Hello dear readers! Sorry I've been so neglectful of this blog. I've been considering whether to continue blogging. I am sure most bloggers go through this. I read on a techie site that if you have a smart phone, you really don't need your computer, and if you use instagram and Twitter you really don't need a blog. For material that's not your own, you have Pinterest. In terms of immediacy, blogs can be passe, according to this same article. However, I don't find blogs passe. Blogging is an important part of my life. I really enjoy reading blogs and getting to know bloggers. Blogs have taken the place of magazines for me. I also really enjoy sharing, I always have so much I'd like to share! I am grateful for my creativity. I am grateful for the kind comments and emails I receive from my dear readers. So I'm going to continue this journey, to see where it leads. It's not over.
Right now my journey is taking me towards loving living simply and wanting to share that. I've been working on a series regarding the joy of living a simple life. But before I dive into that - did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I did. One of the best I've ever had. I have so much to be grateful for. Almost every day is Thanksgiving for me. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is give thanks for my many blessings. I'd like to share a few of my blessings with you.
First, my baby brother returned home safely from serving in Afghanistan. I love my brother so much, I get a lump in my throat when I look at him. He is a fine man and I am very proud of him. For his service to his country, he received the Combat Action Badge and The Bronze Star Medal for leading his battalion. I prayed every day for his safety. Thank you God for answering my prayers. He is pictured here with his wife and youngest son, who are ecstatic that he is home.
Image by James Harlin, editing by Peggy
Later that day, my brother surprised his older son at his high school, where he was performing in the play Hairspray. The play itself provided plenty of reasons to be grateful. When I watched black and white youth performing together on stage, I cried. I hoped Martin Luther King was looking down from heaven. The kids in the play were quoted as saying that racism is not applicable to their time. It seemed so appropriate to watch this play after the contentious presidential campaign we recently suffered through. I felt pride as I have marched for civil rights, and have been careful not to perpetuate racism among children.
The story of how this play came about is fascinating. It was a collaboration between several high schools, one of which does not have the money for its own drama department. For the whole inspiring story, click here.
Moving to Akron has been a big adjustment for me. I still feel homesick for Cleveland. On the plus side, I am enjoying being closer to my family. I am grateful and humbled that I have so many people who love me. One of the big things I am grateful for is that I have reconnected with my favorite cousin, Jenny.
A little background on my cousin. She's actually my second cousin. I was dearly in love with her father, my first cousin, and his wife when I was a child. If you've been a long time reader of my blog, you know that I was an unhappy child and always felt ugly. My cousin's wife, Sue, died much too young leaving Jenny to grow up without a mother. I have just one memory of her, and it is one of my most precious memories from childhood, as I've said there are not too many. At a family gathering, where I felt my usual acute awkwardness, she encouraged me to hold my head up. She told me I was pretty. I believe that was the first time an adult told me that, and I needed to hear it badly. I have carried that memory my whole life.
A few years after Sue had passed my aunt, my cousin and Jenny, who was about 7 years old, came to visit me when I was living in Florida. I was about 25. Jenny and I immediately connected with each other. I wanted to adopt her! Ah life. We get so caught up in the mundane we forget what really matters. During my long tortuous descent into corporate insanity I neglected my family, including Jenny. Jenny and I have recently reconnected and I am so grateful. I thank God for her everyday. We have a connection that is rare and remarkable, I have never felt so understood. Perhaps that is because we are blood relations. She is truly a gentle soul, an earth angel and I cherish her.
Here is artwork created by Sue that Jenny has in her home. I had no idea Sue had been such a wonderful artist. I dearly love these silk screens and that macrame frog is too fab! So in tune with today's handmade movement.
I am also very grateful for the loving hospitality of my sister-in-law. She goes to a lot of trouble to host wonderful holiday parties. I always look forward to seeing the artful way she has set her table. Thanksgiving was great again, and even better because my brother was home. After dinner, he fell asleep on the couch, and all felt right in the world. I must have kissed him on the forehead 100 times!
I am also grateful to you dear readers. Thank you for taking the time to read this humble little blog of mine. I can't tell you how much it means to me. And now I'd love to hear from you! Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? What are you grateful for? I am not doing any Christmas shopping this year. I don't have the money and no one in my family really needs anything, we have plenty. I am also unable to subject myself to the insanity also known as Christmas shopping. I am going to spend my holiday season focusing on my blessings, and letting every one know how much I love them.
All images by Peggy, except where noted