Still a bloom or two for a small bouquet...a refreshing necessity at this time of the year...

Still a bloom or two for a small bouquet…a refreshing necessity at this time of the year…

Every year, in the month of November we celebrate the art of giving thanks. People demonstrate giving thanks by having huge dinners, potlucks or by just saying the words Happy Thanksgiving.  I have spent the last few days really considering all that I am thankful for.

Concern for the unknown future of the economy or even life as we know it, I reflected upon the things I have been blessed with – my family, my job, my home, my garden – just to name a few. While none of these things are perfect (perfection means boring in my world) they each bring me a huge amount of  joy. I KNOW my family will always be there, prayerfully my job is secure, my house has been standing for 58 years with no signs of falling over anytime soon (just repairs) and then there is the garden. Ah, in the midst of everything, I always have the garden.

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Ivory Nandina berries in my garden….

My garden is not perfect, yet it brings me joy.  From the unanticipated blooms in late fall…

White Lycoris blooming with total abandon...

White Lycoris blooming with total abandon…

to the expected blooms of the season.

This knockout rose has been in constant bloom since May...with no signs of stopping....

This knockout rose has been in constant bloom since May…with no signs of stopping….

The roses did and continue to do well, in spite of the drought and extreme heat of the past summer. I am thankful that they do not require much, yet continue to bring me joy. The Japanese Maple is flaunting her colorful leaves as she stands guard in the shade garden over the perennials preparing to rest.

The Japanese Maple speaks to the diverse colors that can be found in nature.....

The Japanese Maple speaks to the diverse colors that can be found in nature…..

I am thankful that every  year, I am eternally amazed at her colorful sharing of the beauty that surrounds us. The peony leaves are standing tall, gracefully submitting to the cooler temps of the season.  I am thankful that they have traveled with me from one home to another and have survived the journey. The peony speaks to my life story of adapting to changes – expected and unexpected. I am thankful for the Camellias, planted somewhere around every corner on purpose.

Camellias at every turn.....

Camellias at every turn…..

Thankful that they do not require much attention and yet every Spring and Fall, they provide the promise of blooms, no matter the weather….but at the precise moment that I need to see something in bloom.

I considered how much weight my feeling of thankfulness carried this year in earnest. My daughter cooked a wonderful feast with all the trimmings, my grandsons enjoyed every single morsel….and then some. My sister outdid herself and had a feast fit for a royal family. I still felt as though I need to give back for all of the blessings I have received.

Thanks + Giving……was how I kept seeing the word.  We always focus on the Thanks….but how do we give? 

As I looked at my surroundings in my quiet time, I decided to give, as I am truly Thankful for everything I have. I cleaned out my closets of excess clothing, shoes, and purses that another woman might be able to use to re-enter the workforce. It was the best time I have had on a Black Friday, Post – Thanksgiving weekend in quite a while!! Remembering why I had bought certain items, when I bought other things and the warm feelings as I gently folded each garment, tucked each pair of shoes and placed each purse into the bags. I am Thankful that I am able to freely give these items to a local organization that will in turn GIVE them to people who need something nice, to uplift their spirits and will only cost them the effort of picking out a garment. I was a bit emotional as my grandson and I unloaded 9 large green bags off my truck. I not only gave to those in need, I demonstrated what it means to GIVE for my grandson. A lesson given that will stay with him as something to be embraced and to become a ritual. I hope I have planted a seed on what it means to GIVE.

An unpected Iris blooming in my garden...yes it is November...

An unexpected Iris blooming in my garden…yes it is November…

Between the blooms in my garden and the memories of why I am Thankful….this has been the best Thanksgiving Ever!!! To be Thankful for the Blessing of being able to Give……..just a good feeling deep within!

I hope each of you enjoyed Thanksgiving and remember what this word means all year-long!!

From the Cottage in the Court,

Teri

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