Monday, September 16, 2013


I have been writing a daily gratitude list this month. These are some of the things I am grateful for in September.
  1. I’m grateful that I have a husband who is so affectionate, so caring, so supportive. He has been a wonderful gift in my life. And he makes me laugh.
  2. I’m grateful that I have a mostly positive outlook on life. I always think things could be worse so I should be happy for what is.
  3. I’m grateful that writing is part of my life. It has saved me in many situations. It’s the way I think, the way I process, the way I resolve.
  4. I’m grateful that I found Mary to help me with hypnosis and EMDR.
  5. I'm grateful for all these changes that have brought me to this point in my life.
  6. I had a medical appointment this morning and I am very grateful to have access to such wonderful care and such world-class physicians and nurses. Everyone has been wonderful to me through my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I always felt safely tucked in their loving arms.
  7. I'm grateful for my little house with the big trees in front, the shady patio, and the hosta garden full of yard art. I love feeling so close to nature even in the middle of town.
  8. I'm grateful for the music in my life. Every day I turn on World Cafe and listen to great music and interviews with musicians. This weekend, we're looking forward to the Rock Bend Folk music from around the country for two days!
  9. I'm grateful for my open windows and the sounds of summer: cicadas, birds at the feeder, the neighbor's lawn mower, a laughing baby, my dog barking.
  10. Today, Wednesday, I am grateful for the morning silence that allows me time to think and reflect on how lucky I am. Our windows are open, the breeze is cool and autumn-like, and the dog is napping on the couch.
  11. I'm also grateful for my love of books. I can't imagine my life without reading and so many books have become like well-loved friends. I have some favorite authors...Louise Erdrich, Bill Holm, Jim Harrison, Howard Norman, Kent Haruff. Not long ago, I was reading a book and read a stunning passage. I clutched the book to my chest and gasped. What a pass on beautiful words like that.
  12. I'm grateful for flavors and for the rich and wonderful variety of foods we have available. Our farmer's market is bountiful this time of year, sweet corn, melons, tomatoes, and many other things are available on street corners, and grocery stores are filled to over-flowing. Last night we grilled stuffed peppers...hatch and poblano peppers with spicy mango/jalapeno sausage and provolone cheese. A feast for the senses.
  13. Last Tuesday, I had a cataract repaired and the procedure took twenty minutes. I'm grateful for medical technology and skilled doctors that make that possible. It's miraculous.
  14. I'm grateful for our good friends, Tom and Betty. They invite our whole family into their home and pool, let our giant dog lope around their yard, and allow our grandchildren to invade their pool. They have been good friends for many years and we've been through a lot of life changes together.
  15. I'm grateful to my surgeon, Dr. Deaconson, who has saved me several times. When I had a bad experience with an imaging center, he got me into the Mayo system immediately, called the head of radiology to do my needle-guided biopsy, and postponed his vacation to do my surgery. He is a compassionate man who takes care of his patients needs first...always.
  16. I live on the southern plains of Minnesota. I'm grateful for the beauty here. I love the miles and miles of farm fields, the rolling hills, the river valleys. Bill Holm calls it horizontal grandeur in his essay by that name. I don't need mountains or oceans...I love the flat land.
  17. I'm grateful for our big, goofy dog, Gus. I wasn't sure I wanted a dog but my husband did so we found a dog. Gus is a golden doodle and he has the sweetest disposition of any dog I have known. He sleeps on our bed with his paws in the air, he licks us in the face to wake us up, he lays on my husband's lap to be combed in the morning. He is a wonderful pet.
  18. Today, I am grateful for a good night's sleep. It doesn't happen every night but it feels so good to wake up at 7 and feel well-rested.
  19. I am also grateful for clean water that comes out of the taps on demand. Some places in the world, they have to carry water or have no access at all. We are very fortunate
  20. Yesterday I was very annoyed with the department of education in Minnesota because they told me it would take 6 weeks to process my substitute teaching license. I had to work with my annoyance and decided to be grateful that I live in a state where educators are licensed. The department of ed is struggling like many state agencies with fewer employees and fewer resources so the lady who was abrupt with me was probably being as kind as she could be at that moment. (How's that for turning a grumpy moment into gratitude?)
