55. Thanksgiving

I’m so thankful for the Thanksgiving holiday!

A whole day set aside for giving thanks.  The awesome thing about Thanksgiving is it can be celebrated by people of every religion.  Even atheists can think of the other people in their lives to whom they can be grateful.

I also like the way Thanksgiving has traditionally become a time to celebrate the people in our lives whom we love.

A wise person has said that gratitude helps you live in the present.  When you’re being thankful, you’re not obsessing over or regretting the past.  You’re not worrying about the future.  You’re remembering that right now, this moment, you have something to be thankful for.

What a blessing!

54. Driving to Get My Son

When my son first started college three hours away in Williamsburg, at William & Mary, people told me to make him find out about bus service.  But I have to say how much I treasure my trips down there to pick him up and take him back.  What a treat!  I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them.

Traffic is usually bad for the Thanksgiving trip, but yesterday it only took a half-hour longer than usual to get there, and it was a glorious day, chilly but sunny and still with colorful trees shining in the sunshine by the roadside.

Once he gets his stuff from his dorm, we walk through the lovely campus to old Williamsburg.  We bought a sandwich at the Cheese Shop and I got some of that incredibly spicy ginger ale that I like so much.  There’s a ginger theme, because then I get Gin-Gin candy at Wythe’s Candy Shop.

And then we drove home.  Yesterday, we talked so much, I didn’t notice whether there was bad traffic or not!  It seemed like before I knew it, we were almost home!  (I even took a wrong turn when nearing home, because I was paying more attention to our conversation than to where I was going.)

It was so lovely to talk with him!

And now my boy is home!  I worked today, but have the whole rest of the weekend off.  I’ll take him back to school Sunday — and then three weeks later, he’ll completely finish his college career, and I’ll have one last trip down to pick him up.

It’s been a good three and a half years.

53. Time with my Toddler Niece


Another highlight of my trip to Oregon was a day and overnight with my brother and his family, including their 2 and a half year old, Arianna.

She is active and outgoing and so much fun!

We had a busy, exciting game of hide-and-seek with her daddy and me doing the hiding.  It made me laugh how it got my heart rate up waiting to find out if she would spot me!

The next morning, I got to go with her to an open gym.  Such fun to watch her enjoying the equipment!


You can see how proud she is to get up on the “horsey.”


And my sister came by with my other two nieces — and I caught Baby Zoe smiling at my sister-in-law!


Just a lovely time with little ones!

52. Holding an Infant

Holding Zoe

When I arrived in Portland, the next day, I visited my sister Marcy and got to hold my 6-week-old, not-quite-9-pounds niece Zoe.

She smiled at me!

There is nothing quite so wonderful as holding a newborn.  You forget how tiny they start out.  I’m still smiling when I think about it.  She fell asleep in my arms, which was a break for her mother and a thrill for me.


Of course, another wonderful blessing was getting to spend time with Zoe’s 3-years-and-one-day-old big sister Alyssa.  Another true delight.  (In this picture she’s feeding us pretend food — busghetti — at the park.)


51. Time with My Kid


I’m now going to go into more detail about my wonderful trip to Portland, Oregon.

The highlight was definitely getting to spend time with my adult child Jade, who is newly become my daughter and used to be my son.

This has taken some adjustment in my mind — but it was wonderful to just have some time together and be reminded each day that this is the same fabulous person I love with all my heart.

50. My Oregon Trip


I just got back from a wonderful trip to Oregon.

I like to make this blog about *present* blessings, but I was not able to do much posting on my trip.  So I will first be thankful for the whole trip, that I was able to go and had a wonderful time.  My subsequent posts will get into specifics.

Overall — I got to take a week off work and go to Portland.  The excuse was a Young Adult Library Services Association Symposium.  But I stayed before and after the symposium to see various loved family members.

And it was a simply wonderful week.

49. My Church Community

Today my pastor preached a dynamic message, which tied closely with things I’d been thinking about.  And then friends both after church and at my small group, discussed those things, and in general gave me great emotional support.

Being part of a Community of Christ-followers is such a blessing.  I’ve had some emotional issues come up in my life lately.  And not everyone in my church or small group necessarily thinks exactly the same way as I do about these issues.  But they care about me, help me think things through, pray for me, and in general make me feel loved and supported.

They make me feel that we’re walking this life together.  And that’s a beautiful thing, and such a blessing.