It's been a busy week, including a trip to NC to pick up my mother's repaired hearing aid. As luck would have it, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and it was cold, requiring the use of her heating unit. It came on immediately but shortly thereafter began to make a loud noise. It got us through the first night but eventually failed the next morning. So the time we had hoped to spend with family and friends was spent trying to get the pump motor repaired. With the short time we planned to be there, we were happy to be able to get it repaired and everything on our "To Do" list accomplished before returning.
On the way up we stopped at Pearl Fryer's Topiary Garden (which you may remember from a previous visit). My mother had not seen it as we usually have kitties in the car and can't stop, so this seemed the right time to do it. It was even nicer than expected because Mr. Fryer was there and took us and two other ladies on a guided tour. He's a real people-person and loves showing off his garden, so it was a delightful visit.
On the way back home, we took a detour down Hwy. 1 to look for Hebron Church, which was the church my mother first joined. We had found it once and wanted to start there to see if we could also fine the grist mill that her father ran. It seems that most of the land in that area had been bought by a major peach farmer and all roads were gated and posted. So, we didn't get far on that front; but, we did stop at a little store and asked about things. When we went inside, there was a young kid behind the counter listening to an iPod, so I wasn't sure we would get very far. We told him why we had stopped and he called over his grandfather, who had all the answers. While we weren't able to get to the mill and artesian well, we found that we could get to her first school, Midendorf School. It really was a distinguished building, but totally misused. Part of it is being used as a junky garage (car repair) and the remainder just junked, with stuff just thrown inside and lots of tires, etc. all around it. We stepped inside the front door and even the flooring was still in good shape. It's so sad to see those wonderful, old buildings in such disrepair and/or abuse. Even so, my mother was very surprised and pleased that it was still there......and that we were able to find it.
Since getting back it seems that I've been constantly busy with something; yet, to look around the house, everything seems to be in total disarray!! It's hard to keep all the balls in the air for myself, my mother and 5 cats. Just today I had to take two of the kitties to the vet.......Tuffy to get his periodic shot for Irritated Bowel Disease and Chloe to have her eye examined. I think there was a slap somewhere down the line and she had what looked like a bloodshot eye. Luckily, all is well with her. Anyway, an hour every day is devoted to my walk, which I thoroughly enjoy and need. While sometimes it seems easier not to do it (or other things) than to do it, I'm trying to maintain those things that add meaning to my life and that I enjoy (which really aren't all that many......walks, Living Liberally, PAL, maintaining friendships). And, I hate to keep harping on it, but our weather continues to be fantastic. The last two days have been 80 degrees and I've walked in short sleeves.....so it's wonderful to get out and clear my head. It's like therapy!
Well, Thanksgiving is here, which means Christmas is right around the corner. I wish I were more "into" it but I feel like I'm just waiting for it all to be over! It seems there is a long list of things to do to make it all happen, and then everything will be a big letdown!! So, regardless of the mood of the day, I think I'll focus on the meaning of Thanksgiving and bring to mind all of the things for which I'm thankful........good health, wonderful family and friends (many of whom I've seen over the last few months), the luxury of time to do the things I enjoy, and so much more. I hope your Thanksgiving list is a long one.
Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t. –Unknown
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. --Cynthia Ozick
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.