Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

I am thankful that I once got to float across the Serengeti in a hot air balloon. — Photo by Pat Bean of the balloon ahead of the one she was riding in.  

          I am thankful the most important key in history was invented. It’s not the key to your house, your car, your goat, your safety deposit box, your bike lock or your private community. It’s the key to order, sanity and peace of mind. The key is Delete. – Elayne Boosler

A Slower Pace is Good

          Boosler’s quote reminded me of one of the many, many things I’m thankful for Laughter. Not only does it bring joy to my life, it lightens the load when the going gets tough, like when my 80-year-old back decides to act its age.

I’m thankful for every sunrise and sunset in my past — and future. — Photo by Pat Bean

I’m thankful that the years have not diminished my zest for life, although these days that’s more likely to be enjoying a good book than getting dumped out of a raft at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I’m thankful for my large family, blood and heart-related equally, a few of whom worry about me these days. I’m very thankful they show their love for this imperfect Mom and Nana, but also take a perverse delight because I once worried a lot about the comings and goings of my children. But I do try to keep my guardian angel among them informed of my whereabouts as she kept track of me during my RV roaming days. Besides she’s a daughter-in-law whose youthful ways worried her parents, not me.

I’m thankful for my slower pace these days. I see more, take time to enjoy more and enjoy using my mind to connect the dots of my life. In earlier days, I ran instead of walked through life. Both travel modes have their season, but this slower pace is quite enjoyable.

I’m thankful for Scamp. I drove a thousand miles, roundtrip, to get him and this is a picture of our first meeting. — Photo by my dear friend Kim Perrin, who rescued him for me. .

I’m thankful for my canine companion Scamp, although he is turning out to be more of a wolfhound-mix than the schnauzer-mix the shelter claimed. He is closing onto 40 pounds, but he and my third-floor walk-up apartment are my alarm clock and exercise plan. I can’t imagine not having him my by side during the day, or curled up beside me at night. I’m finally even getting around to convincing him I‘m his alpha. It takes a quiet voice and a staredown. Scamp’s saving grace is that he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, and he has yet to meet another person or dog he doesn’t like on sight. Every 80-year-old needs a challenge in life – and currently, he’s mine.

I’m thankful for books, and the actual time these days as a retired being to read more of them than in my younger years.

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve accumulated over the years and the new ones I’ve made since moving to Tucson. They daily bring joy to my life.

I’m thankful for butterflies and flowers, and all other miracles of Mother Nature. — {hoto by Pat Bean.

I’m thankful for the journals I have kept over the years. They remind me that I’ve lived a full life. I’m also thankful that there is still more life in me and more journals out there for me to fill.

I’m thankful for the joy and peace Nature still brings into my heart with its majestic mountains, awesome trees, winding canyons, desert landscapes, and colorful sunrises and sunsets. Mother Nature keeps my soul sane in these chaotic, polarized days.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining

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2018 Thanksgiving

{‘m thankful for rainbows. — Photo by Pat Bean 

This is my annual 100 things I am thankful for list, in no particular order. I wake up every day with gratitude in my heart, and you should know that this list is far from complete. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to say, but thinking about my blessings keep me sane in today’s chaotic world.

1, That I can laugh at myself

2, Soft flannel pajamas.

3, A snail-mail letter

  1. The view of the Catalina Mountains’ from my third-floor apartment.

    I’m thankful for a white-winged dove on top of a blooming saguaro. — Photo by Pat Bean

  2. The smell of the Sonoran Desert after a rainstorm.
  3. Sweet kisses from Pepper, my canine companion.
  4. That my back this year is not hurting like it was last Thanksgiving.
  5. The 29 stair steps that I go up and down at least a half dozen times a day because they help keep this soon-to-be-80-year-old-broad moving.
  6. That I finally have time to sit a bit and simply think, to connect all the dots of my life together so that there is meaning.
  7. Advil
  8. Good friends who know me – and still like me.
  9. Authors who write the books I love to read.
  10. Sunrises and sunsets.
  11. The great horned owls that are residents of my apartment complex.
  12. Road trips.
  13. My new 10-inch Kindle to watch TV and movies on.
  14. Art.
  15. That my book, Travels with Maggie, was finally published.
  16. The hummingbirds that scrabble at my nectar feeder.
  17. My Tucson daughter’s washing machine and dryer.
  18. Recently discovered old family photos
  19. That I have good, if barely affordable, health insurance.
  20. My 37-year journalism career that ended in 2004.

