Mary Beth Writes

This image this morning: The sun comes up over the top of the hill on which we live. The new-rising sun was shining on a long freight train rumbling past. All the train cars were side-lit with glowing colors - rust, manila, peaches and creams and the sky was dusky November blue behind them. The rumbling of the train in this old house was comfortable. It was a beautiful and pleasant moment.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stirring up our emotions and words to remember the wondrous people and moments around us.  We don’t have to make a list or say it right or count our blessings.  I mean, some people like to do those things and that’s cool. But many of us love Thanksgiving but kind of balk at the “being properly thankful” thing.

So in case that’s you. Here’s a plan.

1. Five or six is the number of times you are going to take a half moment today to like the minute you are in.  The image in front of you is going to catch your attention, or you are going to put reminders in your pocket to tell you to look around. But 5 or 6 is your number.

2. What to do in the moment. Look around. Smell the turkey. Watch the baby crawl across the floor or the teenager laugh with the old uncle, or the sunshine spill in the kitchen window, or listen fully when the whole family cheers or groans at a football game play.  There will be moments.

3. You don’t have to “keep” those moments. Don’t write them down, don’t take a picture, don’t tell them to anyone. Try to keep your senses going and the wordy-gurdy in your brain turned off. Just be awake and alive and revel a little that you are alive to experience what you are experiencing.

4. Like I said, you aren’t going to hoard this moment. If you can still remember all your moments tomorrow, you did it wrong. They are just going to come into your awareness, you are going to smile and be grateful, and then you let them go.

5.  Put  5 rubber bands on your wrist, take one off every time you are awake to a moment and put the band on your other wrist, or put it on a beer can going to recycling, or wrap it around a candlestick on your mom’s mantelpiece. Or set your phone to vibrate every couple hours. Use that moment to look around for the good thing. Or put five rings or bracelets on one hand and by the end of the day they should be on the other hand. Or 5 pieces of hard candy and eat them or share them along your day.

6. Remember, don’t tell anyone what you are doing. You are just not listing what you are thankful for - you are just being thankful.

Happy Thanks Giving, Friends.

Comments

He wanted to grow mashed potatoes!

He goes all the way from one end of the freezer to the other, and finally asks the clerk, "Hey, don't these turkeys get any bigger?" Clerk says, "No, sir. They're dead."

All we have is this moment.

Thanks MB (as always), for the evocative pictures you draw with your words. I guess I'm well-trained, as I have learned to stand back and notice the lovely little nuggets that a family gathering can provide. This attitude was not modeled in my family-of-origin, and began for me as an act of rebellion. It took me years to learn, and was worth all of the quiet effort. I hope that your Thanksgiving was warm and cozy, my friend!

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(Don't) Send in the Clowns

Where this blog-post started: Several posts ago “The Non-Consumer Advocate” was about clowns. Specifically, the weird clown flotsam one finds when thrifting.  Here’s what Katy Wolk-Stanley posted at her site. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/goodwill-badwill-questionable-will-clowns-clowns-more-clowns/  

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Here are of our observations and thoughts.

First: There were as many not-young people as young ones. It was the most age-diverse protest/march I have ever attended and that felt good. This is a young person’s movement right now, and that's awesome – but the reality when one is there feels far less “youth vs old people” than the media makes this out to be. People young and old and in-between want our laws to reflect the common sense of the majority of American citizens.

That Thing You Found or Made

Last week I went thrift shopping with my friend Franc. We saw this mobile made from dried paint brushes.  It’s hanging from the ceiling in the Habitat for Humanity reStore in Wauwatosa. 

I appreciate eclectic things made by real humans – as opposed to all the cool, anonymous stuff straight from a design team in some random place you’ve never heard of, that comes in an appropriately designed box, and it looks just like everything else. 

What is an object in your life that you love, that you would like to take with you to your last apartment and beyond?

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I found an inexpensive, ethnic recipe for chicken, so I asked Len to buy a couple pounds of chicken legs or thighs while he was out. Humanely raised chicken breasts were the least expensive cut at the store he visited, he bought them.

So now I need to upgrade my recipe to be worthy of the meat he brought home.

This happens to me a lot. I have a somewhat energetic idea and the world responds with abundance, as if the world doesn't know how to do "just enough."

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See the Story of Bean in Offer #1 on Behalf of my Grand-Pup...

Are you a high-end bicycle rider person?

Yeah, me neither. I like my bike and ride it some. Len is a bike guy 30 years now; he's been out for several long rides already this spring - when it was spring. It's winter again, so not today. 

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