Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 188: Thankful Today for the Kindness of a Stranger on a Cold Day

I stepped out into the bitter cold after activating the hood latch. It had been well over a year since I last took a look at the numerous pipes, wires, containers, and so on. I looked for the familiar windshield wiper fluid icon. Just as I spotted it a voice behind me said, "Do you know where that stuff goes? Be careful not to spill it. Here let me help you." The man reached in and took over the task with the expertise and grace of someone who had done this many times before. He chatted as he carefully filled the windshield washer fluid. When finished he handed me an almost empty jug, smiled and then went on his way. Though the icy wind whipped at my face as I closed the hood, my heart was warmed by his gracious gesture. I do hope the next time he finds himself in need, someone steps in as he did for me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 187: Thankful Today for the Artistry of Sushi

It was my first time trying the Dragon Roll at this sushi restaurant. I had tried it some time ago at another place. I remembered liking the taste. But was pleasantly surprised this go-around by a new experience. I was greeted by a feast for the eyes. The beauty of the presentation caused me to pause. The mix of colors, textures and mindfulness of layout was a work of art: a painting I would get to experience with a variety of senses.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 186: Thankful Today for the Flight to Family

I miss them. The time we see each other is always so short and not often enough. When I was young I thought I had all the time in the world and everything I cared about would always be there and never change. I wasted so much time back then, because it seemed to be in abundance. As I get older I realize how little time we have and how precious it is. I cherish every visit to family and friends.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 185: Thankful Today for My Team This Past Fall

In my class, this past Fall, we had a subject to learn that wasn't an easy one. And the type of group project that could easily go wrong. Our initial start was a little rocky. But we quickly pulled it together when we came to understand our common goals and all aligned ourselves with them. Once the vision was clear and we all agreed to our roles, the ride was smooth. Together we built a great project on the way to learning something new.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 184: Thankful Today For a New Year: 2013

I am thankful for a new year. 2013 offers the possibilities of new beginnings and new opportunities. A new start infuses new hope.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 183: Thankful Today The Snow Isn't Sticking

I looked out the window at the rush of snow flurries making their first significant appearance. I worried that they may hinder my errands for the day if they became a slippery surface over the roads I planned to travel. But then as I watched them fall I noticed they posed no threat. They weren't sticking to the road, the cars or even the grass. One more day, not affected by winter weather. I am thankful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 182: Thankful Today That I Have Light and Water

 So many suffered loss and damage due to the storm.  My heart goes out to them.

I am also filled with gratitude. I was spared. Why the storm was devastating to some and just a minor disruption to others, I don't know? Life is so complex and contradictory. One house on a street has power and another just a block away is without. This time my circumstances were favorable, and I am grateful.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 181: Thankful Today That The Tree Fell Sideways

 I woke after a rough night of howling winds and beating rain not knowing what to expect when I stepped outside that morning. I looked out the window and found I had an unusually clear view. Then I realized, the large tree that used to block my view, was gone. It wasn't atop the cars parked out front. And thankfully, it hadn't awakened me with a crash through my bedroom window. It was not snapped in half, but instead pulled out of the ground, leaving dangling roots and a gaping hole as it lay sideways atop a pile of kid's bikes. I felt for the kids, but I am sure the parents were happy to have the family's transportation or roof over their heads spared.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 180: Thankful Today for a Vegan Thanksgiving

 I rarely cook Thanksgiving. If I don't spend it enjoying a meal at family and friends then I use the time to relax and recharge during this busy season. And I usually cook a simple meal that day. But this Thanksgiving I thought I'd try a vegan Thanksgiving and cook a Tofurkey. It took longer to cook than expected but much shorter than a huge turkey. It came out golden brown and full of stuffing. The sweet potatoes I roasted were rich and flavorful but healthfully prepared. The meal was topped off with a side of sauteed Kale. Well how was my vegan Thanksgiving?

I loved the kale and sweet potatoes, even though they were missing the traditional marshmallows and tons of butter. The Tofurkey was okay. You know there are some meats that aren't easily faked. So next year if I cook, will be a Cornish hen or turkey breast. It was a fun experiment though and inspired me to cook next Thanksgiving if I'm not able to join friends or family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 179: Thankful Today For Over 1,000 Views

I checked the counter recently and found I had reached over 1,000 views. I am always curious as to how a stranger comes across my blog. What leads them to it? What keywords do they use in their search that adds my blog to their list? And what snippet of text inspires them to click to see more? I guess I'll never know the answer to that question.

