Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Voice of Thanks

With only two days until Thanksgiving, today I want to raise a thankful voice. I have been thinking about how blessed we are and yet how much we whine. Well, probably not you. I know you never whine, but some people do. I’ve heard them.

I took a trip down memory lane this week and thought about all the good things in my life. I thought about my Mom and the contrast between her world and mine. Mom lived long enough to enjoy lots of the things I enjoy, but it wasn’t always so. Mom grew up in a world where water was hauled in from outside. If you wanted it hot, you heated it. If you wanted a bath, the bathtub also had to be hauled in and the water heated, one steaming kettle at a time. The bathroom was located outside as well. I heard many a tale of scary late night trips to the outhouse in the dark and cold. Laundry was done on a washboard with homemade soap. It was hung on a line to dry, and then ironed with a little flat iron which, yes, had to be heated on the stove. Eventually Mom got a wringer washing machine which really simplified the chore, but it was still a long process.

My mother loved to write, but she seldom found time when she was young. Cooking and housekeeping were full time jobs which sucked up all her time. We children were the poems she longed to write. Later in her life many helpful servants found their way into her home and then she had time for her passion.

I was a transition child. I remember the wringer washer, the outhouse, the baths in the number ten washtub. I was young when we traded our outdoor bathroom for an indoor one. I remember playing under the clothesline with sheets and undies flapping in the breeze. It made a nice open tent for us to play in. I remember the line dried frozen clothes being brought in to thaw in winter weather. I remember dampening the clothes and rolling them up to wait for ironing day. Today, I rarely iron, and when I do I use a steam iron or a spray bottle. No more dampening, no more rolling them up, and no more ironing day.

I remember when air conditioning meant opening the windows; when central heat was from a coal furnace which had to be lit each morning and the coal shoveled in. I remember when watering day was when the ditch was full of water and you spent the day irrigating. I remember when going to the movies was a big event and when eating out meant having a picnic in the backyard.

I’m glad for these memories because they help me remember how blessed I am. I am thankful for so many little things that we never think about. Maybe they aren’t little things at all. We don’t think about them, because we don’t need to, but that doesn’t make them little. I wonder how much we would think about them if they weren’t there.

Thank you for the sunset you sent me yesterday.
Thanks for sending me a friend who had kind things to say.
Thanks for time to take a walk and breathe the autumn air.
Thanks for my sweet husband and his warm and tender care.

Thank you for a hundred things that bless my life each day.
Thank you for the peace I feel each time I kneel to pray.
Thanks for friendly neighbors who wave and smile at me.
Thanks for this great country and for my liberty.

Thanks for all the little things I never speak about.
For this cozy cottage that keeps the winter out.
Thanks for my kitchen table, these chairs, and for this bread.
Thanks for blankets, bed, and pillows for my weary head.

I thank you for clean water when I thirst and need a drink.
I thank you for sweet music and for books that make me think.
I thank you for my hands and feet and for my eyes and ears.
I thank you for the laughter. I thank you for the tears.

Thanks for all my memories and sweetness in my life.
Thanks for the adventure that adds a little spice.
Thanks for always loving me and for Thy watchful care.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for always being there.

May your Thanksgiving Day be warm, delicious, and thankful…full of thanks.

Linda Garner

1 comment:

LexiconLuvr said...

What a beautiful poem. We truly have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Holidays