thankful

There’s a whole lot of big stuff happening in my family right now. Big stuff that runs the gamut from awesome to terrible and that I’m not quite ready to put to words here. Not yet. Sometimes, my thoughts can overwhelm me and send me spiraling down, down, down. Especially right now in the heat of the spring rush and lambing season and maintaining some semblance of rhythm with my family. It is during these times that I really benefit from looking about myself and seeing the little things that bring me such joy. The little things that I am incredibly thankful for. The beacons that help me regain my balance and focus when the storms rage…

… like the lightning bugs that are just emerging for the season. More and more grace the darkness each night. Sometimes they even find their way into my bedroom and dazzle me with their light.

… and like the red eft. Magical woodland creature that it is.IMGP0873

… and this.IMGP1014

… and like the lambs, eighty-some of them now, schooling together like fish and doing their popcorn dance just for the fun of it.

… and these. Especially when they are fried in butter.IMGP0822

… and sun-bathing at the creek. The air still chilly, but the sun oh-so warm.

… and hillsides covered in these, white trilliums, swaying and dancing in the breeze.IMGP0943

 … and driving through the pasture and smelling a black cherry tree in full bloom. There is no other smell like it on the planet.

Really. Truly. I have so much to be thankful for.

I could go on, but I won’t. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts here, and for reading along. I feel better already. I hope you do, too.

thankful

One of the most memorable pieces of my grandfather’s memorial last week was hearing from his sister, my great-aunt Carol, about my grandpa’s great love of snakes.

Yes, snakes.  All kinds of snakes.  He had a life long love of snakes, and turtles, and lizards, and other such scaled and slimy and beautiful creatures, but most especially snakes.  He picked them up on road trips and carried them around in the car.  He collected them in boxes to show to visiting grandkids.  He was always excited to hear a snake story, but he was more excited to be involved in one.

As we filed back to my mother’s house that afternoon for an early dinner together – what do you think was there to greet us, curving gracefully along her covered backyard sidewalk?

Of course.  A little garter snake, flicking its bright red tongue.

I picked it up (snake-handling heritage runs deep) and made sure everyone got a chance to greet it before we released it by a sunny tree way in the back of the yard.

I am thankful for that snake.  It was a message to me of spring’s approach, and a perfect ‘hello’ from grandpa.carol and i with garter

thankful

IMGP0610I’m not sure I’ve ever been more thankful to have a warm dry house as I am right now. Chores this evening might have topped the charts for absolutely the most miserable chore-time I can ever remember. But I won’t go there or else I might defeat the purpose of this post.

I am thankful to have chores to do. That there are cows and sheep and chickens that need tending. I am thankful to have been able to do those chores with an able body. I was very thankful at the reassuring thought, while doing those miserable  chores, that I had shelter to retreat to. And that shelter had a warm fire blazing and a sound roof and smelled of cookies and popcorn. I am thankful for bright rosy cheeks and big blue eyes. And the sound of crunching.

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This morning, I am thankful once again for my cozy and warm house. I am thankful for my husband that kept the fires stoked and cooked breakfast while I went to milk Lilly out in the blowing snow. I was thankful that the golf cart was able to make the journey up the hill so that I didn’t have to huff it the whole way to do my chores. And that we did not receive a bunch of ice before the snow started falling. The snow is beautiful, too. I have a feeling this is the last glimpse of the powdery white stuff we’ll be seeing for the season. So I will do my best to be thankful for it’s fleeting beauty and the fact that it has given me another day to linger in the house and work on my pair of socks.IMGP0621