But what I do hope is that one of my entries will speak to them. Maybe it will cause a moment of reflection. Or more importantly they will ask themselves, "What am I thankful for today…?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 178: Thankful Today For Fresh Laundry

There is nothing like accomplishing the forever-repeating chore of laundry. It is one goal you can always count on completing. There isn't a choice not to. Well I guess you could replace the shirts and socks instead of washing them. But that's not financially possible or prudent. So every week the task is the same, but so is the satisfaction that accompanies it.

A pile of clean clothes is a signal of a start of a new week, and a fresh start to other goals that have yet to be tackled.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 177: Thankful Today We Weren't Noticed

An open dumpster is an open invitation to lunch for the neighborhood wildlife we unwittingly discovered. We pulled into the parking lot after enjoying a lunch away from the office. But just as I exited the car I saw movement at the dumpsters. It was walking on four legs instead of two. And it was soon followed by a similar creature of a larger size. A mother bear and her two cubs had just finished exploring our dumpsters. In a low voice I hoped was inaudible to the bears I warned my co-worker to be still and not make any sudden moves away from the car. We may have to jump back in. We stood frozen in fear, hoping to not be noticed.

Slowly the family strolled away to continue their normal lunch route. When we were sure it was safe to move, we quickly headed into the office.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 176: Thankful Today I Missed An Unfortunate Incident

 I scooped the beans into two separate bowls, one for a lunch later and one to microwave for dinner tonight. I got to the bottom of the can and heard a strange sound. The source was confirmed when the scoop of beans entered my bowl with a thud. There among the beans was a rock. The first thought that crossed my mind was, "What if I had bitten that. I could have ended up with a broken tooth." And the second thought was the passing of my appetite. I threw the beans out and contemplated whether or not to return the can and stone to the grocery store. I had just missed an unfortunate incident.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 175: Thankful Today for My Apartment

 This is something I thought I'd never say.

Let me give a little history. When I arrived for house hunting I ended up back at the hotel almost in tears. What had I done and where was I moving too? And it was too late to turn back. I had given up my job and home in the state I was leaving. And becoming disappointed with where I was moving.

Fast forward several years later and I am still here. Circumstances have hindered my leaving. So I have gotten used to my place and am starting to become thankful for what it provides: a roof over my head, a place that keeps me warm in the winter and sometimes cool in the summer, a safe environment (except for the occasional wandering bear). Maybe I should go ahead and hang the last group of pictures that are still leaning against the wall. For right now it is home, after all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 174: Thankful Today for the End of the Morning Commute

Narrowly missing a side-swipe from a distracted driver who was more engaged in a phone conversation than driving. Cut off by a guy weaving in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hoping the driver tailgating me doesn’t end up in my back seat as the traffic makes a sudden stop due to construction or an accident. This is a normal morning commute. Stressed, irritated, but yet always thankful, when I arrive to work with my vehicle and myself undamaged.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 173: Thankful Today for My Morning Cup of Coffee

Oddly, it's only tasty when filled with interesting flavors like Hazelnut or Almond and lightened with a sprinkle of creamer. But yet I still drink it, consistently every morning. Though its taste has to be doctored for me to enjoy, I can't seem to go without it. So it must be the comfort of the warmth in my hand as I nurse my cup over breakfast. Or is it the alertness that follows as the caffeine clears my morning fog. Maybe it's both. And now it's a familiar ritual.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 172: Thankful Today for the Bus Ride Home

A trip into the city is fun and sometimes exciting. But I am always thankful when the bus pulls into the station and I am back home.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 171: Thankful Today For A Day At The Museum

A day of inspiration was long overdue. My eyes feasted on the mastery of the Wyeths inside the museum. My camera caught the beauty of the nature outside the museum. I delighted in color, texture, perspective, expressions of emotion, and exhibits of skill.

I left with a desire to create.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 170: Thankful Today for the Arrival of My Amazon Shipment

There is always anticipation with an online order. Will it arrive in the time frame they estimate, or hopefully even earlier? Or will I be left waiting on a late package? The order could be a simple thing. But the wait never is. In such an instant society, waiting is something we don't do well.

