I feel blessed that for the past 10 years, after much self-discovery and soul searching, I’ve reached a place in life where I try to celebrate an attitude of gratitude every day. But Thanksgiving is, for me, celebrating gratitude on steroids. It has always been my favorite holiday, one that I’ve cherished for the gathering of loved ones and the focus on my blessings.
For the past several years we have invited family members to gather in our home so we can share food, drink, good cheer, and togetherness. This year, however, we found ourselves on our own thanks to the intervention of Mother Nature and my father-in-law’s knee replacement surgery. Initially I was devastated that our parents were unable to join us; but I also understood that I must accept what is and be thankful that my parents and in-laws are still relatively healthy and still in our lives. So, we adjusted. And we give thanks for our blessings.
Through my personal growth and spiritual enlightenment I’ve learned to celebrate my good fortune and express gratitude everyday. But I’m still enchanted with a day set aside for giving thanks in our world controlled by commercial ventures.
On this Thanksgiving, November 27, 2014, I am particularly thankful for~
· My marriage with my soul mate, Todd Harrington, who I met 2/7/2005; everyday is a joy!
· my good fortune in having my delightful parental units, Richard and Eileen Copeland, still a vibrant and healthy part of our lives;
· Jan and Norm Harrington, my in-laws, who welcomed me to their family and always made me feel a part of the family;
· The chance to be a grandmother even though I have no children of my own;
· Friends that I’ve maintained over decades; we may not see one another or talk often, but when we do it is like no time has passed;
· A career that has provided me with a steady income, the flexibility to work from home, and the respect of peers and business associates;
· The opportunities I’ve had to travel the world, experience life in different countries, understand what it means to be a minority in another world, the chance to see places of which I’d only dreamed. and meeting fascinating people;
· Good food, excellent wine, 3 acres of solitude in rural Virginia, the silence of a holiday morning when the roads are snow covered, the joy of watching the birds at the feeder on a cold winter morning;
· Excellent health, fitness and Dharma Studio where I practice yoga;
· Rediscovering my love for the piano;
· Learning new historic photographic processes with my husband and talented friends;
· Virginia wineries;
· Knowing some brilliant and amazing Civil War historians and living historians;
· Online shopping!
· Providing a haven for our refugee cats – from 9-12 depending on the day;
· Getting to know the fine people I’ve met through Todd’s interests – the N-SSA Union Guards, the Hudson-Essex-Terra-plane collectors, relic hunters, and Civil War historians;
· Home grown tomatoes from organic heritage plants;
· The beauty of northern Virginia;
· Memories of getting married on the veranda of the Villa Sirio in Santa Maria di Castellebate by the local mayor;
· Tieks ballet flats;
· Living in the USA!
· Our forefathers who created our great country and negotiated to form the document we now recognize as our Constitution;
· The memories of my grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and all those who helped make my who I am today;
· Our espresso machine;
· Modern plumbing and electricity;
· Air travel;
· My education;
· Learning from my past;
· Peace, serenity and the ability to recognize and appreciate joy!