November 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm 4 comments

This time of year is always hard on me.  The leaves have fallen off the trees, the air is getting that winter bite, and the days are growing shorter.  The work outside is done or at least put on hold till next Spring.  The lawn mower has been cleaned and put away and all the animals are finishing their winter coats.

The shorter days lend themselves to lower moods.  The cold wind lends itself to thoughts of ice and snow and dangerous driving off the side of my hill to get to town or anywhere else I may need to go.  But the worst part of all, is losing the days of working outside in the warm sun.  Of course winter lends itself to plenty of back breaking snow removal, but it isn’t the same as working in the warm sunlight.

Every other season has it’s benefits.  Spring brings about the promise of new growth and rebirth.  Summer days are filled with enjoyable work and plenty of play.  Fall brings the harvest and beautiful colors of the leaves and those clear blue skies.  But what is Winter’s claim to fame?  When I was a kid it meant snow days and sleeping in for two hour delays.  Snow meant snowmen and sled riding and hot chocolate.  But now it means my fingers hurt every time they get cold, I am shoveling the snow, not playing in it, and I am the one wiping up puddles of dripping snow off the kitchen floor while heating up hot chocolate.

Not that I am complaining, I am glad my boys find the same fun in Winter that I used to.  I hope they can look for the fun for a long time to come.  And I don’t even mind the puddles or the endless cups of hot chocolate, it’s just harder now than it used to be.  It is harder to stay interested in the other areas of life.  I know the lower lighting affects my mood and the colder temps make my bones ache after 10 minutes outside.  I find myself wanting to stay curled up in bed longer and less likely to start new projects.

But this time of year also has some redeeming qualities.  My favorite holiday is fast approaching and I mean Thanksgiving.  What other holiday was formed strictly for feeling thankful and for naming all of your blessings?  Thanksgiving is the time to gather with family, tell the old stories once again, and eat until the buttons threaten to pop.  Thanksgiving is the time to slow down and look at all the faces around your table and be grateful that each of them are there.  It is a time of seeing the blessings of the last year and even mourning the faces that are absent for the first time this year.

But for me, Thanksgiving is also a time to reflect on the last year and note the growth of myself in more ways than one.  Yes it is true that my jeans size has grown over the years, but so has my compassion and understanding.  My self worth has grown and my ability to love others as myself.  My circle of friends have grown, even though I may never meet some of them face to face.  My children have grown and matured.  My family has grown with the addition of my ex’s new girlfriend (who is a welcome addition).  And I have grown in my understanding of what it means to be truly thankful.

It is easy to be thankful when you are on the mountain top looking around and seeing all the beauty that surrounds you.  It is hard to be thankful when you are in the dark dank valley looking up at the cliffs that surround you.  It is hard to be thankful when you are enveloped by the stale stagnant air and there is no end to the valley in sight.  But I think that is the lesson I am to learn this Fall and Winter.  I am to be thankful on the mountain top but also in the valley.

That doesn’t mean that this season will be any easier on me, just that I need to find thankfulness no matter where I am at.  It will still be a chore to get my lazy butt out of bed, but I need to be thankful that my feet hit the floor and I move on.  It will still be a chore to shovel the snow and freeze my fingers, but I must be thankful that I am able to do it.  It will still be an irritation to wipe up melting snow for the 10th time in one morning, but I will be grateful and thankful that I have my children to track it in.

So while I see the valley looming before me, I also am taking with me supplies, the thoughts and prayers of friends, my family, my health, my children, and my willingness to try to be thankful in all things.  Notice I said to try, I know there will be days that I fail, and days where God will just shake his head and say, “can’t you see all I have done for you?”  But I pray everyday that God will open my eyes to all of the blessings that surround me and I pray that I will remember to say, “Thank you.”

Because isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?


Entry filed under: family, Friendship, God, stories. Tags: , , , , , .

The Cab Ride Santa’s little elf

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. crazyonewv  |  November 16, 2008 at 9:46 am

    It sure is a blessing to be able to see friends and relatives,which we only see on the holidays,and to be able to catch up and tell tall tales and pick on the kids.

    Winter driving has always been a pain in the butt and I have had some fun experiences going places. Don’t worry in a few weeks it will start getting lighter sooner and longer.Oh yea,just can’t wait till the snow is here and melting piles of snow is everywhere and hot chocolate express is in full swing. I still wish that the kids could still enjoy our little hill that we had in the pasture feild. I am so amazed now that we had’nt killed ourselves.

  • 2. bridgeout  |  November 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    So aptly expressed here! I can relate to so much of what you are sharing in this post. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one struggling with stuff like this at a time like this!


  • 3. bridgeout  |  November 26, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I just wanted to pop in again and say Happy Thanksgiving to you Kelli!!! {HUGS}!

  • 4. e2tc  |  December 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Kelli, Just wanted to give you a shout-out and send some hugs (from me and Nibbles, too) your way. Hope you’re doing OK, lady.



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