Gratitude Sunday: Beyond Yourself

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Snow melt turns blanket
to quilt, drift stitched to drift, white
patch pieced next to green.

Sunday Musings
Snow in the Portland metro area is not predictable. It is random, even rarish, and because of that makes a mess when it comes. Traffic gridlocks; people can’t get to work, or school. Businesses lose money. People can be isolated or caught at the wrong time between grocery shopping trips or have to cancel important medical appointments.

In the winter I like to buy ahead just a little bit. You know, have a little bit extra of the basics on hand, coffee; milk and cream; cheese; fruits and veg; TP. Oh yes, TP. I hate that time I don’t have extra on hand and the hubster has to walk the mile round trip to the local convenience store and pay 7 dollars for a 4 pack, when on a good sale I can get 24 rolls for 7 bucks. The walk doesn’t hurt him; the convenience was how much money the store made from the transaction.

When the son was growing up we had a house rule. When it snowed we played in it now, no matter when it happened. We didn’t wait til morning, or until it stopped snowing. By morning it could be gone or iced over. If we waited until it stopped snowing the precipitation might turn to rain. Hardly ever regretted this rule.

Will the son remember those nights I woke him up because it was snowing? Or the mornings we went straight from bed to outdoor clothes because it’s happening now? That we put on as much clothing as we could and used socks on our hands when we couldn’t find the gloves and braved the snow and the cold and the dark to make snowmen and snow angels that would be melted in a few hours? I know he will remember the elusive quality of Oregon snow.

Every so often the Portland metro area has a significant snow event, and it cripples us, because we just are not used to it. The transplants, the folks from back east and the Midwest, from eastern Oregon, who are used to snow most of the winter and know how to drive in it and cope with it, laugh at us valley Oregonians who scream “snow day” at the first inch. This current event is likely to be a full week of being trapped by the snow before it’s done with us. Snow may be beautiful to look at and fun for children to play in, but it can also be dangerous and deadly.

It is a challenge in our capitalistic society to have a week of snow days. Businesses and individuals lose money, not being able to get to work or suffering property damage from the weather. Elders can be in need of help and caught unawares. Anybody can get cabin fever and take a tumble when they decide to brave the elements. But we can’t shut down the community because of the weather. The show must go on.

Many communities don’t have funds to assist all their citizens. If you are out shoveling your sidewalk, take a few more minutes and shovel the neighbor’s as well. Especially if you know they are older people or generally in need of assistance. It’s just time and a little more effort, which probably won’t hurt a bit. Or if it will hurt, get your teenager to go shovel the neighbor’s house after you’ve shoveled yours. Let the kid know not to expect to be paid or thanked and to take their time to do a good job. Let them know it’s the right thing to do either way. Sometimes help is so simple and so needed. And you don’t have to wait for challenging weather to have empathy and help others.

If you are otherwise able bodied you could volunteer at your local severe weather shelter. If you are cleaning shelves and cupboards, donate unused blankets and gently used coats. “Help bags”, plastic ziplock bags filled with new clean socks and gloves, toothpaste and brushes, lip balm, a few non-perishable edibles like jerky and granola bars, along with a few dollars, are always welcome at the warming centers and many churches will distribute them as well. We can do so many things to help each other. We can even reach out and know our neighbor’s names and phone numbers and be willing to check on each other. Like people did when I was growing up. It’s nice knowing your neighbors. You don’t have to like them. You don’t even have to like them to help take care of them. Life is hard for most of us and we may never know how hard the other person’s life has been. And how much they appreciate what you do even if they never say.

If we can’t physically help, we still can help. We have voices. We can pass along information about where and how to help. We can encourage those who can to help those who can’t. We can take the time to thank all the people who were able to step up and help. We can share gratefulness for those who are still currently able and do the physical work, and encourage the youngers to step up when they can. And we can pass blessings on to the people who received the help as they likely provided that same help in their younger days.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – So white here this week. One of the measurements. dscn2787 Gray and white day. dscn9663 Love the stark wavy branches laced with snow. dscn9748 Tabletop looks like a gigantic marshmallow puff, with cushy chairs to match. dscn2785

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991, rated PG) with Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham Carter, a rather confusing period piece, with no subtitles available. * Sound of My Voice (2012, rated R), another Brit Marling film, presenting questions about reality, time, and spiritual dimensions as most of her work does. * Touch (2012-2013, not rated TV series), I’m not a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the dad of an autistic son whose mother died 9-11, just before the boy was a year old. I do, however, have a fascination for numbers and math, and I like Danny Glover who plays a consulting professor, and after the first episode I’m willing to watch another. We’ll see if it gets too formulaic, or if it keeps being fascinating.


