Friday, November 18, 2016

Grateful in All Things

Thought for the day:  I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet. 
[morguefile]

Next Thursday, the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving, a time to reflect upon our many blessings, something we should do on a daily basis, but this is the one day of the year that's been set aside to do so with our families and friends, while stuffing our faces and watching football.

The following post appeared for Thanksgiving of 2011, and I kinda figured it was time to dust it off and run it around the block again. (Full disclosure: When the post was written as Gratitude, Grins, and Groaners, I didn't reeeeally have a zit. I was just trying to be funny while attempting to make a point.)



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Thought for the day:  Gratitude is an attitude.


[morguefile]
But it just isn't fair. When you get to be as old as I am, this simply shouldn't happen. The wrinkles, sags, and extra beef on the booty? Yeah, comes with the territory, and I expected it. No biggie.

But THIS????

Really? You've gotta be kidding me.

A ZIT? Right on the tip of my nose? Not just a polite little white pimple, either. This proud puppy looks like it's ticked off at the world, and to tell ya the truth, if it gets much bigger, it may qualify for its own zip code.  It's ... it's ... well, it's just plain UNDIGNIFIED is what it is. Not at ALL grandmotherly looking.

Oh well, if nothing else, this thing should help keep me humble, right? I mean, it's hard to get too full of myself when there's a flipping  horn growing out of my nose. Ah, what the heck? I've always liked unicorns.

Pfffffft.

Psychotherapist and radio talk show host Dr. Laura used to say, Gratitude is an attitude. Whether you like her or not, I think she was right about that. ( I don't have to rejoice over the zit, but I can certainly be grateful for the nose it's growing on, right?)

The most memorable lesson I ever received about gratitude came from the book The Hiding Place. 


[wikipedia]
Written by Corrie ten Boom, who died in 1983, this book tells the tale of how she and her Christian family hid Jews in their home, and then ended up in a concentration camp for their efforts. While she was interred, in spite of the deplorable living conditions and atrocities on every side, her faith remained strong. In fact, she embraced a Bible verse about "giving thanks for all things." So one of the things she prayed for? One of the all things for which she gave heartfelt thanks every day?

She gave thanks for the fleas.

Yes, the fleas. Can you imagine? The infestation in her tent was so bad, the guards refused to enter it. And because they stayed away, she was able to hold Bible studies in there, and to pray in peace.

There's something terribly humbling about the image of someone expressing sincere gratitude for something as vile and loathsome as fleas, isn't there?  Kinda puts things in perspective. Every time I start to feel a little ungrateful for something petty like this stupid pimple, I think of those fleas. And I make a conscious effort to ratchet up the gratitude. Come to think of it, maybe this gigantic pimple is intended to remind me of my gigantic blessings. And just in time for Thanksgiving, too.

Okay, how about some silly Thanksgiving riddles? Ready? Here goes.

  • What sort of glass should you use to serve cream of turkey soup? A goblet.
  • What's Alan Alda's favorite Thanksgiving dish?  M*A*S*Hed potatoes.
  • What do you call sweet potatoes that are very outspoken? Candid yams.
  • If I have relatives with Mohawk haircuts, multiple facial piercings, and a bunch of tattoos, what should I serve them for dessert? Punk kin pie.
  • Not only was my neighbor's turkey infected with salmonella, but she undercooked it.  Guess what all her guests suffered the next day? Yup, 'fraid so. The turkey trots.
  • The local restaurant served overcooked turkey, lumpy gravy, and cold mashed potatoes. Know how they advertised it? As the blooperplate special.
  • NYC is placing tall bleachers up and down Broadway so spectators can get a better view of what slightly renamed event? The May See Parade.
  • What famous play about a Thanksgiving turkey was written by Henrik Ibsen? Hedda Gobbler. 
Okay, enough groaners for now. Time to go spackle my nose with Noxzema, and try to get rid of this thing before I have to name it. (Hmmm, think we could claim it as a dependent?) And count my blessings. Care to join me? Check out this video  It'll put ya in the right mood.

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.




70 comments:

  1. A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
    Gratitude is the gift which keeps giving I find. And I am grateful that my life has never descended to the level where I was grateful to fleas.

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    1. You're right... gratitude IS the gift that keeps on giving. Great way to put it.

      Me, too! I've had lots of responses to fleas before, but gratitude has never been one of them. (That comes after they're GONE!)

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  2. Love the Thanksgiving jokes; Alan Alda and the M*A*S*H*ed potatoes :)
    Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

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    1. The M*A*S*H*ed potatoes was my favorite, too. :)

      Have a super weekend.

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  3. Hope a happy thanksgiving is had at your pad.

    lol who knew that there was good in such a nuisance as fleas.

