Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

As I have faced numerous family challenges over the last few weeks I am especially aware of my blessings.

I am blessed to share my life with a wonderful man that I love and adore, it is a privilege to be married and that relationship deserves my full attention. I like sharing my time with him and am looking forward to the opportunity of spending all hours of the day together as we enter a new stage of life.

I am thankful to be strong enough to take care of the responsibilities that are mine. My hips are healing and with a little nerve medicine I have the mental strength to deal with most of my daily challenges.

I have 6 children who are happily married and gainfully employed. They face their challenges with prayer, faith and a can-do attitude. They have blessed me with 17 grandchildren who are healthy and happy. Of course each day is filled with growth opportunities for all, but they take each bump in stride and keep trying. My family makes me happy.

I have a comfortable home. It is always nice to go home. The septic system decided not to work this week, but it waited until the Thanksgiving get together was over. All is better now thanks to professionals who know how to do their job. I am thankful for modern conveniences like running water, electricity and appliances such as the dishwasher and refrigerator. These things make housekeeping a much easier job for me than it was for my grandmothers.

I am thankful for modern travel and communications that keep me close to my children and parents who live far away. I am glad I can pick up the phone and call whenever I want. I can get on a plane and within several hours find myself on the other side of the world where 5 of my grandchildren eagerly await my visit. I can get in my car and in a short while be at the home of any of my other grandchildren as well. The distances are small and keep family close even when work opportunities mean we live far from each other.

I am thankful for modern medicine that can help mend a broken back, and repair shoulders, hips, feet, belly buttons and teeth as needed. We live in an era when it is relatively easy to be healthy, all it takes is a little patience (hang in there Cara).

I am thankful for an eternal perspective and the spiritual awareness that there is a God in Heaven who loves His children on earth and He wants us to be happy. I am thankful to have the freedom to worship as I please. I am thankful for children who were open to learn from their parents and recognized truth. I am thankful they are building strong homes where truth is taught to my grandchildren.

I am thankful for good parents who taught me well and provided me with all that I needed while growing up. They supported me and helped me to grow. They continue to show love and encouragement as I go through the experiences of life.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Life is good and worth living with a smile.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have had visiting grandchildren almost every weekend this last month. Sometimes it is fun to stay at home and watch a movie and go with grandma and grandpa's everyday style. But, sometimes it is fun to mix it up and do something different.

We decided to do the something different lately. We ventured to the flea market with a few grandchildren to see what we could see.

The children were amazed with the treasures that were to be discovered there.

We told each child that the goal of the day was to find the best deal for $1.

We looked and looked at do-dads and thing-a-ma-bobs. We pointed out items that were popular when grandma and grandpa were children, things their parents used to like to play with and items that my grandparents might have used on a daily basis.

We found good things to eat and plenty of sights to see. Some of the granddaughters found necklaces, a grandson found a special book, some fast miniature cars and cast iron figures were among the choices. Grandma found some vintage hats and white day gloves and Grandpa found some comfortable socks.

When we lived in Delaware we were tight on money and chose to go to the flea market for weekend entertainment quite often. We would each have a dollar and look for the best deal of the day. My husband once got a whole box of combs, we came home with a box of juice glasses, we combined our dollars one day and got a floor lamp. My best dollar buy was a pewter teapot.

I have plenty of furniture such as dressers and end tables that came to us from the flea market. Most needed some cleanup and a fresh coat of paint or paint remover to make it into the house, but the labor of love added to the few dollars to purchase made them ours. The best luck for furniture was when I was looking for a dresser. We were late getting to the market and I was sure all of the best deals were gone for the day, but, I found a nice dresser that would do well and it was just $35--oh, and by the way, the bed goes with it!! I like the way it looks in my guest room.

One time I needed a table with some drawers for our bathroom. It was a cozy space in our tiny bathroom and our money was limited. I said a prayer and was off to see what I could find. It was $5, painted orange and at one time had a twin and a mirror, but the dressing table console with two drawers would be the perfect fit after a bit of paint was removed. Later it served as a night table in the bedroom, now it sports a white coat of paint and stands proud in my sewing room holding specialty threads and do-dads.

I enjoyed going to the Rodium with my parents and grandparents when I was young. It was a drive-in theater at night that served as a swap meet during daylight hours on the weekend. It is still in operation as a swap meet almost everyday in Southern California. When I get out west to visit, my Aunt Zella and I still enjoy a walk around the Rodium looking for the best deal of the day. With her I have picked up dinner napkins. table cloths, sterling silver, glass jars that have turned blue, dishes like grandma used to have, fabric, lace and buttons.

You have heard the saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well I have found quite a few treasures over the years lurking under dirt, grime and some ugly paint. Now I am enjoying showing my grandchildren the joy of the search for the perfect item at the perfect price, a treasure in the rough.

Maybe in all of the searching, the best treasure to be found, is a memory that will last a lifetime.