    I’m thankful for my canine companion Pepper. — Photo by Pat Bean

  21. My joy in learning new things.
  22. The unending support of My Story Circle Network writing colleagues.
  23. Readers of my blog.
  24. That I remember way more of the good things of my life than the bad.
  25. A good pair of comfortable shoes.
  26. Hot baths.
  27. That I can almost always find a silver lining when shit happens.
  28. Good blank journals to fill with my daily thoughts.
  29. Jean and Dusty, my apartment complex loving and supportive friend and her dog, who is my dog’s best friend.
  30. The Internet, which quickly helps answer most of my many curious questions.
  31. Hugs.
  32. The readers who reviewed Travels with Maggie.
  33. Trees and their shade on a hot Tucson day.
  34. Butterflies.,
  35. Board and card games.
  36. Ice Cream.
  37. That life still holds surprises,
  38. A good pen.
  39. Air conditioning.
  40. A good cup of cream-laced coffee to start my days.
  41. Wildflowers.
  42. Bright colors that radiate cheerfulness.
  43. Wolves that have returned to Yellowstone.
  44. Smiles and belly laughs.
  45. A comfortable bed and soft blankets.
  46. Skin moisturizers.
  47. The Writer2Writer online forum I moderate for Story Circle members.
  48. Interesting and meaningful conversations with pleasant people.
  49. My dabbling with watercolor painting.
  50. British mysteries, both books and TV shows.
  51. Sitting on my balcony and watching a summer storm as it waters the desert.
  52. National and state parks.
  53. Rainbows.
  54. Staying up until 2 a.m. with an old friend and reliving good times.
  55. The magic moment between night and dawn when the world is all shades of gray.

    I’m thankful for dandelions and butterflies. — Photo by Pat Bean

  56. Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, which is my most special place in the whole world.
  57. Landscaped gardens with the work all done by someone else.
  58. Museums.
  59. A gurgling stream to sit by and simply enjoy.
  60. Electricity.
  61. Audible books.
  62. Old, gnarly live oak trees.
  63. Honking geese.
  64. Clean water to drink. Not everybody has it.
  65. The right to vote, and drive, and be independent, which all women in the world should have.
  66. That there’s enough undeveloped land nearby so that I occasionally hear coyotes howl at night.
  67. My GPS, which I only have had for the past four years – and maps, which I still use.
  68. A good haircut, both for myself and my dog Pepper.
  69. Happy hour on my balcony with a good friend and a Jack and Coke.
  70. My favorite stainless-steel cooking pot.
  71. Mexican food.
  72. Being called Nana by grandkids and great-grandkids.
  73. That I finally like myself.
  74. The black ravens that perch on the red tile roof and are visible when I sit at my bedroom desk.
  75. Scented candles.
  76. My computer.
  77. Funky earrings.
  78. Tucson’s offering of live community playhouses.
  79. Making a new friend.
  80. Bra-less days, which get more numerous with each passing year.
  81. Jean’s chocolate chip cookies.
  82. Memories of my mother and grandmother.
  83. Fireworks that light up a night sky.
  84. Hiking trails – short ones these days,
  85. Nature, travel and wildlife photographers who brings the beauty of the world to my living room.
  86. My daily walks with my dog Pepper.
  87. Tucson’s late falls, winters, and early springs, when the weather is almost always perfect.
  88. Old friends and family members who visit me in Tucson.

    I’m thankful for good friends.