Currently ReadingTruly Madly Guilty (2016, fiction) by Liane Moriarty is a good summer read. A little fluffy for winter. * The Girl on the Train (2015, fiction) by Paula Hawkins. I’ve waited a long time in queue for this and by fluke my sister gave it to me. Standard British mystery so far, but it messes me up when the editor misses that moss doesn’t grow on the undersides of rocks and when you drop something when out of doors if falls on the ground or the street or the sidewalk, not on the floor. I know. Picky, picky, picky. * Ed Slott’s Retirement Decisions Guide: 125 Ways to Save and Stretch Your Wealth (2016, finance) by Ed Slott. Why are finances so hard to understand? Banking and tax rules are just crazy making. It should not be hard to save and keep your money. Not like I have wealth. I’m just trying to keep the pittance I am grateful to have. What I want is information explaining how poor people whose every penny of income goes to rent, bills, transportation, and food, can save toward retirement.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • Having plenty to keep me busy while stuck inside during this week’s snow event.
  • Not losing power or water during the weather.
  • The clothes washer that puked water all over the floor last week, appears to be working properly, temporarily at least.
  • Having a small amount of money in savings.
  • Hearing strange “ploof” sounds outside and realizing it was globs of snow falling off the trees. Every time a glob fell, a little burst of snow sprinkle would follow right after. I could almost hear it: ploof, sprinkle, ploof, sprinkle.
  • Not having the pressure to “go” to work, or having to call and tell the supervisor I won’t drive the mile in the weather which was always a special kind of torture. No income isn’t much fun, but things are changing every day.
  • Finishing a short story. Writers understand how hard it is to finish something.
  • How warm my new quilt is. I need to wrap it around me more and soften up the stitches. Not brave enough to run it through that tricky washer right now, and besides, it’s still clean.
  • My mother-in-law’s pancake recipe which I amend with a spoonful of vanilla. You have to let the batter sit and work before it’s ready for the griddle, but it is so worth it. Fat fluffy cakes spread with almond butter and a drip of real maple syrup or homemade berry jam. Oh, my.
  • Having of bag of sweet mandarins in the house when I am craving them. When it snows I want citrus.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch</p

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Beyond Yourself

  1. piratesorka says:

    I have now been home bound since Jan 11th when I woke up to find myself in a very white snowy world. At my job we have a rule that if our local school district is closed then we are too. God bless that rule! It didn’t hurt me in the least to stay home since my Sciatica was still beating me up. I had already gone to the magic Chiropractor ( who is completely different in technique than most, in fact their are only 7 in the entire state that practice this technique.) He really helped but I still limp about and moan piteously now and then. Sadly for me I missed two appointments I could have used due to this white stuff all over. Its not that my car couldn’t have handled some of it, its the idea of getting TO my car and then INTO my car without further sciatic attacks or body manglelation ( new word) then repeat the getting out about and then repeat back to car and back into home. The idea was just too much.. DRAT!
    Ever consider farming yourself out as a freelance editor?? Its an idea.
    Your mention of pancakes almost made me weep. I made pancakes just a few nights ago and they were absolutely terrible.. My body did not have the strength or energy to attempt anything past the first plate and it all ended up as garbage. The memory of it still makes me sad.
    I feel very fortunate that while I look outside and wistfully wish I could wander about in the magical snowiness… I pull myself abruptly away from that danger zone and remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to truly rest my body with its special no-love-given to my sad left butt cheek and my left leg all the way down to its ankle pain. I am feeling much better most of the time but then I am not dashing about either.
    I want to be sixteen again and go just up the street to my friends house and get her to play in the snow with me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sassy kas says:

      So glad you get to rest. Best thing for you. bubble breaker: once you have sciatic pain, it is rare for it to completely go away. Just more joy in this life. And 16? Before real adulting? Yes I long for that too, and being able to walk up the street to my friend’s house instead of driving two hours. And not really having to be responsible for anything. growing up is not always as good as it’s made out to be. Stay warm and safe, my friend!


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