The View from Here: What Makes You Grateful?


 I woke up before dawn on this first official day of Spring Break in preparation for Dan’s early yoga class at the Y. As usual, one of the first things I did was to look out of our bedroom picture window to check on the day. I am never disappointed, as it is like a beautiful painting that changes with the weather, the light, the time of day, and the season- I see something different whenever I stand and study the vista.  I will never stop being grateful for this old house on a hill that has brought us these views, along with so many joys. 









I am working to be more aware of my many blessings, as I truly believe that more grateful we are, the more we will have to be grateful for in our lives. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the every day routine, by troubles, by sadness- I have been there. But making a concious choice to focus on what is good in your life and the world around you can make a profound difference. It acts as a reality check when we start feeling the old “woe is me” coming on. 

IMG_7144IMG_7146Heavy D at about my age…spunky as ever. 

I watched my mother do this, as she faced some pretty awful things over her lifetime- she was severely burned by boiling lye water at the age of two, and they thought she’d never walk again. She did, though, living to do a mean polka until she was ninety-two. Around the same time that she went through a devastating divorce that completely took away her security and self-worth, leaving her with two teenagers and a baby (me) at home, both of her parents were killed instantly in a terrible car accident. She struggled financially all of her life. She lost her oldest son and daughter, her siblings, many of her closest friends- a common occurrence when someone lives such a long life. She grieved, she kept going…and she managed to hold on to her zany sense of humor, which, along with her sweet and gentle nature, drew people to her. 

I learned so much from watching my mother navigate her life, especially in her last years: be kind, be gentle, be a good and true friend, make your home a place of joy that reflects who you are, love deeply, be generous, be silly- a lot, never give up on happiness.  I won’t forget the example she set, and every single day I think of her and remember what she instilled in me. It helps remind me to to check in with my blessings, of which there are so many; small and large- from simple views to great love…all precious. 

Thank you, Momma. 


4 thoughts on “The View from Here: What Makes You Grateful?

  1. Spunky describes Dorothy a T!! I know I didn’t know her long, but she filled my life with such joy at a time I needed it. I miss her, too!
    Hannah are sitting on the balcony now looking at the view and watching/listening to the birds.
    xoxoxo, Syl

  2. I am grateful for your lovely thoughts, and memories of your Mom, Denise.
    Thank you for sharing her lessons with all of us. Through you, she continues
    to spread her joy……..

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