Today I'm linking up with Lizzi for the Ten Things of Thankful - Birthday Celebration where there's cake, candles, a contest, and a colossal collection of blessings being counted!
1. I want to start my list off today with how very thankful I am for the efforts of Lizzi and her wonderful group of co-hosts in bringing this best-of-the-best blog hop to life! Participating in TTOT is one of the most uplifting activities one can take part in. By sharing with each other there, so much encouragement is taking place! Together we learn that not all weeks are great weeks and sometimes we all hit the wall, but we have the ability and the resilience to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, laugh at our troubles, count the blessings we do have, and get moving on with life again. If you only participate in one blog hop... TTOT is the one to choose. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it!
2. I am thankful beyond sufficient words to express it, for being able to spend three whole days with my two grown children last weekend, as we met up near Memphis to share some time and love. It had been eight months since I last saw them. The four of us took a boat ride on the Mississippi, went to the zoo, rode a downtown trolley, spent some time at the casino, feasted on all-you-can-eat crab legs and prime rib, shared lots of laughter, and totally enjoyed just being together. Many precious memories made! I only wish that they lived closer so we could do it more often, or better yet - that we lived closer to them, it is so heavenly green in that part of the country!
3. I am extremely thankful that once again God was watching over us as our truck decided to spew transmission fluid over the entire undercarriage as we headed down the road on our first night of the trip. We made it as far as Fort Worth before we became aware of the problem, and what a blessing to have mechanical issues there, rather than some out-back town in the middle of Arkansas! After further inspection we ended up at a Ford Dealership Service Center with folks who couldn't have been any nicer. Since the repair was going to take a day or two, we transferred our belonging to a rental car and headed off once again, a few hours later than planned, arriving safely in Mississippi shortly after midnight.
4. I am thankful that Papa Bear had the wisdom and foresight to purchase an extended warranty on his truck. Not only were the repairs - replacing the pump and seal - entirely paid for, but so was the rental car that we used the entire week. (We are talking mucho expensive repairs had they come out of pocket!) As an added blessing - we put over 1000 miles on the rental car instead of on our truck, and got better gas mileage too, though I must admit we missed the riding comfort of the truck.
5. I am thankful that my kids grew up to be so kind, generous, and amazing. As my 60th birthday gift they paid for most of our food and activities, and even gave me spending money! My daughter delivered breakfast to our motel room every morning, and braided my hair. My son did all the chauffeuring, so we got to sit back and enjoy the ride. Best bonus of the trip... the two of them drove from Nashville together, and were able to spend a bunch of quality time together. I got such a kick out of seeing them banter back and forth just like they did twenty some years ago!
6. I am thankful that we got to enjoy play time at the casinos each night without emptying our pockets, we had such a good time! My son taught us how to play roulette, my daughter excels at card games, and we enjoy the penny slots. Papa Bear and I managed to walk out the final night with more money than when we walked in. It was a great way to end the trip... take the money and run! :-)
7. I am thankful that we got to attend our grandson's graduation in Arkansas. Alll three of John's daughter's children have grown up to be so friendly and well-mannered. The added bonus was that I finally got to meet the eldest's delightful wife (a fellow Aquarian that I adore), and our two wonderful great-grandsons who are one and four. They live in Ohio now, and I think we need to plan a future roadtrip in that direction! The little one is the spitting image of his daddy, and it gave Papa Bear a ton of pleasure to be part of four generations coming together.
8. I am thankful that Papa Bear got to spend the day after graduation helping our grandson install the chrome grill guard and LED light bar we gave him for his truck. He brought all the needed tools along and was able to share his expertise at installation, earning due respect from his grandson and making a good memory that will last a lifetime. Needless to say, grandson thought our gifts were the very coolest! :-)
9. I am thankful that the caretaker for our beloved furkids did an awesome job in our absence so we didn't need to worry, and that little Sophie (who is gradually fading away with cancer) held her own and joined the other three at the door to greet us when we arrived home. I am thankful that they held no grudges for our abandonment, and quickly settled into our laps to make up for lost snuggle time. Anyone who has furkids understands how hard it is to go on vacation and leave them behind.
10. I am very thankful that my co-workers did a great job of coping with my absence, and my desk wasn't too covered up with paper piles when I returned. Because we are short-handed there already, having someone missing makes it so much harder for the two who remain. They were gracious and saw to it that things kept moving, and when it's their turn to be away, I will do the same.
Our whole vacation was a total blessing. It's not so much about what we did, but who I got to spend the time with. Thank you Lord for making it possible, and letting it all work out so well!
Now head on over to the Ten Things of Thankful - Birthday Celebration,
check out some of the awesome posts you'll find there, and add a list of your own!
If you enjoy creative writing and want a place to share your efforts,
join me for Two Shoes Tuesday this week!