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    1. Thanks. :)

      Yeah, it's quite a stretch to think of fleas being good. Our pets have never been terribly fond of them, and neither am I.

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  4. Thank you for the excellent reminder. I'm having one of those kinds of days, and this helped put some things in perspective. And the jokes made me laugh. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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    1. Sorry to hear you're having one of those days. (Remember Elvis' song about that from the movie "G.I. Blues"?) Hopefully, things are going in a better direction for you now.,

      And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours, too!

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  5. enjoy your Thanksgiving. I am grateful for your Friday groaners, and so much more. Take care. All the best to you and your family

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    1. You enjoy your Thanksgiving, too, dear lady. A cold snap is "supposed" to be heading our way sometime next week. (Right now, I'm wearing shorts and a tee shirt, so I'm ready for some flannel sheet weather!) I hope the change in weather brings some rain, too. Like lots of other places in the country, wildfires have been raging here for over a month.

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  6. I have a sign above my mantelpiece that says, "In Everything Give Thanks." We all have so much to be thankful for. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Nice. Sounds like we're on the same page.

      I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  7. I think about gratitude every day as it is the most wonderful tool we have to overcome life's annoyances.

    I wish you, dear friend (another gratitude), a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by love.

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    1. Me, too. When I wake up in the morning, I always sing the same song. (In my head, that is. If I sang out loud that early in the morning, Smarticus would NOT be a happy camper. HA) It's "This is the day, this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, the Lord has made. Let us rejoice, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Always starts my day out on the right foot.

      And I wish you the same, dear lady. May peace and love join you at the dinner table.

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  8. Hi Susan - gosh I couldn't think of anything worse than a tent of fleas ... but obviously there is at least one.

    We are lucky, regardless of the hardships we go through, such as your without shoes note ... that's frightening ...

    But people have so much courage and life is demanding to be lived ... have a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving with the family ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      I feel itchy just thinking about being in a tent filled with fleas. (They always seem to feast on my particular brand of blood, for whatever reason...)

      Thank you, dear friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  9. You are right...we have so much to be thankful for. And yes, I wear a bra when I cook lol. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. HA! Wearing a bra while cooking is almost always a good idea.

      Thanks. Have a super weekend.

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  10. Happy American Turkey Day, friend Susan ... Love, cat.

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  11. No matter how bad my life has gotten (some very dark times) I am still thankful for what I have. Every morning I wake up and see my Square Ones and the mountains I am happy.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It'd be hard NOT to feel happy to see that cute little guy's face every morning, and to see that gorgeous view out your windows. (You chose your location well. )

      Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours, too. Cheers!

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  12. I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I wish you and your family the same, sweet lady.

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  13. It always surprises me - who did not grow up with Thanksgiving - how fast it became my second favorite holiday (after Christmas). And what's not to like? Remembering all your blessings, no gifts to give or cards to send, and a bunch of good food!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Smarticus!

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    1. You're right. It's hard to dislike Thanksgiving. :)

      Happy Thanksgiving to you guys, too.

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  14. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    I'll have to read that book. I love Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It's a little textbooky, but he was also a concentration camp survivor who realized gratitude and purpose were the keys to happiness.(That may need to be my Thanksgiving post- thanks for the inspiration!)

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

      It's a fabulous book. It has to be, for me to remember parts of it so clearly after reading it forty years ago. If you haven't read any books by Elie Wiesel, I'd recommend them, too. They're short, and pack a powerful punch.

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  15. I like that video - the CeCe Winans version of the song is better than the Bing Crosby one.

    A few months ago a friend of mine gave me a LOT of his old books, and many of them had to do with the holocaust. When I think of the unspeakable horrors those courageous people had to endure, it truly humbles me.
    Have a cozy and peaceful Thanksgiving, Susan!

    Ha - I liked the Turkey Trot joke!

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    1. I like that video, too, but the song is a winner for me, no matter who sings it.

      You have a cozy and peaceful Thanksgiving, too, Jon. Nothing but positive thoughts and feelings. :)

      (Of course you liked that joke! That's because we share such a sophisticated sense of humor...)

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  16. SuSan I remember reading this book when I was younger... I think I need to reread it again. It's truly a very good reminder of what's important in this life. The atrocities that some people have had to deal with humbles me. xox

    Happy upcoming Thanksgiving xox

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    1. It's a book well worth rereading. (Maybe I will, too!)

      Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family, too.

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  17. Best holiday wishes to you, Susan. Your cheerful online company is something I'm thankful for.

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    1. The same to you, dear dude. I'm grateful for your unique cerebral activity, and for your willingness and capability to share those unusual brain storms with us through your posts. You make us look at things and think about things in a different way. (And that's good!)

