I want to wish every one of you a Thanksgiving Day filled with the joy a giving & thankful heart knows. A heart filled with purpose, with appreciation for all the gifts that God has blessed each one of us with. A heart filled with love for our friends, our neighbors, our families but also for those who need a helping hand. Those who need a warm smile, a hug, an understanding voice.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The last year has given me so many challenges, much sadness and buckets of tears. But it has also given me a new sense of purpose, a discovery of self, abounding love from friends and family and the knowledge that I am not alone.
The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep
through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
~Henry Ward Beecher
Beginning with the sudden loss of our precious dog Kipper last November, this year has been filled with trials. My mother went from being completely independent and full of spunk to barely being able to dress herself. Much of my time was devoted to her which left little to spend blogging. It is only recently that she is able to do more and I am grateful every day that we still have here here with us. We also faced the end of my brother & sister in law's marriage, an injury to my precious daughter, the re-emergence of my chronic illness and the sudden and shocking death of two men who I adored. Yes, a tough year.
A year that saw me reducing my blogging to the point that I almost ended it. I realize I don't visit many of you like I once did, or leave comments as often as I would like. I can't spend the time writing and photographing for my blog as I once enjoyed. Real life has a habit of making you change your priorities!
I continued the blog solely because of a handful of blog friends who have remained connected to me here and because many friends and family members around the world drop in from time to time.
I have watched Rabbit Run Cottage, The Blog, beg for life support! Poor thing, it felt unloved and unwanted! I will get back to regular blogging someday. For now though, my life has to take a different path.
I miss you all but do get around to visit when I can. Even if I don't leave a comment, I am able to see what each one of you is doing and to know you are well! Some day soon I hope to finish the zillions of home projects I have started and can join all of you in sharing that fun. But I still love my little cottage, though it may be imperfect and worn in places. Not unlike old Susie Q herself!
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder
Along with the challenges this year there have been delights and great happiness! I have discovered my passion for photography and it has led to a small business. It keeps me busy but happily so! Grace is well healed and taking dance classes, playing in an indoor rec soccer league, taking art classes and busy in school.
Daniel is working two jobs now in software development. He took up running this year and completed his first marathon last month with his Dad at his side!
Bill is working long hours but is also getting another Masters Degree & volunteering as a counselor with our church's JR High Youth group so his days are full!
We were able to go on a few get away trips to some of our favorite places, we entertained company here at Rabbit Run Cottage, visited with lots of relatives from both sides of our families at get togethers in 3 states. Such a gift! We have enjoyed lots of sweet times, concerts & dinners with our local friends & neighbors and shared so much laughter. Even on days when things seemed dark it was our close family and dear friends who found that ray of sun and brought it to me. I will always be grateful to them for that.
All that we behold is full of blessings.
And we welcomed our sweet Winston into our family. How much joy he has given us, how much love, how much slobber and dog hair! But a house is not a real home without our pets! I am so grateful for the affection we receive from Winnie and our two kitties, Lucy & Henry.
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous
and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
~Johannes A. Gaertner
I am grateful to have had the chance to get to know so many of you through blogging and to have actually met with so many as well. I wish I could convey to each one of you how much I care and what a joy it has been to have shared so much. I may not be as active in the blog community as I once was but I never forget the people who make up that community. Each one of you is so special.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and to those you love. May God Bless you.