  89. A dependable car and that I am comfortable driving.
  90. An occasional manicure and pedicure.
  91. Facebook, because I get to see photos of distant family.
  92. A comfortable recliner and good lamp to read by.
  93. Full-moon nights.
  94. The New York Times, which I read every morning.
  95. My easy-to-use digital camera that takes great photos.
  96. The public library.
  97. And last, but certainly not least, each and every member of my large family who give meaning to my life and make me feel loved. At latest count, my family includes five children and their spouses, 15 grandchildren and their spouses or partners, and six great-grandchildren (soon to be seven). I am indeed blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!   



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100 Things I’m Thankful For

  ” I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” — Henry David Thoreau

I'm grateful that this Cooper's hawk didn't fly off before I could take this photo. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I’m grateful that this Cooper’s hawk didn’t fly off before I could take this photo. — Photo by Pat Bean

Happy Thanksgiving All     

This is my annual blog to celebrate my blessings. The list of 100 things, in no particular order, is only the beginning. I hope your list is lengthy, too.

  1. At 77, I’m thankful that I still wake up each morning eager for the day ahead of me – and that I’m not yet just thankful for waking up. I’m also thankful for:
  2. Being born on a planet that contains beauty almost everywhere I look. All I have to do is slow down and see it.
  3. My five children, each of whom has his or her own peculiarities, talents, personalities, strengths and weaknesses – just like their mom, from whom they somehow survived.
  4. That I’m a writer, and get to experience life a second time around when I snatch it from the wings of butterflies as they float by. .
  5. Air conditioning, which let me live through Tucson’s summer of 100-degree-pluses in comfort this past summer.
  6. Sunrises and sunsets to color my dawns and evenings with joy.
  7. Road trips, with the expectation of something new and exciting around every bend of the highway.
  8. Books that make me think, and cry, and laugh, and which take me away from the chaos of this world for a while.
  9. A good haircut for my thinning, graying hair.
  10. Pepper, my canine companion, whose antics bring smiles daily to my face. Walking her from my third-floor walk-up apartment, five times a day, also helps keep this old broad’ body moving and more healthy. She’s my fitness gym.
  11. Hot baths. To me this is the most luxurious thing I can think of, especially after spending nine years living full-time in a motorhome and having to make do with showers.
  12. My morning cup of cream-laced coffee. No sugar, please.
  13. Learning something new every day.
  14. Smiles from loved ones, friends and strangers.
  15. National Parks, State Parks, City Parks and landscaped lawn and flowers gardens that I don’t have to maintain.
  16. My grandchildren and great-grandchildren, my reward for having children.
  17. My late-blooming passion for bird-watching – and of course the birds..
  18. A comfortable bed, and soft, warm blankets
  19. Story Circle Network, and its amazing women who have become my writing supporters.
  20. The Sonoran Desert, which has amazed me with its wonder for the past four years.
  21. Pink and purple sunrises and orange and red sunsets, and all the other colors of the sky that welcome and end each day.
  22. Butterflies.
  23. Ibuprofen that eases the aging aches of this old broad.
  24. Short, easy hiking trails that I can still manage.
  25. Chocolate ice cream.
  26. Kind, peace-loving men and women.
  27. My monthly Social Security check.
  28. Reading glasses.
  29. Rainbows.
  30. Comfortable shoes and clothing.
  31. Journals – blank ones and filled ones.
  32. My computer and the Internet.
  33. Telephone calls from loved ones.
  34. A good pen.
  35. Spirit Players, a group here in Tucson that meets once a month to read plays, with everyone taking a role to read.
  36. That I can still drive, and have a car to drive.
  37. The smell of sagebrush
  38. Competitive board games with good sports and lots of laughter.
  39. That wolves and whooping cranes are still of this world.
  40. Dreams that I don’t want to end instead of nightmares.
