like to work in/own a store again. Filled with lovely things that inspire and comfort. 

Thankful for colours. And textures. Found in nature, or in not-nature. 

(This pic came from a colleague at Focus US who had sent me a beautiful hand-painted card and envelope. I asked her what supplies she used, because I thought maybe that might be a new hobby for me, you know, for when I get tired of the whole painting dots on rocks thing. Paper and paints has GOT TO BE lighter than a box of rocks. 

Thankful for my kids. Even though they scare me with their loud voices and strong opinions and differing views and negative responses. They're mine and I love them. 

(Also grateful that the littlest Obro feels comfortable at my happy place.)

As I make plans this afternoon, for another October 5+2 (Feed the Hungry in Abby) meal, I am thankful for all the friends who've offered to help make it happen. From giving me $50 bills randomly, to baking cookies and muffins, to preparing hams or turkeys, or supplying containers, and even handing out hotdogs, know that I appreciate you all. Of course I'm doubly thankful to Maxine and Esther during some months, and Julie, Daryl, Mike and Arden on other months, for spending their day, on the fourth Saturday of the month, cooking up a delicious, nutritious storm in their kitchens. 

I know I get the praise, but I could not do this by myself; I am humbled by the support I get.

It feels disrespectful to take photos of the folks who stand in line waiting for their meals. So here's a shot of some of the guys finishing up their hotdogs and watermelon:

On the left of me is Shirley, the angel who overlooks the 5+2 meals program:

Seriously, this has been such a good Covid activity for me. During those months when we were in severe lockdown, I was still able to interact with friends with face-to-face driveway chats while I drove all over the lower mainland picking up meal and food donations then serving them face-to-face to appreciative folks. 

I am thankful for that rock project. Haha. It ended up being SO MUCH FUN at the end ... (That'll be it's own post.) Just so thrilled with the help I got in placing them. 

(Adding photos to this post is takin friggin forever...) 

Speed round:

I'm thankful for
* answered prayers
*fruit flavored chewable vitamins
* rainy nights (oh wait, I have a good pic for that...) 
Last night it was pouring, but I had all my chicks under my wing at the lake house and it was perfect. 

*text messages that make me smile ("I landed a job today!" "I have an idea..." "Yes, I'd love to!" "Do you want to come over for supper?" "I asked Jesus into my heart this summer." "Love you mom."
*rocket candies
*sharp pencil crayons
*a pitcher of ice water beside me on the table. 
*a large second monitor
*patient responses when I ask an (apparently dumb) question of my kids
*people who are wildly generous with their time
*indoor plants that thrive despite my inability to understand their needs
*mini pumpkins
*salmon and rice dinners. With broccoli and carrots, I guess. 
*communicating with emojis
*playing board games
*long white tapered candles
*deep conversations with open-minded people
*having a new book to look forward to reading AS SOON AS another dozen boxes are packed

(Oh wait. I have a photo of this very thing:)

(By the way, I'm currently making a salmon and rice (with carrots and broccoli) for dinner right now. Life is pretty good on this very quiet Thanksgiving Sunday. There should be enough leftovers for a couple more meals. Which is another thing I'm thankful for: leftovers.)

*I am thankful for (lemme think of a non-food item)... ahhh yes. I am thankful whenever I see the sunshine icon on my weather app. Sunny tomorrow! 

*Online sermons from Chicago and Abbotsford
*Nail clippers
*Starry nights
*The scent of oranges and mangoes and fresh cut grass and fresh air.
*Ferry rides
*Beaches - especially ones like Chesterman in Tofino.
*Extended time with my kids
*The Bible (was talking about this with a friend, and realized how fortunate we are in 2021 that the Bible was printed in 1450's and is now available to anyone)
*Dentists (especially ones who tell you you're beautiful) (before saying that three old crowns need to be replaced) This will be the fourth year my travel budget is spent on my teeth. 
*My team at work. Seriously. They are just the best people. And I'm not saying this because of the surprise gift they gave me on Thursday:

For no apparent reason, other than to 'bless' me, they got me a couple hundred dollars in gift cards. And a box of Purdy's chocolates. I was, and still am totally gobsmacked. I love their creativity, kindness, humbleness, professionalism, ability to get their deadlines done on time, their mad talent and beautiful hearts. I truly have the best job ever. 

*OK, back to food. Had a reading weekend at the lake earlier this fall. Collectively we finished 5 books, or maybe it was 6. We don't talk while we read. But we chatter during our meals. I read the new Louise Penny (The Madness of Crowds) and Anxious People by that Swedish guy. Both we satisfying reads and I recommend them. (Although, if you're new to Louise, start at the beginning, with Book One.) When my reading buddies returned home on Sunday afternoon, they left me the supper leftovers:

Fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits and farmer sausage soup. Also baked ziti:

Reading and eating go together like a horse and carriage. 

*So grateful for friends who are comfortable going to movies. In theatres. Where other people are sitting. Also grateful for Ryan Reynolds who makes me laugh. 

*Grateful for restaurants on Commercial Drive that have welcoming patios, even on rainy nights, and friends who suggest Cuban food on a whim:

*Another speed round; I'm thankful for:


*A daughter(inlaw) who makes my hair look nice

*Music that makes my face smile and my throat want to sing.

*So very thankful for my new place. (And maybe a little bit apprehensive about, you know, living in a building with 100's of other people)

*And thankful that our family has grown by one person this fall. Welcome to Mateo, my brother's new grandson:

*And finally, during this never-ending season of Covid, I am so, so, very grateful to live in this country where vaccinations are available to everyone. I am proud to be double vaxxed (and maybe soon to be triple vaxxed? Apparently the whole breast cancer thing/radiation treatment impacted my immune system.) I have been the recipient of modern, care-filled, expedient medical care. My life and boobs were in their hands and I trusted them implicitly. I still do.

*And the final finally, I am proud to be Mennonite and thankful that I have a rich heritage of faith and farmer sausage. 

Statement from Mennonite Church Canada’s executive ministers: “We wish to clarify that there is nothing in the Bible, in our historic confessions of faith, in our theology or in our ecclesiology that justifies granting a religious exemption from vaccinations against COVID-19….”

“From the earliest biblical writings, in the words of Jesus Christ and in the writings since Jesus’ ascension, the command to love God and love our neighbour is paramount. Vaccinations allow us to live out this command.”

Happy Thanksgiving friends, xo

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