Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gratitude for Simple Pleasures

When itemizing those things we are grateful for, we'll list a lot of things that money affords -- like our home, car, clothes, food, electronics, appliances and all those THINGS that add to our comfort. But now, in retrospect, I realize those precious treasures that money can't buy. The Simple Pleasures.

Thanksgiving usually brings families "home". "Home' isn't necessarily the brick and mortar of the home we live in. For example, my oldest grandson and wife couldn't make it "home" to their families, but they were "at home" with friends who invited them to their Thanksgiving meal. Our 2nd to the oldest grandson couldn't make it home, but was also invited to the home of friends. For me, I've realized "home" is WHERE I AM at the time. Home is Austin, Frisco, Tulsa and anything in between where I seem to "light". Home is family, friends, our church, the places where "simple pleasures" abound.

Ryan, Shawntel and the boys made it to Frisco after spending time with Shawntel's family in Muldrow, OK. I loved the photos she took of their big family gathering of over 60 family members. I loved seeing the cousins having such a good time playing together and being "home" with their precious grandmother. Simple Pleasures.

On their way to Frisco, they made a stop in Tulsa to see Granny for a couple of hours. Granny is my husband's Mom, and at 94, though she's active and vibrant, we just don't know if it could be the last time, so spending time with her is so important. Simple Pleasures.

Then, they made their way to Frisco where cousins could frolic and play and have great fun times together. Ping Pong, Light Saber battles, movies, roller blades, and turkey hats. My traditional day-after-Thanksgiving Waikiki meatballs were the menu yesterday, plus our annual movie theater visit. We loved the new Disney movie, "Moana". The day ended with our "traditional" day-after-Thanksgiving dinner -- Mexican food. Simple pleasures.

Our time together at Thanksgiving has always included my annual family photo being taken. It was always a MUST DO -- that everyone tolerated and because it meant so much to me -- they all always complied. I was excited that my grandson's wedding photo would be this year's photo and it would let the family off the hook for yet another photo. But, my two sweet girls -- without my usual need-to-plead, got everyone dressed in grays, black and white and all I had to do was find a gray top and whoa la -- this year's Thanksgiving photo. Simple pleasures.

It won't be long before all these grandkids will be grown up with families of their own. Yes, I'm so grateful for the blessings of "simple pleasures" -- family and friends that keep reminding me that the greatest blessings on earth come without a price tag.

This is the time for counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures. It means learning to live our lives as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much we've been given. Gratitude even shifts our focus from what our life lacks to the abundance of what we already have. Maybe, the best prescription we could take to dispel the common "woe-is-me" attitude is to offer thanksgiving for the "simple pleasures". We just might be re-energized, have new vitality and excitement for this beautiful life that is made up of "simple pleasures"!

I had many of those these last couple of days. We celebrated many "simple pleasures". Yes, it's the simple pleasures that are life's treasures!