Today's gratitude challenge encouraged me to think about something I take for granted and then to express gratitude for it by writing a story. Every day, the first things I do - and a large percentage of the rest of the things I do throughout the day - depend on my ability to read. Some decades ago , I joined 40 other six-year-olds as a member of the first township-wide first grade – the previous year, first graders in the township had still attended one-room schools, but the Baby Boom had reached even that rural corner of central Pennsylvania. Sprawling in comparison to the previous schools, the new building had a separate classroom for each grade. First grade had been assigned to a veteran teacher from one of the one-room schools named Mrs. Noel. I don’t know how she did it, but Mrs. Noel taught most of us the basics of reading. In ... Read Full Story >>
This morning I met my sister in law and we went for a walk around the savannah. The sun was just waking up and as I walked there was a slight drizzle. I felt the drops on me and they were refreshing. I am very grateful that I can walk and feel and be engaged in the wonders and beauty of all that is around me. I am so very thankful
I was standing in a long line at a cafe. In front of me stood a mom with her fidgety and clearly bored little boy. He looked to be 6 or 7 years old. A police car drove by the cafe and suddenly he came to life. "Mom, mom," he said excitedly, "It's the police, we better go outside, they're probably looking for us!". The mom looked mortified, her face red, as she explained to the long line of people waiting for a hot cup of coffee. "My son's bicycle was stolen last night. Someone took it from the front porch, cut the lock and carried it away. When we realized it had been stolen we called the police. He helped by describing what his bike looked like while the officer wrote the report. Now he thinks all the policemen in the city are out looking for his bike." Everyone in the line ... Read Full Story >>
This morning I was helping with the Bountiful Baskets delivery in my town. The delivery truck arrives at 5:45am - well before sunrise. Volunteers unload, sort, and box the produce for pick-up.
This week's baskets included squash, spinach, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, apples, bananas, and several other fruits and vegetables. All of this food - fresh food - coming from so many different places; coming to my little town of 500 people in north-central South Dakota.
I am thankful for the gift of food - and for the abundance of good, healthy, and affordable food. May I never take this gift for granted.
I will be turning 50 on December 7th but I didn't want this birthday to be about me. I have been given so much and helped so much in my life as a single mother, so I decided to do a "birthday for a cause/birthday wish event".
I asked all my friends and family for support and contributions. We have a women's transitional housing center in our city, with 20 women and 12 kids. In two days, I have received enough to provide new clothes, toys, pajamas and books to all 12 children and I am making a quilt for one of the women there also.
I will be making dinner for all the women and children who live there and taking all the gifts and donations there for them the night I get to do the dinner. I was so nervous when I decided to do this, but my heart is so grateful for all my friends and family who are helping me make my wish come true!!
Giving back to our community and single women and their children means so much to me, especially at Christmas. I am thankful I took the leap of faith to do my 50th birthday for a cause!! My heart is so full of joy!!
There are so many people who have done wonderful things for my son and me: family, friends, medical professionals, and complete strangers.
I have a friend who paid my rent for me when I couldn't. I have another friend who drove me to apply for food assistance because I was too depressed to drive. I had a counselor who helped me come out of the abyss -- she and my friends and family helped me so much. I have a very old car and a great mechanic. He fixes my car and doesn't try to take advantage of the fact that I don't know much about cars.
Regarding paying it forward: I was standing in line waiting to get my prescriptions when I noticed a woman and her two crying children having a discussion with the cashier. The Mom was trying to pay for her children's medications and she was $1.00 short. I thought to myself, she needs this dollar more than I do, so I went to the front of the line and gave her the dollar. I will never forget the way she smiled at me.
Few days before this Deepavali we received a message saying that one should avoid talking about festive celebrations while traveling in Taxis, Buses or when 'not so lucky' people are around.. as they might not get a chance to celebrate the festival at all.
Me and my wife were feeling a little strange and thought let's celebrate this Deepavali with few strangers! We arranged for 25 sweet boxes to be shared with a Bus Conductor, Taxi Driver, Rag Pickers and a few others who came into contact with us randomly.
The smile and expressions on their faces touched our soul and gave us a new meaning to celebrate festivals!
We are grateful to Kindspring community, reading your stories gave us the strength to reach out to strangers and the show shall go on :)
There are a few people who have passed through my life who I say I would never be able to repay. One of them who left the most impact was my art teacher Mr. Cataldo.
I went to a very rough middle school and that is a difficult age to be in an unsafe environment. I was bullied and mistreated on a regular basis. Perhaps the other students could see the victim in me, but all of that changed the day that I came into art class.
Mr. Cataldo let every student of his know that this was a safe zone and no bullying or bad behavior could happen on his watch. He fostered a good environment for learning and growing. It was only an hour a day, but it saved my life at the time. So thanks, Mr.C for giving me a little haven of peace in an otherwise dark and disturbing middle school experience. I think about you often!