  41. Wind chimes on a windy day.
  42. My friends, both old and new.
  43. A dark and stormy day and a good book, of which I always have one handy.
  44. The twisty, curvy, long branches of live oak trees.
  45. The $100 I won for winning a flash fiction contest this year.
  46. The art of Emil Nolde.
  47. Jack Daniels .
  48. My nine years traveling this country in an RV.
  49. The stars on a dark, clear night and nights when the moon is full .
  50. My third-floor patio balcony that looks out on the Catalina Mountains.
  51. Truthful, factual news reports.
  52. The lush rubber tree plant that came back to me after 10 years living elsewhere, and my friend who kept it growing.
  53. Beach walks, when I visit family on the Texas Gulf Coast.
  54. The two tie-dye T-shirts a daughter-in-law sent me this year. At heart, I’m a flower child.
  55. Pepper’s best friend Dusty, because when the two of they play together I can’t help but smile and laugh.
  56. That I got to bird watch in the Galapagos and Africa.
  57. Wildflowers.
  58. My chicken and rice dish that my grandkids love.
  59. My wrinkles, because I earned them.
  60. Edward Abbey, whose fantastic book Desert Solitaire I just reread.
  61. The art of Emil Nolde.
  62. Modern appliances, especially washers and dryers
  63. Black ravens on the red tile roof visible from my desk window.
  64. My great-granddaughter’s sweet laugh.
  65. The old typewriter on which I taught myself to type – and write.
  66. Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, where I want my ashes scattered.
  67. That I can still afford, just barely, good health insurance.
  68. Living alone and never feeling lonely.
  69. Followers of my blog, which now number over 1,000.
  70. Morning walks with my canine companion, Pepper.
  71. My pocket digital camera.
  72. Acceptance instead of rejection slips. I do get a few of the former to go with the tall stack of the latter.
  73. Achievements of my children.
  74. Watercolors.
  75. My memories of floating the Colorado through the Grand Canyon – twice.
  76. Ponds moisturizing cream.
  77. Warm, soft pajamas on a cold day.
  78. My favorite pan, the one I cook 75 percent of my meals in.
  79. Libraries.
  80. My 37-year journalism career when newspapers weren’t considered archaic..
  81. Non-partisan politicians with only the country’s best interests at heart – one can only hope there are some.
  82. People who tell me I don’t act my age.
  83. The strong women I’m descended from, and the women before me who fought for the rights I have today.
  84. The color red, like my living room couch.
  85. My curiosity.
  86. Chili and tamales.
  87. Oinkees for Pepper, because she loves them so much.
  88. Aspen leaves in the fall.
  89. Hugs.
  90. Bookstores and Amazon.
  91. The TV series Survivor and sharing its results weekly with a far-away son.
  92. Antibiotics and vaccinations.
  93. Surprises, the good kind.
  94. Country music.
  95. Maps.
  96. Scented candles.
  97. S’mores around a campfire.
  98. The good report from my doctor after my annual exam.
  99. Tennis balls that Pepper chases
  100. And that I’m posting this a day early because I’m about to set off on a five-day road trip to spend Thanksgiving with friends.


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100 Things I’m Thankful For

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” — Alphonse Karr
I'm thankful I got to ride a camel with my 4-year-old great-grandson Kaiden. It was a first for both of us. -- Photo by my granddaughter, Keri.

I’m thankful I got to ride a camel with my 4-year-old great-grandson Kaiden. It was a first for both of us. — Photo by my granddaughter, Keri.

In No Particular Order

1, That at 76, I rode a camel for the first time – and with a four-year-old great-grandson.

  1. America’s soldiers, who fight for my freedom, especially the ones I have as a woman able to travel alone and voice my opinion without fear of being stoned. I think daily of my sisters across the ocean who suffer the tyranny of men.
  2. The vivid colors that sunrises and sunsets paint the canvas sky.
  3. My canine companion, Pepper, my shadow who is full of joy and who keeps me from ever feeling lonely.
  4. Listening to a storm rage outside while I’m cozily standing on my third-floor balcony looking out over the Sonoran Desert, for which I am also thankful.