  21. I'm grateful for mornings. I love sitting here listening to our favorite radio show, drinking good coffee, and watching the birds in our garden. Such a gentle way to start the day.
  22. I'm grateful for wonderful writers. Before I went to sleep last night, I read several essays on Longform. Incredible stories and lyrical writing.
  23. I was grateful to hear the thunder and rain during the night. It's been very dry here and I worry about my garden going into winter short of water.
  24. I'm grateful to have a beautiful shade garden in the front of my house, with a big patio where we spend much time in the summer. It's mostly low-maintenance plants, hostas and lilies, but it's very serene. I like garden art so it's full of small frogs, turtles, an angel or two, and a big metal chicken.
  25. I'm grateful that I can go for long walks and breathe deeply. I walked to the food coop last night and enjoyed it very much. I walk an easy pace (No speed walking for me!) and try to notice, with my senses, all the small miracles...acorns, children riding bikes, smell of onions coming from a restaurant. Five years ago, I could barely make it around the block.
  26. I'm grateful for my sense of taste. Yesterday, I had fresh tomatoes and cucumbers with basil and balsamic dressing. I had an omelet for breakfast with hot grilled peppers and mangoes. For dinner, my husband made ribs on the grill, seasoned with cayenne pepper, paprika, celery salt, cumin and black pepper. Fresh yellow watermelon from the farmer's market for dessert.
  27. I am grateful for my sense of touch. I love my soft, burgundy blanket on the bed. I love to hold the smooth rocks on my serenity table. When I shop for clothes, the feel of the fabric is important to me. Color...then feel. I like the feel of my slippers on my feet. They're lined with sherling and I wiggle my toes when I wear them just to feel it. I touch my jewelry...hold my necklace charms in my hand, examine the bracelet on my wrist, rub my fingers over my earrings.
  28. I'm grateful for my sense of smell. I have herbs in pots on the patio and always rub my hands over them...basil, thyme, oregano, mint...and then cup my hands over my nose to inhale the scent. I like to chop onions and garlic by hand and like to smell it later. (Some people use lemon juice to get rid of the smell...imagine!) I like to keep scented soaps in my dresser drawers. The smell of food is an important part of the pleasure of eating.
  29. I'm grateful for my sense of sight. I believe we eat with our eyes first so how my table looks is important. I like to use pretty table linens, colorful dishes, interesting serving dishes. Not that we do it at EVERY meal, but I like to do it...and not just when we have company! I love to gaze at my garden. Every time we leave the house, I say, "Isn't my garden pretty?" My husband laughs and says yes it is.
  30. I'm grateful for my slow and mindful walks. I try to notice all my senses and will bend over to sniff a flower or stop to look at the leaves on a tree. Yesterday I notices that the acorns on the oak tress had popped out their little seeds, leaving the wooly cap.
  31. I'm grateful for today and another opportunity to start over on some of my habits.
  32. Last weekend, we went to the Rock Bend Folk Festival. We heard a local band I have loved for forty years. We sat in the warm sunshine and saw so many old friends. I think I gathered dozens of hugs. I'm grateful to live in a place that values music and community.
  33. I'm grateful, again, for my senses because the music festival was a feast for all of them. Delicious smell of barbecue, colorful costumes on the Heart of the Beast puppets (giant puppets), hugs from friends, great music, and a meal of smoked gouda and habanero pickles with chilled wine.
  34. I'm making a grocery list and instead of thinking of it as a chore, I'm feeling grateful that we have the money to buy such good things to eat and that I have access to such a variety of good and healthy things to eat.
  35. I am grateful for all the good habits I already have. I eat healthy food, I read voraciously, I write daily, I take care of my health, I treasure my family and friends. Two steps forward and one back is still progress as long as I keep going in the right direction.


grandma Saum said...

Are you grateful for yo mama?????

Teresa Saum said...

Of course, Mom! I am very grateful for you and could probably write a list of 35 reasons to be grateful for you. I might work on that.