Posts Tagged ‘Thankfulness’

100 Things I’m Thankful For

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” Michael Josephson.

Who wouldn’t be thankful for butterflies? — Photo by Pat Bean

  1. To have survived another year.
  2. That my five children, 15 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren and their families survived the year, too.
  3. The little third-floor walk-up nest I’ve created for myself here in the Catalina Foothills of Tucson.
  4. My canine companion, Pepper, who daily brings me joy — and exercise as she requires four or five daily walks.
  5. That my book, Travels with Maggie, is finally out to the world. Now if they will just buy it.
  6. Story Circle Network, whose members are there daily to support my writing efforts, and cheer me when I’m sluggish.
  7. That I’m a writer, and can capture life as it flies past on the wings of a butterfly, and enjoy life twice over.
  8. My nightly hot bath, which I believe is the most luxurious thing in the world.
  9. Advil.
  10. Friends, far and near, old and new. My life would be much poorer without them.
  11. Kind, caring, and loving people whose actions bring sunshine to a world that too often these days is filled with cruelty.
  12. The beauty of the Sonoran Desert, which became my home in 2013.
  13. My journals, which are filled with memories of past days, so many of which I would have forgotten without them.
  14. Rainbows. They bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.
  15. Caramel/sea salt ice cream, chocolate, too, of course.
  16. Comfortable clothing and soft blankets. Old skin, I’ve discovered is more tender than young skin.
  17. That I love to cook, and like what I cook, because eating out is too expensive for my budget.
  18. That my two sons and their spouses, children and grandchildren, who live on the Texas Gulf Coast and were in the path of Hurricane Harvey, all escaped harm and property damage, although some of them had to evacuate because of rising flood waters.
  19. Gold and orange sunrises and red and purple sunsets, and all their other colors, too.
  20. The surprises my guardian angel daughter-in-law, Cindi, is always sending me in the mail.
  21. Books.
  22. National parks, state parks, national forests, wilderness areas and wildlife refuges that protect the land and its critter inhabitants.
  23. That I still have a zest for life.
  24. Cayenne, my small car that provides me the freedom of the road when my feet itch and my wanderlust can’t be contained, even if it’s just for a day’s outing to the top of Mount Lemmon, whose peaks are visible from my bedroom balcony.
  25. Readers of this blog, and for those who have bought and read my book, Travels with Maggie.
  26. The freshly laundered smell of the desert after a rain storm.
  27. All the birds I’ve seen, and all the birds I hope to see. Bird watching has brought a joy to my life.
  28. Ponds moisturizer, which I’ve used all my life.
  29. The cup of good coffee laced with half and half that begins my days.
  30. Saguaro cactus blossoms.
  31. My monthly Social Security check.
  32. A new, blank journal and a good pen.
  33. The internet that lets me quickly me find answers to my unending questions.
  34. Sherry Wachter, who formatted Travels with Maggie, and without whose help my book may never have been published.
  35. Comfortable shoes.
  36. Butterflies.
  37. The New York Times, whose web pages I read with my morning coffee.
  38. Smucker’s sweet orange marmalade.
  39. My appreciation of art.
  40. Hugs.
  41. Stormy days with a good book in hand.
  42. Texas bluebonnets.
  43. The golden color of aspen leaves in the fall.
  44. Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”
  45. Smiles.
  46. A stiff Jack and Coke with a friend and good conversation.
  47. A good pair of eyeglasses
  48. Backroads and scenic byways.
  49. Rollercoasters
  50. Scented candles.
  51. Laughter.
  52. A good massage.
  53. A good haircut.
  54. That I come from strong female stock.
  55. The return of wolves to Yellowstone, and that I got to see one.
  56. My white-water rafting days that included two trips down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
  57. That Arizona does not do daylight savings time.
  58. Audible books.
  59. Board games with friends.
  60. People who pick up their dog’s poop, and who don’t litter.
  61. Still having more things that I want to do every day than I can possibly do.
  62. Polite drivers.
  63. Alone time to contemplate my navel.
  64. Roseate spoonbills, and the lovely pink reflection they create when standing in shallow water.
  65. Short, scenic hiking trails.
  66. Waterfalls.
  67. The verdins, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and bats that feed from my balcony nectar feeder.
  68. Children who worry about their mom, even if their worrying annoys me.
  69. Discovering a new author that I like, and who has a backlog of books I haven’t yet read.
  70. The color red.
  71. My new red tea kettle
  72. Potatoes slow-cooked in a skillet with onions and bacon for breakfast.
  73. Air conditioning that makes living in the desert possible.
  74. The pair of great-horned owls that live and raise babies in my large apartment complex.
  75. Trees: Live oaks, palo verde, cottonwoods, birch, aspen and all the other noble species that provide us with fresh oxygen.
  76. My old body, which has given me 78 good years and still counting.
  77. Grandsons that move furniture and carry in groceries.
  78. My library.
  79. The fragrant scent of a blooming gardenia bush, which always reminds me of my grandmother.
  80. Flannel pajamas on a cold night.
  81. That I was accepted as a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder this year.
  82. That one of my granddaughters is driving from Dallas to spend Thanksgiving with me.
  83. My microwave, which I use to heat up leftovers since I always cook more than I can eat the first time around.
  84. My daughter’s washer and dryer, since I don’t have one and I like clean clothes.
  85. My computer and Kindle
  86. For Facebook, which lets me see my great-grandchildren, who live in Texas and Florida, as they grow up.
  87. For clean motels that accept pets.
  88. For the treats, especially the chocolate chip cookies, that my friend, Jean, the culinary teacher, brings me.
  89. For a star-filled sky, and a full-moon night.
  90. A visit with long-time friends who live far away.
  91. My pocket digital camera.
  92. Mornings when I’m awakened by birds twittering.
  93. For Dusty, who is Pepper’s canine best friend, and the joy I get watching the two of them play together.
  94. Antibiotics.
  95. Live theater.
  96. Clean water to drink.
  97. All days in which I learn something new.
  98. Scotch Tape, because I’m always adding things like cards and photos to my journals.
  99. A comfortable recliner.
  100. And simply that I’m alive and happy to be so.

