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‘Days of Thankfulness’ a good reminder

Our daughter talked me into opening a Facebook account a few years ago, both to keep up with her busy family and to connect with friends, current and past. Even though I can't connect daily, I check in regularly.

This month I became intrigued by the "Thirty Days of Thankfulness" entries by my daughter, Trina, and others.

It's a fascinating idea, with some benefits.

"Yesterday I found myself really searching for something to be thankful for and I gotta say that the search alone was something to be thankful for," one participant noted. "Purposely turning my thoughts to the good things around me turned my attitude around, and changed the outcome of my whole day."

That's a good reminder in these turbulent times.

For my part, since I can't access Facebook from home, I haven't participated. But there is plenty to ponder.

I'm grateful our friends in New York and other areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy were not seriously affected, and for the avenues to help those who were.

I'm grateful we seem to have come through an election with no hanging chads, Electoral College tie, or long wait to count contested ballots in key states. 

It's delightful to finally turn on the news without the bombardment of political ads, most of which were negative. 

It likely was the election that prompted Trina's Election Day post. "I am grateful for the 19th Amendment," she wrote, and for the women who lectured, wrote, marched and lobbied for the right to vote. "Few early supporters lived to see the final victory in 1920," she noted.

It's hard now to imagine how frustrating it would feel to be barred from casting a ballot.

A day earlier Trina posted a photo of the family's German shepherd, typing, "I am so grateful to have someone who is always overjoyed to see me and greet me with enthusiasm when I walk through the door."

I know what she means. Our pooch isn't as big, or nearly as smart as hers, but when we arrive at his pen, his tail wagging his body and his joy is every bit as uplifting.  He gives me an upbeat start to each day when I greet him for the morning hike.

Trina on Day 9 posted "I am grateful for the music my children bring into the house." She told of arriving home to hear her 11-year-old singing favorite songs in her room and later her teen son strumming his guitar.

But she is unlikely to share my grateful relief to have family holiday shopping done.  Our scattered family will celebrate both holidays this week, a Thursday we have dubbed "Thankmas," with a tree of Christmas ornaments on one side and harvest symbols on the other.

As a result, we shop early.

It ought to be a delight to select gifts for the grandchildren. But it means shopping.

I've seen those articles on shopping addictions and how to avoid overspending. I can't quite relate. Quite the contrary. With the possible exception of bookstores, I've never liked to shop. Never.

Which explains why my parents added my name to their store credit cards when I was in college. They actually hoped that would prompt me to make some purchases, specifically clothing. It didn't work.  Fashionable I'm not. 

Curious, I wondered if I would find reports online of other non-shoppers.

There were a few, but the were pretty specific. They reported disliking in-store shopping because of aversions to people, blocked aisles, bratty kids, waiting in lines and the ease of overspending.

They liked the alternative - shopping online.

Not me. With the occasional exception when I know exactly what I want and find it at a reasonable price very quickly - and both are essential - online or in-store shopping are equally disagreeable.

Fortunately, my husband never lets me procrastinate as Christmas, or now, Thankmas, approaches.

He gently starts reminding me in early October. And in the weeks that follow. I call it nagging. He doesn't. I fret, but I know it is probably a good thing. 

Which leads me to an entry I expect my daughter will make next week on her Facebook page.

I'm betting she will mark our anniversary day - the late November date of her wedding, ours 30 years earlier and that of her now-departed maternal grandparents three decades before.

We have a lot to celebrate thankfully.

Contact writer Evadna Bartlett at



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