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Things I’m Grateful For: Thanksgiving 2016

Two events are colliding this month and the juxtaposition is, to me, quite striking.  The post-election fall-out still hasn’t quite settled, and Thanksgiving (our annual pause to reflect on the gifts in our lives) is just around the corner.  Significant research into the urban agricultural/sustainable agriculture/prepper population reveals a dichotomy – possibly the most politically polarized group of people on the planet find common ground in producing their own food.  Folks that self identify as home food producers also self-identify as either “very conservative” or “very liberal” with very few people in the middle (this has been proven over and over and over in marketing and publication studies).  I know some of you are celebrating the election, and I know some of you are grieving the results; a variety of responses is expected.  And yet, we form a community that tackles environmental issues, social issues, economic issues, governmental/regulatory issues, and health issues.  This to me is a testament to the common goal and good nature in the hearts of so many individuals.  And for this, I am grateful.

Now to the latter – our seasons of thanks.  Once a year is surely inadequate to count our blessings, but it is a nice reminder to be intentional about focusing on what is good in our lives.  I’ll start.  My number one, best ever, most wonderful thing in my life is Ben.  That handsome man pictured above is my rock, my partner in crime (heh, heh, heh), and my confidant.  There is nothing I’m more grateful for, and I know I don’t say it enough (most of us don’t).  So let me say it again – I am so grateful to have Ben in my life.

To that end, for this post I’d like you to comment on something a wee bit personal in the comments section below, something for which you are truly grateful.  Something heartfelt, something that’ll kick us all right in the feels and remind of us our commonality, our mutual adorations.  Our world is a wild and wonderful place, and for that a celebration is in order.  We’d love to share in those warm thoughts with you (and we don’t give a hoot about your political affiliations).

WARNING:  If you post anything political it will be removed; this is a neutral comment spot.

14 Responses to Things I’m Grateful For: Thanksgiving 2016

  1. Leslie November 15, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    Thanks Christine, your post brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. Not sure exactly what part prompted emotions . . . but here goes. (So far my writing has sounded cliché — hope the following sounds authentic)

    I am alone. I am a widow with 2 grown sons, wonderful daughters-in-law, and lots of grandchildren, but we live in a busy world and most of my activities are enjoyed alone. My family is not dysfunctional. We love each other and try to get together, but the busyness of life keeps us apart. And since I live in So Calif sometimes it’s just the traffic that makes it difficult to plan spontaneous gatherings.

    So here’s what I’m thankful for: I’m thankful that God has given me a generous heart. I’ve learned that when I feel like I’ve been left on the shelf, I can bake a batch of cookies and visit a friend who never had children — one who is older than me and can’t even blame the traffic for alone times.

    And I’m thankful for a creative mind. I volunteered to help with the children’s Christmas program at church this year, and now I’m knee-deep in making sock puppets for the puppet choir that will perform. Seeing the kids’ faces last week when they picked socks and hair and eyeballs was so much fun it’s filling my hours this week.

    So I guess what I’m most thankful for is that God helps me see other options apart from the obvious. The facts may say that I should feel sad about missing family — but the reality is that we pick our own joy or sorrow. When we look around we can find ways to be part of our community — we can find a new togetherness that is just as cozy as any Norman Rockwell greeting card.

    Thanks for all you do . . . and thanks for being transparent today and giving us permission to do the same.

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

      Oh Leslie, you sweet, sweet woman. I can just imagine you making sock puppets for the choir – flat out fabulous.

  2. Diana November 15, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Good thought provoking article, Christine.

    I am thankful that my wonderful son, my beautiful daughter in law and my grandsons (9 and 3) were able to visit from CA last month since I haven’t seen them for almost 3 years and it’s gotten harder for me to travel.

    And I’m thankful to my Lord for the assurance that what I see in this life is temporary, but what I see by faith is eternal.

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

      Family matters so much – so happy that yours was able to come for a visit.

  3. Barbara Heath Kelley November 15, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    I’m thankful for people like Christine and Leslie! ; )

  4. Cynthia November 15, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    Wonderful post!
    I am so thankful for all my little prayers answered, as we navigate through the abundance of new information and experiences on our backyard farm adventure!
    God has blessed our family with the means to start up and maintain all that we set out to do. I am thankful for the good health of my animals, and of my family. I am thankful for all our learning experiences – both the good and the bad.
    I am thankful for you, Christine, and others who band together in our community, despite our differences, to support our common interests!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

      There are so many blessings around us – thank you for sharing some of yours with us.

  5. brad November 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    I don’t think we are not such a divided group, at a very basic level we are libertarian in nature; ie. wanting each other to be free to be whoever we want to be.

    So very thankful, for Ben and Christine… when you can call people of such different philosophies friends your doing something right.

    Great Holidays!

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks for being with us Brad (and I agree with you about not being so very divided at a basic level).

  6. John S. Brunel November 15, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    We are thankful to be a part of your wider community Christine. Thankful that I can still pull weeds and put the garden to bed for the winter (I assume that winter still comes to Colorado). Thankful that my 92 year old father who is recovering from hip replacement surgery, looks to be able to come home from rehab soon. We are forever grateful and thankful that our wonderful son is returning from a 9 month deployment in Afghanistan completely intact and healthy. It is interesting to read your comments about liberal v conservative and no in betweens – my wife and I are slap dang right in the middle – glad to be the exception. Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Christine, thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us.

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

      Your gratitude list is fantastic – thank you for sharing it. And way to represent the middle ground in our community – statistically speaking you and your wife are rare birds (though I find myself right down the middle as well).

  7. Margaret November 15, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

    Family, friends, freedoms of all sorts, critters, gardens…ummm yeah. 12 weeks till tomato seeds are sown?

    • Christine November 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

      I know, right!? How is it possible that we’ll be starting tomato seeds in 12 weeks!?

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