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 “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” William Faulkner

Travels With Maggie

A misty morning in Zion National Park also let my imagination roam free. -- Photo by Pat Bean

When I stepped outside with Maggie this morning, the landscape was heavy with wet, gray fog. It felt like I had stepped back in time to the Land of the Lost. My imagination could even picture a dinosaur emerging from between the two large, moss-laden live oak trees that sit in the park across from where my RV is parked. The fog was that thick.

I was glad it was just my imagination that took me back in time because I am most grateful for the age in which I was born.

I first thought about this when I heard the story of my mother almost dying from diphtheria, a disease that took many children before the 20th century was out of its teens. If not diphtheria, then it was polio, measles or even mumps, all diseases for which there are now vaccines. It was a rare family back then that didn’t lose at least one child.

The thought of that, after I had my own children, was just too horrible to think about.

As the years went by, the miracle of vaccines was joined by the miracle of automatic washing machines to replace the scrub boards and wringer washers which I saw my grandmother and mother use every Monday.

Other time-saving devices freed women even more, well until they joined the work force and found themselves, at least the women of my generation, both bringing home the bacon and continuing as full-time homemakers without help.

Lake's End Park, Morgan, Louisiana: The landscape and cormorants here have a Lost World look about them. Don't you agree? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Thankfully, my granddaughters won’t put up with male partners who don’t change diapers or wash at least a dish or two.

The past 10 years, meanwhile, have brought another modern miracle. The Internet.

While I lived my life mostly without it, I can’t imagine going back to such a time. I love being connected to the world, being able to find an answer to a question within minutes and the new friends it’s brought me.

I try, each day, to find something to be thankful for in my life. Today, I’m grateful it was only my imagination that took me back to a time before labor-saving devices, vaccines and of course Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press and plentiful books to enrich my life.

What do you value most that your ancestors didn’t enjoy?