    I'm even thankful for Pepper after she's killed a stuffed cat and I have to pick up the mess. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    I’m even thankful for Pepper after she’s killed a stuffed cat and I have to pick up the mess. — Photo by Pat Bean

  5. Friends, far and near, who know and accept me for who I am, an old broad who is now trying to live life so there will be no regrets.
  6. That magic, silent gray minute between which night becomes day.
  7. A new journal and a good pen.
  8. Learning something new every day.
  9. Air conditioning, heaters, washing machines, soft blankets, a comfortable chair with a good reading lamp, hot baths and all the other comforts of life so abundant to me.
  10. The humming birds, verdins, finches and even woodpeckers that visit my nectar feeder daily, as well as all the other species of these winged creatures that live beside us, often unseen.
  11. Books and the authors who write them. Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley 
  12. Road trips.

    I'm thankful for the color yellow. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    I’m thankful for the color yellow. — Photo by Pat Bean

  13. The multiple moods of the Catalina Mountains that form the backdrop for my view from my bedroom balcony. They shimmer in sunlight, take on a green hue after a heavy rain, and play hide-and-seek among the clouds on stormy days.
  14. The amazing and supportive women of Story Circle Network, a group of writing women to which I belong. .
  15. Fields of colorful wild flowers, especially Texas’ bluebonnets.
  16. Lake reflections, especially those that let you enjoy the vivid color of autumn trees twice.
  17. My passion for nature and wildlife that makes each and every day amazing with surprises that range from a double rainbow to a speckled fawn stepping out from the trees.
  18. Every morning I awake ready for another day.
  19. All National Parks, but especially my beloved Zion in Southern Utah.

    A Texas sunrise

    A Texas sunrise

  20. That I’m a writer and can capture life on the wing and live through the good times twice.
  21. Comfortable shoes, cargo pants and bright-colored T-shirts, my wardrobe of choice.
  22. My life, the hard of it and the joy of it, which has made me the person I am today.
  23. Heartfelt hugs
  24. That I got to see the return of California condors to the wild and wolves to Yellowstone
  25. Ibuprofen to relieve aching bones and muscles after hikes and on cold wet days.
  26. Holding hands with family at Thanksgiving while everyone tells what they are thankful for.
  27. That I am reasonably healthy, and that I can pay for decent health insurance, even if it takes a huge bite out of my limited budget.
  28. The pair of great-horned owls that mated in a tree in my apartment complex and gave us three young ones who posed for my camera.
  29. My good women friends, Kim, Kris and Jean, who know all my secrets and won’t tell because I know theirs, too. And my good male friend and former colleague Charlie, who kept me sane when we worked together and who still cheers me on.