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  18. Happy Thanksgiving Susan :) I'm so thankful for you and all my online friends.

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    1. Thanks, Nas! I don't think you celebrate Thanksgiving on your island, so how about if I wish you a very happy Thursday? :) I'm thankful for you, too.

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  19. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, Susan :)

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  20. Susan, I hope you have the most amazing Thanksgiving! You know I'll be downing cheese over here--I wish you just as many delicious eats...and not just the kind for the belly.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. With an appetizer cheese tray, a cheese souffle side dish, and a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. :)

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  21. I groaned so much at those jokes, the Spawn thought I was in pain and called an ambulance... ;)
    I think that Thanksgivings should be celebrated the whole world over. With so much happening in our lives, it's easy to forget the things/people that we really should be grateful for.
    Hope you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving. :)

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    1. :) I THOUGHT I heard something...

      I agree. We should ALL give thanks! Sometimes we get so hung up on petty annoyances, we forget to celebrate all the things that are right in our lives.

      Thank you, kiddo. And may you & Spawn have a fantastic Thursday! (And every other day, too.)

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  22. Corrie ten Boom—what an extraordinary woman she was.

    I agree. We must choose to be grateful. No small task. It isn’t always easy to find the good. Many of us to stumble through life tossing out our thank yous with wild abandon nary a heartfelt response in the bunch. Your post is a reminder that being grateful means being mindful.

    Me? I’m grateful for this lovely and inspiring post.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Smarticus!

    VR Barkowski

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    1. You're right; Corrie ten Boom was truly extraordinary.

      Yes! Grateful = Mindful. That's a succinct way to put it.

      Awww, thank you. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

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  23. The flea story reminds me of one a teacher taught me in high school, about a holocaust survivor who was assigned to cleaning out the poop pits. And basically, while everyone felt terribly sorry for her after, she felt like she was in paradise, because while she was covered in excrement none of the guards wanted to abuse her or even be near her, so her stay, in her eyes, was not bad at all compared to the others because everyone just left her alone.

    Ah, perspective.

    Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving!

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    1. Yep, it's all about perspective.

      We did have an awesome Thanksgiving. I hope you did, too. :)

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  24. I always say, 'Thank God for the fleas.' That was an amazing book. Love the holiday joke groans (my favorite kind) and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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    1. You're my kinda people. :)

      I hope you and your family had a fantabulous Thanksgiving.

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    2. We did! Thank you. And I see from your latest post that you're still enjoying family. Good for you. :)

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  25. Thanks for the reminder. Fleas, amazing. What a truly strong woman! Great jokes, could even hear the drum sequence after each one! Humor is vital this week! :)

    Wishing you and your a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Yep, we need all the humor we can get. :)

      We had a super Thanksgiving, and I hope you did, too.

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  26. Hi Susan! I'm so glad you reposted the heartwarming fleas story. What an incredible woman! Currently, I have about two pimples that I can't seem to get rid of, so this is perfect timing. Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

    Julie

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    1. Hi-ya, Julie! I hope you and your family had a terrific Thanksgiving. We just got home last night from visiting the grandkids in Florida. Good to be there... but good to be home again, too. They all had the flu. Now we're trying to convince ourselves that we don't...

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  27. Ooh, great post. Really fascinating to see how fleas can be something someone's thankful for. Helps put things into perspective, for sure. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. I'm glad you enjoyed it. We had a super Thanksgiving, and I hope you did, too.

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  28. Happy Thanksgiving Day! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thank you, dear sir. :)

      Greetings back atcha.

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  29. I think you still have comments turned off on your most recent post ('cuz I can't click and comment). But I love all the pics of all your grandkids (and you guys) and hope you feel better soon!

    So there's a flu going around that's immune to the flu shot? Dang. I wish you hadn't said that.

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    1. Hi-ya. Yeah, I turned the comment option off, because I didn't know how long it'd take before I felt human enough to respond to spend more than a few minutes at the computer. I'm getting there...

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Hopefully, you won't be exposed to it. With so many kids in school, our son's family had lots of golden opportunities to pick up a bug.

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  30. I wish you a speedy recovery! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  31. Here is hoping that U'll better soon, friend Sue ... Oh, and I GOT YOUR BOOK!!! Anyway, be well, eh? Love, cat.

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    1. Thank you, sweet lady. We're getting there...

      Oh, and SUPER!!! I'm glad to hear it, and hope you enjoy my book as much as I enjoy your poetry. :)

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  32. I called Flower Delivery Near Me at noon to pick up a birthday arrangement ASAP (no prior warning, I was just doing things at the last minute as always). It should also be noted how fragrant the flowers were. Just delightful!

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