Bean’s Pat: Portrait of Wildflowers: Seasonal Leaf Color http://tinyurl.com/82gq8np Everything you ever wanted to know about wildflowers. This is a great blog for someone like me who wants to know the name of everything in nature.

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Happy Thanksgiving All

Butterflies to chase with my camera -- Photo by Pat Bean

 My following annual list of 100 things I’m thankful for is in no particular order. 

  1. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo
  2. My dog, Maggie
  3. Family, which includes 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and 5 (soon to be 6) great-grandchildren.
  4. Friends, both old and new
  5. Purple and pink sunrises
  6. Jack in the Box chocolate milk shakes
  7. Still having a zest for life at 72
  8. Being an American woman who can feel safe traveling the country alone
  9. My new computer, when its working right
  10. The Internet
  11. Mother Nature
  12. Underarm deodorant
  13. Physical therapy that’s taken away the pain in my neck
  14. Scenic hiking trails
  15. The view from atop Angel’s Landing
  16. The rain this week in Texas
  17. Books
  18. My Kindle
  19. My son’s safe return from Afghanistan

    My son's safe return from Afghanistan -- Photo by Pat bean

  20. Pleasant surprises
  21. Audible books
  22. My RV, Gypsy Lee
  23. Comfortable shoes
  24. That I finally visited Yosemite this year
  25. My summer as a campground host at Lake Walcott State Park in Idaho
  26. The double image of a roseate spoonbill in a pond.
  27. A walk on the beach
  28. A challenging game of Settlers
  29. Backroads
  30. The opportunity to learn something new every day
  31. Story Circle Network
  32. Birds in all their variations
  33. Soft blankets
  34. Good coffee heavily laced with cream
  35. Air conditioning in summer and heat in winter
  36. Fresh fallen snow
  37. The achievements of my children and grandchildren
  38. Gardens
  39. Over-sized, soft flannel pajamas
  40. Good memories
  41. My digital pocket camera
  42. WordPress that hosts my daily blog
  43. Good health
  44. My curiosity
  45. Blank journals and my favorite Pentelgel pen

    Autumn reflections -- Photo by Pat Bean

  46. Fresh pineapple
  47. Not knowing what the future holds
  48. Sitting around a campfire with friends
  49. The Rocky Mountains
  50. Butterflies to chase with my camera
  51. Rainbows
  52. Scented candles
  53. That I’m a writer
  54. Quotable quotes
  55. The Audubon Society
  56. My Social Security check
  57. People who don’t litter
  58. Museums and art galleries to visit
  59. A full moon night
  60. Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar,” recording
  61. Travel books that take me to faraway places
  62. My National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
  63. A good hair cut, for Maggie, too

    My canine traveling companion, Maggie -- Photo by Pat Bean

  64. Dragonflies
  65. An orchid lei
  66. Smiles on people’s faces
  67. Van Gogh paintings
  68. Belly laughs
  69. Sister women
  70. Autumn reflections in a quiet lake
  71. Freshly laundered clothes
  72. Glowing sunsets
  73. Watching a thunder and lightning storm out my RV window
  74. Clean water to drink
  75. A hot bath
  76. National Parks
  77. County fairs
  78. Quiet time alone
  79. Redwood and Live Oak trees
  80. Wildlife sanctuaries
  81. Road trips
  82. Happy children
  83. Holidays with family around me
  84. America, from sea to shining sea
  85. Bright colors
  86. Southern Utah’s red-rock landscape
  87. Discovering a new writer whose books I can’t put down
  88. Having grandchildren who think Nana’s cool
  89. That I can afford, unaffordable health insurance
  90. My 37 years as a journalist
  91. Having too many things I want to do each day
  92. My blog followers
  93. Sun on a cool day, shade on a hot one
  94. A comfortable bed
  95. Warm chocolate chip cookies
  96. A good margarita
  97. Massages
  98. Texas bluebonnets
  99. Polite drivers
  100. And finally my determination to finish NaNoWriMo for the first time.