Thankfully, my wait is over. I can enjoy the end of anticipation, but the beginning of the possibilities my order presents.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 169: Thankful Today for Getting To Work On Time

It was one of those mornings the bed held me in its clutches, beckoning, "just hit the snooze again." And so I did, several times. Finally, I realized I could no longer give in to the lure of sleep and I rolled out of bed with not a minute to spare. I couldn't be late. Things have been tenuous, since the last layoff. And my current boss lacked the grace and mercy of my former. So I rushed, trying to beat an unforgiving clock.  And I made it, just in a knick of time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 168: Thankful Today for My Honda Dealership

Whether it's an oil change, scheduled maintenance or some strange noise that has me worried, I can always count on the problem being solved or a reassuring word that everything is in top shape. And all is delivered with friendly service. The guys greet me by name and know my car.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 167: Thankful Today for that Moment after 5 and Friday

As I reached for my backpack I glanced at my watch. It was after 5 and Friday. It was past time to go home. I am thankful for the start of the weekend and ready for it to get underway.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 166: Thankful Today For A Simple Walk

 With the injury to my ankles, my usual workout and life routines have been severely hindered. But slowly I have been getting back into the groove. I am beginning to experience walks with less discomfort the day after. I still can't run or jump without painful consequences. But I can walk more. It's amazing how something like the ability to perform a simple walk can bring such joy.

Hmmmm the small moments in life are proving to be as valuable as what we would consider great accomplishments.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 165: Thankful Today For The Stone Path

There are times life throws stones in our direction that block us, cause us to stumble or fall. But I am thankful for the times those stones become a path to greater strength and resilience, because they lead us to surrender to Him.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 164: Thankful Today For My Mother's Answered Prayers

When I didn't have the faith, she did.
When I had lost hope, she hadn't.
And she prayed.

When I doubted, she believed.
And those prayers were answered.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 163: Thankful Today For LinkedIn

It took me awhile to get around to using it. My first thought was not another website I have to check. I have several email addresses, go to school online, have a Facebook account, and more. I just didn't want to add one more reason to be on the Internet more often. But through the encouragement of friends I made a profile. And did nothing else.

But then a class introduced me to the concept of using LinkedIn as a personal learning network. It was an assignment so I did. I joined groups pertaining to what I was studying. Not only did I learn more about the industry I hope to enter, but I also began to make new connections. I started to meet people who practice what I am learning. I also met people in my current industry. LinkedIn has turned out to be a productive tool in my educational and career development.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 162: Thankful Today That I am Nearing the End

With only about a week and a half left in the semester I am nearing the end. I have enjoyed my time with my classmates. Together we have grown in understanding of the subject being taught in our class. We have grown to appreciate the varied talents we each brought to the group projects. And we have also begun to know each other and form friendships they may carry beyond this class.

But we have also grown weary with the demands of work, school, family, … life. It is time for that break between semesters that give opportunity for rest and recharge. I am looking forward to that time and am thankful to be heading towards it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 161: Thankful Today I Don't Have to Move My Office

What may seem like a small thing was actually an answer to an unspoken prayer. The new spot that had been chosen for me posed quite a few challenges that would have made my situation worse. And then today when I relented and was ready to accept my fate without any further complaint: it changed.

I was given the news that after further discussion they thought it best to leave things as they were. They wanted to keep the group dynamics they saw developing. Hmmmmmmm. I knew that was a better solution all along. But I guess they needed time to see it for themselves. Thank you Lord for opening their eyes.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 160: Thankful Today for Re-Connecting with an Old Friend

Through Facebook and old friend found me. We tried for months to connect to no avail. But finally, today we did. It was so nice catching up. A lot has happened since we last spoke, which was over 10 years ago. It was comforting to hear how some things hadn't changed but also exciting to hear what had. There have been good times and bad times in both of our lives. But interestingly, the conversation ended on a value I didn't know we both shared.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 159: Thankful Today for A Better Encounter

Thankful today for a better encounter with my new boss. The first one was not good. So many unfortunate factors influenced our initial meeting within the new reporting relationship. So after much prayer, contemplation and counsel from my old boss, I devised a strategy. And so far it seems to be on the path to a working relationship that is livable. It is not the synergy and mutual respect I had with my former boss.  But for now, it is better than it started and hopefully will improve much more over time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 158: Thankful Today for Time with Old and New Friends

 It was going to be a usual holiday away from family and close friends. It is not the way I like to spend them, but it is one of the consequences of living here. But then I got a text from a friend I used to work with that he and a friend of his would be in town. Was I available for dinner? Of course the answer was yes.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable dinner and then a lunch the next day. It was so nice to spend time with an old friend and meet a new one. The food was good but the conversation and time together was even better. It was also nice to see his life had taken a turn for the better, with a new relationship that complimented him.