    Acadia National Park in Maine

    Acadia National Park in Maine

  30. African, cream-laced coffee, something I became addicted to in 2007 when I visited Kenya and Tanzania and went on safari.
  31. Large, gnarly live oak trees that provide beauty to the soul and shade on a hot summer day in Texas.
  32. Gurgling brooks, flowing rivers, memories of giant rapids I’ve survived and waterfalls.
  33. Personal achievements of family members and friends – and of course my own, too. .
  34. Scented candles
  35. Completing a difficult task.
  36. Smiles and belly laughs
  37. My small apartment in which I’ve nested now for three years without my feet getting too itchy.
  38. Happy hour on my balcony with a good friend and a stiff Jack and Coke.
  39. When the Palo Verde trees bloom and the roadsides turn yellow.
  40. My pocket Canon digital camera with its great zoom – and stabilizer that allows this amateur photographer to take good, sometimes great, photos.
  41. Antibiotics and vaccinations
  42. Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”
  43. That the price of gas has dropped.
  44.   My wrinkles, flabby belly and sagging boobs that are well-earned and name me survivor. I’m just happy to still have some go in me.
  45. The journey between destinations
  46. People who still believe that despite all the wars and chaos in the world, there is still hope for peace, even if not in our lifetimes.
  47. Moisturizing cream for my dry skin.
  48. The almost daily e-mails I share with a daughter-in-law.
  49. Time to read, and good glasses that make it possible.
  50. Short hikes that are still within my ability, like the one to Emerald Pools in Zion, which I did on my birthday this year.
  51. Good memories of my mother.
  52. My daily walks with Pepper
  53. WordPress for hosting this blog
  54. An evening spent in a clean hotel room after a long day’s drive
  55. Aspens in fall, when their colors twinkle in the air and the leaves sing to you, which happened to me last month when I took a road trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
  56. Waking up to a world made pristine by an overnight snowfall.
  57. People who like and comment on my blog.
  58. The honking of geese as they fly overhead
  59. Butterflies
  60. Board games with competitive people who are as good losers as they are winners.
  61. Full moon nights, or dark nights with thousands of stars
  62. A good haircut, which was almost a rarity this past year.
  63. That I now have a great-granddaughter to go with my three great grandsons.
  64. That I haven’t had any recent dental problems, especially since I have no dental insurance.
  65. Bra-less days.
  66. The fun I have with my watercolor paintings, even if they aren’t masterpieces.
  67. My curiosity
  68. Roger Tory Peterson, who created the first user-friendly field guides for identifying birds, a hobby that has given me many hours of enjoyment. .
  69. That Pepper, unlike my former canine companion Maggie, likes to cuddle up close on cold nights – warm nights too, which is OK because I have air conditioning.
  70. Chocolate and ice cream.
  71. Scenic byways and backroads – which I promise myself I’m going to travel more of in 2016.
  72. Days when my mutual funds make money instead of losing it.
  73. Time alone with my thoughts.
  74. Audible books, especially on nights when my eyes are tired but I can’t sleep.
  75. The GPS, which I finally got this year.
  76. My brother Robert, who moved to Tucson this year, and who hasn’t once pushed my buttons the wrong way. We’ve done that to each other over the years.
  77. The many opportunities to see live plays in Tucson. I’ve gone to quite a few this year, and not once been disappointed.
  78. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and his sunflower paintings, and all the other artists who charge my creative battery.
  79. My writing desk with its window view and computer that has behaved all this past year.
  80. The fun stationary a granddaughter gave me, and our notes back and forth to each other.
  81. The many long talks I’ve had with my oldest daughter this past year while she drove to work. They’ve brought us closer than we’ve ever been.
  82. Pedicures and French manicures.
  83. Going to sports events and other activities involving my three grandsons, ages 14, 15 and 16, who live in Tucson.
  84. My good non-stick skillet and favorite pan

88 The two hikes I’ve taken up Ramsey Canyon this year, one of which gave me a red-faced warbler, which is now the 707th species on my life bird list.

  1. That there are still plenty of birds to add to my life list
  2. My monthly Social Security check.
  3. Soft flannel pajamas
  4. The color purple.
  5. The new recliner I bought this year when I was suffering from back pain, but I’m thankful I don’t have to sleep in it any more.
  6. That I can wake up without an alarm clock, even if it’s at 5:30 a.m.
  7. Maps to dream over. .
  8. The public library, which gives me endless books to read when my budget is strained to the breaking point.
  9. Fireflies
  10. The fragrant scent of a blooming gardenia bush, which always reminds me of my grandmother.
  11. Mosquito repellant.
  12. Last, but certainly least, my family, which includes five children, 15 grandchildren, 4 ½ great-grandchildren, and my adopted grandchildren, Cory and his wonderful family. And BJ, who recently graduated from high school, and whom I haven’t seen in way too long


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100 Reasons I Have to be Thankful

My new great-granddaughter, Savannah Kay.