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I'm thankful for hiking trails. Pictured above is the Franconia Notch Flume Trail in New Hampshire. -- Photo by Pat Bean


100 Things for which I’m Thankful – In No Particular Order

  1. Belly laughs
  2. The sound of rain pinging on my RV roof
  3. Family, which these days include five awesome children, 15 delightful grandchildren and three perfect great grandchildren.
  4. My black cocker spaniel, Maggie, who curls up with me on cold nights.
  5. Rich African coffee heavily laced with cream
  6. Scenic byways
  7. Cool nights that let me snuggle beneath a soft quilt
  8. Good health – and hope I can say this for many more years
  9. Hearty hugs from people who mean it
  10. A good massage from a woman with magic fingers
  11. Being a writer
  12. My association with the women of Story Circle Network
  13. A good haircut
  14. Scenic hiking trails
  15. Achievements of my kids, grandkids and friends
  16. My zest for life
  17. Walking barefoot on a sandy beach
  18. Learning something new
  19. The flash of sun illuminating the tail feathers of an overhead red-tailed hawk
  20. Hot baths
  21. My new Kindle
  22. Ibuprofen for strained muscles
  23. Discovering a new author I like
  24. Taking a grandchild on their first roller coaster ride
  25. Watching fall redress the trees
  26. Van Gogh paintings
  27. Butterflies
  28. My computer and the Internet
  29. Maggie’s quirky personality
  30. Rainbows
  31. Living in America where a woman can safely travel alone
  32. Sunrises and sunsets
  33. Funky, dangling earrings that belie my age
  34. Bra-less days
  35. Summers not spent in Texas
  36. Good memories of my mother
  37. Old friends and new friends
  38. A field of wildflowers
  39. Reese”s peanut butter cups
  40. The wind blowing through my hair
  41. My daily walks with Maggie
  42. Hot soup on a cold day
  43. A wee-morning hours chatter with a long-time girlfriend over Jack Daniels and coke.
  44. A daughter-in-law guardian angel who keeps track of my travels, forwards my mail and supplies me with my favorite coffee
  45. The honking of geese as they fly overhead
  46. Lake reflections
  47. Family meals eaten around a table
  48. My curiosity
  49. Comfortable shoes
  50. America, the beautiful
  51. Clean showers in RV parks
  52. Electricity
  53. My bicycle
  54. People who care deeply about something
  55. The wolf’s return to Yellowstone
  56. The journey between destinations
  57. A comfortable bed and a perfect pillow
  58. WordPress for hosting this blog
  59. New white sox
  60. Water in all its forms
  61. Scented candles
  62. A sky full of stars
  63. Glasses that allow me to read
  64. Pleasant surprises
  65. An honest politician
  66. Birdwatching with my birdwatching son
  67. Evenings spent around a campfire
  68. Good Sam emergency services
  69. A Jack in the Box chocolate shake, which I only discovered this year
  70. Nice and Easy, No. 99 – so I can forever be a blonde
  71. Coyote howls
  72. Wrinkle-free clothing
  73. Gentle dentists
  74. My independence
  75. The fragrant scent of a blooming gardenia bush, which always reminds me of my grandmother
  76. The diversity I find in people watching
  77. Large, gnarly live oak trees
  78. Audible books
  79. Maps
  80. A good editor
  81. Books with satisfying endings
  82. The strong women of the past who fought so I could vote
  83. A cup of Earl Grey tea
  84. The color turquoise
  85. Boat rides
  86. Antibiotics and vaccinations
  87. Smiles
  88. A frisky squirrel in a tree outside my RV
  89. Guided trolley tours
  90. My point and shoot digital camera
  91. Washers and dryers
  92. Blank journals
  93. A shady RV camp site beside a small lake
  94. A hearty 11 a.m. breakfast for lunch
  95. The music of a humpback whale
  96. Stained glass windows
  97. That there are still plenty of birds to add to my life list
  98. Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar”
  99. The family computer nerds who get the bugs out of my laptop
  100. Readers of my blog

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