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Home, Health…and So Much More by Lynn Rae

As Lynn Rae points out, we think first of home and family when we’re giving thanks. But there’s so much more to be thankful for! She shares a few of her blessings. And I couldn’t agree more with #4! What a true blessing. 🙂

Home, Health…and So Much More

by Lynn Rae

This is the time of year when we are often asked what we are grateful for. That’s one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. It’s nice to have a holiday centered on reflection and gratitude, two very laudable characteristics often overlooked in our busy, modern culture. The obvious answers to the question are elemental; our families, our health, the happy achievements of the year nearing its close.

This year I decided to expand my horizons and come up with some other things I am grateful for this year. Here’s a partial list:

  1. Joining a CSA. For those of you unfamiliar, the letters stand for Community Supported Agriculture. Our family bought a share, and every week this summer we received a box of fresh, locally-grown produce from a small farm operation. It was delicious, good for us, and a wonderful way to try new foods free of excess chemicals and shipped from goodness knows where.
  2. My son’s school. He started kindergarten this fall and the transition couldn’t have gone more smoothly. I was worried about him riding the bus, being the littlest in a school full of ‘big’ kids, and how he would do having to get up so early in the morning. After very little adjustment, he’s happy to go every day of the week, always says he’s had a good day when he gets off the bus, and his teacher says he’s a great helper.
  3. The Worthington, Ohio Public Library. We use this resource at least once a week. It’s a fantastic library system (the Library Journal gave it five stars again in 2013), the staff is friendly, and the materials they provide are world-class. I can browse picture books for my son, new classical music releases, or delve into research materials for my next book.
  4. The DVR. This household device, along with our automatic ice-maker, has made my life exponentially better. Not only can I skip commercials, I don’t have to worry I’m missing something when my son or husband are watching what they want on our solitary television. Recording shows means I never have to negotiate who gets to watch what, when. I just wait until everyone else falls asleep and I can catch up on all the Walking Dead episodes I want.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Lynn Rae is a romance writer residing in Columbus, Ohio.  With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, she enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty parts). Her latest contemporary, Return, is available from Musa Publishing and other online retailers.

 

Gratitude by Cindy Christiansen

From Christina: I’m very grateful to Cindy for sharing her beautiful thoughts about home, family, and the special memories that come from living, loving, and working together. Please welcome her to Time for Love. 

Gratitude

By Cindy Christiansen

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I have fond memories of life on our farm with my family and harvesting what we had worked so hard to produce through the year. I remember peeling and coring apple after apple for bottled apples and applesauce, my mouth watering for one of my mom’s homemade apple pies; the canning season coming to a close as we gathered the squash to store in the cellar; and finally putting the garden to bed for the dormant winter months ahead.

Memories of my dad’s hardworking hands, my mother’s gentle smile, and my siblings’ playful banter take me back to a picturesque time when life was slower and more people had a sense of gratitude instead of entitlement.

But most of all, I remember being together as a family, sharing a story and a laugh while we worked together and the feelings of love, contentment, and peace that radiated from our home. I am so very thankful for these memories and hope the home life I have tried to create for my children will provide them with the same wonderful memories I enjoy because there really is no place like home.

Although I am grateful for my family and friends who light the flame within me, often times it’s the memories of life on our farm which help to rekindle my passion for life. For this, I am forever grateful.

About Cindy:Photo - Cindy A. Christiansen

Cindy A. Christiansen writes sweet romance with humor, suspense…and dogs! With over thirty health issues and two autistic children, she struggles to write but finds it cathartic. She loves going where only her characters can take her. She loves dogs and always includes them in her books and features them on her covers. She donates time and money to organizations that help abused and abandoned dogs. She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, Utah.

A Gift to the Senses by Rose Anderson

From Christina: I loved reading Rose’s post about autumn in the midwest. Yep, she’s got it right, and for the record, we’ve already turned our furnace on once…just checking, you know. Enjoy Rose’s reflections!