My new great-granddaughter, Savannah Kay.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” Zig Ziglar

In no particular order, I’m thankful:

  1. I survived the year in good health, and still with an adventurous spirit.
  2. My new great-granddaughter, Savannah Kay.
  3. That nearly 40 years ago I stopped believing I had to be perfect, because I’m surely not.
  4. New friends I’ve made this year. and the old friends who have managed to hang with me. Friends are one of the greatest gifts of life.
  5. Pink and lavender sunrises and orange and gold sunsets (and all the other colored ones) that enrich my days.

    Tucson sunset from my front balcony. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    Tucson sunset from my front balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

  6. Pepper, my canine companion, who will turn three on December 1.
  7. I’m doing drawing and water coloring again after a 10-year absence – and grateful I don’t think my art has to be perfect.
  8. Authors who write the books I love to read.
  9. I can afford to pay for adequate health insurance when so many can’t.
  10. Mother Nature’s many wonders, which help keep me sane in today’s chaotic world.
  11. My role as matriarch of a family that includes five children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and of course thankful for them as well.
  12. I live in a country where a lone female, like me, can travel across this country alone without a male escort or fear of being stoned.
  13. Story Circle Network, a supportive group of female writing colleagues who daily enrich this writer’s life.
  14. My small, third-floor walkup apartment that sits in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains.

    The Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    The Catalina Mountains from my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

  15. The hummingbirds, verdins and finches that almost daily empty my feeders, and for all the other magical birds that flit around my life.
  16. Beautiful blank journals for me to fill.
  17. Learning something new, hopefully every day.
  18. My new car, Cayenne.
  19. The music of rain and thunderstorms, and the rainbows that follow.
  20. Spell check, even if it’s imperfect, too.
  21. Soft pajamas and fleece blankets to snuggle in.
  22. Tie-Dye T-shirts to feed the flower child in me.
  23. Caring people.
  24. The Internet that almost always has an answer to my many questions, and which keep me connected to family, friends and writing colleagues.
  25. A hot bath in a comfortable tub, the one thing I missed during my RV-ing days.
  26. Mornings, with a cup of bold, cream laced coffee and a too-full list of things I want to do.
  27. Tucson’s desert flowers, especially the blooming red bird of paradise bush.
  28. Moisturizing cream.
  29. Manicures and pedicures, when I can afford them.
  30. Smiles and laughter.
  31. Pleasant surprises.
  32. A stiff Jack and Coke with a friend and good conversation.
  33. Maples, redwoods, live oaks and all other trees that reach to the sky while remaining rooted to the earth. Yup, you guessed it. I’m a tree-hugger.

    Autumn in Ramsey Canyon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    Autumn in Ramsey Canyon. — Photo by Pat Bean

  34. That I overcame my childhood angst and came to love my mother so much that I still miss her.
  35. Being a writer, because it’s through the written word that I get to experience the world twice, and also learn what I really think about it.
  36. Hugs.
  37. The Colorado, Snake, Green and Salmon rivers for all the thrills they gave me during my white-water rafting days, and all the river rats who shared the daytime excitement and the nighttime campfires and tall tales.
  38. Good chocolate .
  39. Scenic byways and back roads.
  40. A great pen, (Uniball Vision Elite, bold black).
  41. Massages.
  42. Hiking trails, easy ones these days.
  43. My almost daily e-mail from a daughter-in-law, and weekly calls from my children.

    I'm thankful for hiking trails that lead me into the midst of Mother Nature's wonders. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    I’m thankful for hiking trails that lead me into the midst of Mother Nature’s wonders. — Photo by Pat Bean

  44. My monthly Social Security check.
  45. My digital camera and my old-fashioned cell phone.
  46. Audible books that let me listen far into the night and still rest my tired eyes and be comfortable.
  47. A virus and malware-free computer.
  48. Kind people.
  49. WordPress for hosting this blog.
  50. Comfortable shoes and clean white sox
  51. The wolf tattoo that I was brave enough to get on my 75th birthday this year – and for the wolves return to Yellowstone.
  52. For art and music that touches my soul, and their creators.
  53. That despite evidence to the contrary, I still believe peace might someday be the norm on this planet we share with a multitude of cultures and religions.
  54. For the aurora borealis, which I still hope one day to see.
  55. For my writing desk that looks out onto trees and a red-tiled roof visited often by ravens.
  56. A sky full of stars.
  57. My Kindle.
  58. Scented candles.
  59. My curiosity, which hopefully I’ll never lose.
  60. Clean kitchen drawers, which reminds me of something that should go on my to-do list for next week.
  61. Waterfalls and lake reflections.
  62. New experiences.
  63. A long snail mail from a friend.

