THANKSgiving

There is so much more to this time of year than the hustle and bustle, the crowds, and the stress. It really is a good time to stop and reflect on all the changes we are grateful for over the last year, and everything we are grateful for every day. I have several friends who have done a “thankfulness challenge” this month, naming something different every day. I have long been a proponent of the “gratitude attitude” and regularly try to be thankful for all the gifts in my life, every day trying to think of a few that maybe I forgot to say thanks for in a while.

Today I was so grateful for the sunshine and warm weather in mid November, I was able to hang clothes on the line, so I was thankful for that, then I started thinking about the clothes in my closet, and how thankful I am that even when I think I have nothing to wear, in reality, there are so many choices. From there I am thankful I am able to dress myself, mostly, and I am thankful my daughter is here to put my socks and shoes on, and it goes on and on.

There is a quote that I love, “If the only prayer you ever said was thank you, it would be enough,” I look at the mountains, the trees, dogs, babies, lakes, and sunsets, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for such beauty. When I get a phone call, or text, or email, I am thankful people are thinking of me today. I am especially thankful that I have a computer and the internet, and the option to write about all my adventures and people actually read them.

When I still lived in Minnesota, and all my family was in South Dakota except for me and my son, and the first year they didn’t come to me and I could not go to them, my best friend Nancy invited us to her home for Thanksgiving dinner with her family, now Nancy is Native American, Omaha Winnebago, and I am like an 1/8 or a 1/16, not a bunch Native, I used to hold up my pinky finger to Nancy and say “This much, I am this much Native, although a lot more in my heart.” I have been back in South Dakota for almost 4 years, and I have so many people there I miss so much, I told Nancy I miss her traditional holiday, when the Indians feed the starving white people, she said, “Honey you’re not all that white,” which makes me laugh a lot, because she is my best friend, like a sister, our hearts are the same color.

I think that is what I am most thankful for, every day, finding people who have insides the same color as mine, no matter what color our outsides are. People who live their lives with love, truth, passion, kindness, and dignity, not perfect, that would be dull, but people who strive, every day, to make the world a bit better than it was this morning. That is always my goal, not just to clean up my messes, but to leave people in better shape than how I found them, to leave the planet a little better because I was born here, and I am so thankful for such a loving family, that taught me how to be, the kind of person I want to be.