Saturday, November 3, 2012

November is the month of gratitude

By Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I'm two cups of tea into the day, gazing down into the mirror of my mug's revealed floor, gazing up out the window at the tall pine, as tall as two and a half houses, heavy with wet snow.

Josh sits across from me at the dining table (which currently occupies a corner of the living room), marking a white-covered study Bible with blue ink and filling notebook pages with ideas for his curriculum writing gig. This reminds me of the years and years we spent in school together: study "dates" in college (did we actually ever study?); that first year of marriage, which I picture forever as Josh-the-T.A. grading theology assignments and me reading The Faerie Queene or Moby Dick, always by candlelight; the Chicago years of piled up reading and incredibly cheap Chinese takeout. Our bookshelves groan, now, under the accumulated loads of those years. Our partnership, though, has mostly benefited from the long seasons of quiet and shared focus.

We are headed into the darkest days of the year, friends. I mean this literally, not figuratively, as the sun grows more and more stingy. I also mean that we are heading into the holidays in another new place, surrounded by lovely new friends but missing our beloved communities in Montana, Chicago, Macedonia, Ohio, Michigan. We have things to mourn this month, and things to miss.

I plan to greet this darkness with a double strategy: I will welcome it as best I can, for it is part of the year and my life, and I cannot pretend otherwise. But I will also practice gratitude during this month, as has been my tradition for so many years. Please feel free to practice along with me: if you leave a comment with a link to your blog (or your own lists of thankfulness), I will compile a list in a new tab at the top of the blog.

So to begin, I am thankful for:

1. a dining table covered in books and papers
2. the woolen crochet coffee cozy that keeps our French press coffee warm
3. pierogies and sausages
4. blue ballpoint pens
5. a pound of salted butter defrosting on the counter


  1. Gladly!

    1. a reasonably priced & conveniently located hotel where my sisters, brother & niece are booked over Thanksgiving weekend--in Medellin, Colombia! (just got the word a few minutes ago)
    2. the fact that my brother is marrying a truly wonderful woman--the reason for our trip
    3. I will get to be with my daughter Claire there!
    4. a weekend to mostly stay in bed & read (I'm fighting a cold)
    5. a wedding at church this morning!

  2. Here are my thoughts, and the list will grow over the month:

    Mmm... pierogies. :)