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Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Open Thanksgiving Letter To You All...

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. 
 ~William Wordsworth

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.


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

A lot has happened to you and your family this year! I am glad to hear that your Mom and Grace are both doing better. And how fun that your photography has turned into a business!! Hope to see you visit me when you have time. I have missed you!

Janet said...

Sweet Sue, I am so sorry for all your tribulations this year, but the fact you remain so positive and loving is a testament to all you hold dear. Give my love to Bill, Grace and Dan (and of course Henry, Lucy and Winston). Bob and I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings and the Merriest of Holidays. You are indeed a blessing to me and I cannot wait to come visit sometime next year.

Debby said...

Hi There. Yes, you have had a "year". You have to put family first. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. This certainly hasn't been a banner year for our family but still so much to be thankful for. ((((((HUGS))))))

Sue said...

I think we all have been through tough years just like you faced this past year.....We too had the death of a beloved animal...I can't believe it has been a whole year since we lost our Boo....We dealt with a parent with severe Alzhiemers and his death....we also saw our beautiful daughter and granddaughter get asked to leave their home by their husband and father...only to finely find happiness as a single Mom....we spent 6 months sleeping on an air mattress to keep that daughter safe and sound....Everything happened for a reason....All is well or it will makes us stronger and grateful for what we do have....Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family....Sue.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Dearest Susie Q,

What an incredible post... we all love you and ask our loving Father and the sweet Lord Jesus Christ to bless you and yours every moment of every day.

Thank you for all your inspiration you give us. We all have to do what we need to do. Blogging is not the priority... our loved ones are.

Happy Thanksgiving Sweetie!
Big hugs, Sherry

Sandi McBride said...

Okay, I read this about ten minutes ago, went back and reread parts and have to say you had me in tears but you've done that to me before my sweet friend! You're right about life rearing it's sometimes ugly headl. Sometimes it seems I'm either shaking with laughter or rage...seems that our blogging friends can always relate to whatever trouble or delight is running through our world. And leave it to you to be the first person to come by and visit my new blog...I am so honored, my dear friend! Hugs to you all, Winston and the kitties included...yes, you're right...a home is not a home without the fur children...

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

We love you Sue!! And don't ever feel pressure to blog, that just takes the fun out of it!! We are here whenever you have something to share! This year has been tough on us too and so many others, but we all will make it, we always do! Happy Thanksgiving! Hugs!!

Melanie said...

My best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving, dearest Susie. Isn't it wonderful that we have wonderful family and friends to lean on during our trials! Lots of hugs.

Kathleen Grace said...

You have had a rough year, no doubt about it Susie! Don't worry about the blogging, it ebbs and flows according to the time we can give it, and in the end our real day to day lives are so much more important aren't they? Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving. May your coming year be as full of joy as this one was full of sadness.


Bonnie said...

What an inspiring post. You haven't had the best year but everything is looking up for you. Never, ever worry about not posting. We all love you and I'm sure everyone else is like me and keeps checking in with you from time to time. Keeping you and your family in my prayers not only for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, but always. Love you lots.