A Gift to the Senses

by Rose Anderson


I’m enjoying an early autumn day in the Midwest. It’s one of those poetic lofty-cloud big-sky days that can only be described as blue with a capital B. How pretty.

It’s chilly today, and I love it. We play a game in my house called Can You Stand It? The idea is to see how long you can go before you turn the furnace on for the winter. Most years I can get to a week past Thanksgiving unless the beaks of my cockatiels have icicles hanging from them. No need to stress my little buddies. There are other ways to keep warm – pots of soup, baking anything from meatloaf to pie, or filling the house with warm friends.

My hair has taken on its autumn pelage and gone darker. Just the other day I heard the first of many, “Hey, your hair is darker all of a sudden”.  And come spring, it’ll be, “Hey, did you dye your hair? It’s lighter.” Nope. The changing color of my hair is as predictable as the seasons. People have mentioned this every year for my entire life. I don’t know if this phenomenon is particular to me or a natural redhead thing. Maybe it’s a trick of light from the angle of the sun, or just a peculiar trait for a peculiar person.

Or… maybe changing color is just my way of enjoying autumn. This is my favorite time of year, after all.

I love the sound of leaves crunching underfoot and the frosty crispness in the air. I especially love the color everywhere. With the right conditions of cold nights and sunny days, the trees in my neck of the woods don their autumn finery. The other morning, it was cold enough to see my breath when I was out walking the dogs. I knew the colors would pop within days. And they did, not all, just the first in the autumn palette.

Photo by Christina

Photo by Christina

Soon I’ll have butter yellow cherry and hickory trees in my yard. Today the ashes and hazel bushes look like they’ve been set ablaze. Even the oaks are turning. Mostly the bur oaks turn brown, but another round of frosty nights might turn their leaves a dark reddish-purple. I just love that. I’ve only seen it a handful of times in all the years we’ve lived here, but when that occurs, oh my.

The real feast for the eyes dot the streets in the nearby small town neighborhoods. The sugar maples are just starting to turn those vibrant reds, blinding yellows, and glowing oranges. Some years, these trees are so amazing, they’ll take your breath away.

Even if the colors aren’t at their best, there are other things that make me smile. I love the V’s of geese flying overhead. Sometimes they fly so low you can hear that Styrofoam-like sound of their wings moving the wind.

And then there’s the smell of burning leaves wafting my way from the small towns around me. Inexplicably driven to rake the moment the leaves fall, the residents pile and burn them. For me, this ritual sends spectral memories puffing into the air. As a kid growing up in Chicago, these smoldering piles were such fun. We’d jump into the billowing clouds and some of my friends pretended to be angels or ghosts. As a fan of old Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies, I’d pretend I was on the moors with the hound. Yes, I was an odd child with an active imagination.

These distinctions from season to season are a gift to the senses and I love them all in their turn. There are things I can count on when the seasons change. In the late spring and early summer when first the lilacs, and then the peonies, irises, and roses bloom, I can count on fierce storms and torrential rains to beat them to smithereens the instant they’re at their loveliest. In autumn, the very week all the trees deck out in fabulous color, a wind storm will strip the branches bare. In the winter when the snow comes deep and still, I can count on my dogs to abandon their favorite business spot in the yard and crisscross the blanket of snowy beauty with tracks that leave it looking like Grand Central Station.

The fleetingness of it all makes you appreciate these things more, I think. It’s like a sweet spring-only Vidalia onion, summer bing cherries, or a Christmas tangerine. No, I take that back. This small window to appreciate the seasons’ beauty is more like a Marshmallow Peep or a Taffy Apple. Get ‘em while they’re here for they will soon be gone.

About Rose:  

Rose Anderson is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and learning interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper mid-west.  

Her books are available at Amazon. You can also follow Rose at her blog, Calliope’s Writing Tablet. You’ll find her in many places across the web. Wave when you see her!