    purple mountain

    Purple mountain majesty. — Photo by Pat Bean

  64. National and state parks.
  65. Board games with competitive people.
  66. My small crockpot.
  67. Electricity, hot water, heaters and air conditioners.
  68. My African safari, and other travels, that live on in my little gray cells.
  69. Glasses that let these old eyes continue to read.
  70. Stained glass windows.
  71. The nighttime howls of coyotes, as long as they don’t eat my Pepper in the daytime.
  72. Libraries and bookstores.
  73. Good movies, like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
  74. Christmas Trees.
  75. A good haircut.
  76. Live theater.
  77. A gift of flowers.
  78. The pair of Cooper hawks that I saw grow from egg, to chick, to free flying this past year. They were raised in a tall tree I could see from my living room balcony.
  79. The color red.
  80. Butterflies.

    I'm thankful for butterflies and flowers. -- Photo by Pat Bean

    I’m thankful for butterflies and flowers. — Photo by Pat Bean

  81. Agatha Christie mysteries. I’m currently reading all of the Hercule Poirot books in order and am once again enchanted by her masterful writing.
  82. Wildlife and nature sanctuaries, like Ramsey Canyon that I recently visited.
  83. Texas bluebonnets, which I saw in April, and the always colorful front garden flowers here at my apartment complex. .
  84. My armchair travels of the world.
  85. Thanksgiving dinner with family.
  86. Dragons and castles in a cloudy sky.
  87. Good ice cream. Blue Bell in Texas and Blue Bunny here in Tucson.
  88. Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”
  89. My wrinkles, because I earned them.
  90. America’s purple mountain majesties and fields of amber grain.


    I’m thankful for my curiosity, and for this planet’s nearly 10,000 bird species.

  91. Shade on a sunny day.
  92. My trip to the zoo this week with a three-year-old great-grandson.
  93. Cheesecake.
  94. For completing the fourth rewrite of my book, “Travels with Maggie,” hopefully leaving only a fifth proofreading task ahead.
  95. The strong women who came before me.
  96. The overhead honking of Canada geese.
  97. A comfortable bed.
  98. The scent of gardenia, which always makes me think of my grandmother.
  99. Wind chimes.
  100. And all my blog followers.


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

Every sunrise brings with it zest for a new day, for which I’m extremely thankful. — Photo by Pat Bean

  1. Belly laughs
  2. The sound  of rain pinging on my RV roof
  3. My large family.
  4. Pepper, my happy, friendly new canine traveling companion.
  5. Rich African  coffee heavily laced with cream
  6. The Blue Ridge Parkway
  7. Cool nights that let me snuggle beneath a soft quilt
  8. That this old broad is still reasonably healthy and still able to travel
  9. Hearty  hugs from people who mean it
  10. A good massage from a woman with magic fingers
  11. That I’m finally a great-grandmother
  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. Waterfalls
  21. That after 134,000 miles, my RV, Gypsy Lee, still has go in her.
  22. Ibuprofen to relieve aches and pains
  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. My newly  gained voice as a writer
  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 Pepper
  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. Bird watching with my bird-watching son
  67. Evenings spent around a campfire
  68. Good Sam emergency services
  69. Good, real ice cream, chocolate milk shakes
  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 new Canon pocket, zoom camera
  91. Washers and dryers
  92. Blank  journals to fill
  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. Birds
  98. National  parks
  99. The family  computer nerds who get the bugs out of my laptop
  100. Readers of my blog

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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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