For the love and the thoughtfulness that shaped my childhood and still cocoons me today, I can never repay my grandfather or my father... I felt the back of my grandfather’s rough fingers caress my jawline today as he used to when he was still alive; when I was but a child… I received a beautifully stamped envelope from the States in the mail. I immediately recognized Edith Piaf on one of the stamps and my father’s scrawl below. Carefully, I used a knife to open the envelope, knowing that my father occasionally sends me valuable treasure through the mail. Inside, I found another envelope. On it, I saw two scripts. The first one bore my father’s explanation: In the 40’s, my great-grandfather bought a desk. He used it in his office at the family restaurant and when he passed away, my grandfather started using the desk. When the family restaurant sold, the desk was moved ... Read Full Story >>
Bought blank charts yesterday and my sister, my niece and I filled our charts with gratitude :) It was a fun experience as we all sat together and wrote down all the things we are grateful for. My niece has fullest chart so far, she is 11 :)
I can never repay my father for all of the lessons he taught me that made me the person I am today.
From my father, I learned that giving is only that when you expect nothing in return. You give from your heart.
I learned that a day without laughter is a wasted day. I never let a day go by without finding humor in something, but never at the expense of another. That was one of his other lessons - if it is hurtful to someone else, it is never funny.
My Dad supported me in so many ways, encouraging me to go back to school and finish my college degree. While he wasn't sitting in the stands watching me walk that stage, I know he was smiling down with pride in his eyes.
And although I will never be able to repay him, I can honor him by passing these lessons on to others. Thank you, Dad.
There are many people in my life who I can never repay. During the most difficult time in my life, the only reason I survived was because of the kindness of strangers.
It's now nearly 30 years later, and I still try every day to pay that kindness forward. To someone, it could mean everything.
I have a whole basketful of gratitude, gathered during my husband's hospital stay this week when everyone on the cardiac floor made him feel cared about, supported, and comfortable. They even listened to his long stories and corny jokes, with smiles on their faces.
It's wonderful to find such a large organization with uniformly high morale and the universal expertise to work as a giant team, right down to the laughing lady who dumped the trash and the security guard in the parking lot.
Thank you, thank you, hospital people for saving my husband's life and for reminding me, again and again, how wonderful people can really be.
I found out yesterday that my local school is struggling with recent government budget cuts, just as the families in our tiny town also are.
There are families who send the kids to school with no lunch, and the school always makes sure they get something to eat, but are finding it harder and harder to do.
I am going to give the bread and fruit every week for them to use, and today dropped off a big jar of sandwich spread, margarine and a massive packet of cheese slices.
I might be struggling myself, but I am grateful my kid always eats, and this is an act of kindness I can do to help other kids and their families, and the school too.
When I was in middle school,I got mad at my parents because they would never give anything to the homeless that would pass us by. On a family vacation in Washington DC there was a homeless man down the street who would say the same thing "food, money, a smile?" My family always walked past with our eyes at our feet. On our final day in the city, when my parents went for an evening walk I snuck out of our hotel room and ran down the street to the homeless man. He looked at me with curiosity, surely not expecting anything from a middle school girl. I asked him what he would have for dinner if he could have anything in the world. He replied 'lunchables'. I ran into the grocery store down the block and bought 5 lunchables, 3 bags of chips, one chocolate bar, my favorite candy, 1 smoothie, 1 ... Read Full Story >>
On Christmas eve and Christmas day I found myself alone. This was a first for me. I am 63 years old and had never been alone for any holiday, especially not Christmas. It was my mother's favorite day of the year and she died 2 years ago. I had created bags of necessities for homeless people days before with the idea of giving them out during the cold weather we are experiencing. But, on Christmas eve I ventured out to find folks who needed something to give them hope for their lives. My zip lock plastic bags contained protein bars, tooth brush and paste and hair brush and candy and tissues and baby wipes and candles and razors and shaving cream and lotion and lip balm and shampoo and a Christmas card which read "No matter how bad things get, Remember that somebody loves you". I had about 35 of these bags ... Read Full Story >>
My old manager bought me tires once when I was without family and had nothing. He refused payback and insisted I accept.
The only terms were that when I was in a financial position I had to help a person struggling in the same way. I look forward to the day I pay that forward.
I have a loving family, that despite our differences and our distance, we remain close at heart and open and always there to support each other.
I am grateful that my integrity and character remain intact and not jaded by hurtful situations or by what appears to be socially acceptable these days.
I'm inspired by the words "treat others as you want to be treated" and I am grateful that I practice this method.
I'm more than grateful to live in a beautiful place, surrounded by all that is breathtaking, from oceans to forests, rivers,lakes, fall, and mountains.
Last but not least, I am grateful that no matter how long the road you've been traveling, you can always turn around.
Today I started talking at a co-workers desk about a conference call he was just on and he stated it was disappointing that everyone only focused on the negative. It started a conversation about inspiring ourselves and others to be positive!
Our conversation ended up attracting two other people to walk over and share the conversation thread with us! Everyone was complimentary and focused on how we could help ourselves and the team as a whole to stay cohesive and positive and how we could include our new manager and spread this positivity to the other locations and the corporate office.
We were all smiling and positive and this organic meeting seemed to bloom in front of my eyes. It was so beautiful to be a part of it!
I have enough of.....everything! I realized this morning as I was thinking about the idea of sufficient that the universe has given me exactly what I have needed when I needed it.
I am grateful for this revelation which made me want to give more of myself to everyone that I met. I was on the train and had the pleasure to speaking to three older women...who did not feel like strangers... for 55 minutes which gave me such joy because I am enough.
I am grateful for the love of my son who hugs me everyday and tells me he loves me....I have enough love. I am grateful for my friends because they are enough.....and I am grateful for the friends who are no longer friends because what they gave me was enough.
Thank you Universe for providing me with enough every single day.