The Other Side of Greed

Money cash

Money  (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

WordPress Krista asked today: “What is your least favourite personal quality in others? Extra points for sharing your least favourite personal quality in yourself.”

 My least favourite quality in others is greed. It is also my least favourite quality in myself. I have trained myself to be generous, but I have to admit that though I love to give, I also love to receive.

I was talking to a friend yesterday who said that someone he knows and respects posted on Facebook that Christmas to her is no longer wanting things, but being grateful for things. I would like to join her league—but this friend and I have not been quite as fortunate in life moneywise as the person who posted on Facebook. We both laughed and he said—“Yeah, Peace on earth and goodwill to man, but I would be grateful for a new truck.”

People who make wide sweeping statements such as “I don’t want anything for Christmas”, or “I am just happy being grateful for all I have” forget that others are not as fortunate as they are. I sometimes think that my brush with poverty has made me more aware that not everyone has a silver spoon in their drawer (I do, but my silver was inherited). I am more compassionate now and more willing to give to Missions who feed the homeless, having come close to walking in the shoes of the less fortunate. I am lucky to have family and friends who helped me and my family through some rough times saving us from a dire situation. Not all people are so lucky. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Have you ever had something unfortunate happen that taught you some lessons?

Published in: on December 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm  Comments (8)  
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~ We Gather Together ~ and Stuff Ourselves ~

English: Bow Bridge over The Lake in Central P...

English: Bow Bridge on Thanksgiving Day 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

~ we gather, we give thanks, and we eat ~

This is an edited version of my weekly newspaper column and though it is early it will serve to whet your appetite for the coming weekend if you are Canadian. I know that many of my readers are not Canadian but I think you may find a few things you can relate to:

“We gather together” are the introductory words of the first verse of a hymn sung traditionally at Thanksgiving. And it very aptly sums up one of the best attributes of Thanksgiving—it brings us together at a table heavily laden with harvest food.

A Canadian living in the United States wrote an article in the October edition of Chatelaine magazine comparing Canadian Thanksgiving with American Thanksgiving. Samantha See’s article, “Turkey Takedown” concluded that: “…we gather. And we dine. And we make a huge mess. But mostly we hang out and talk over each other and laugh and argue and fall asleep on the couch zoned out on tryptophan.”

The big difference between our Thanksgiving and our neighbour to the south, says See, is that we are the “first out of the gate” in that we celebrate in October and not November. Even though we cannot lay claim to the Pilgrims we “celebrate all the same, and Give Thanks and have Family Feasts, and all those good things.” That to me is Thanksgiving in a wonderful nutshell. On both sides of the border.

Sure the Americans throw in some parades and their Thanksgiving seems to be the harbinger of the holiday season, but if we look at in another way—our holiday season is even longer, because we start sooner. The point See makes is that “as long as you celebrate, haul that whole family together, and break bread in some way”, Thanksgiving has been appropriately commemorated.

She also makes the very salient point that Thanksgiving is the beginning of the “eating season”—a time of year when she bakes herself “into a woman-sized shortbread cocoon” and spends “two and a half months eating (her) way out.”

I think that the majority of us love Thanksgiving with all the fixings. I would love Thanksgiving even more if I were not the one in charge of fixing it, but over the years I have learned a number of ways to make that part of the equation easier. At the advice of a friend, I now buy a turkey that needs neither days of thawing nor the stuffing of its interior. No handling an unwieldy bird for me (but now I have to find something new to complain about).

Thanksgiving is important for so many reasons—the food, the giving of thanks, the camaraderie, but most important is the first three words of that hymn written originally in 1597: “WE GATHER TOGETHER”.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good appetite.

Thanksgiving Day Greetings

Thanksgiving Day Greetings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Comforts ~ Day 19 Or Last Day of Boring You ~

Electricity

Electricity (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Gratitude is a funny thing. We take so many things for granted and are not thankful for them because they are just there. But when they are not, we are stymied. Last night I noticed a piece of paper hanging out of my mailbox.  I was curious, as the mail comes in the morning and generally the mailbox sits bereft after the morning offering. The notice was from the electrical company, and we were going to be without electricity for 2 ½ hours on Thursday morning. Okay, I thought, that does not sound too bad—I can handle that, and did not think any more of it.

This morning I tried to use what needed to be used before the hydro went off. And I have been quite patient—but it has been off three hours now, and not the promised 2 ½ and I am starting to get ever so slightly irritated. Even agitated. Am I suffering from blog withdrawal? Because when the hydro is off, so is my Internet, and that is not something I bargained on.

Midway through the last sentence the electricity came back on. (Seriously, it did – I am not making this up for the sake of this post.) The fan is whirling, the CD player is doing something (I don’t know what but it is making noise), and my screen just brightened up—as I am no longer having to depend on the battery for my laptop.

Just a minute and I will be back—must go turn on the AC as it is getting a bit warm in here.

Okay, I am back.

So, guess what I am grateful for? You guessed it—

1. Electricity is number one on my list today. We take it so for granted, but without it we are lost. Sometimes I welcome the loss of electricity during a storm at night—it is kind of peaceful—but during the day, it is just irritating.

2. I am thankful for my microwave, my stove, my fridge, my computer, my printer, the lights, my television(s), radios, stereos, and all those other gadgets and thingamabobs that need electricity.

3. And last, but not least, I am glad this is the last day of my gratitude challenge—not because I have run out of things to be grateful for—I have just run out of ways to make it interesting!

So what should my next challenge be? Any suggestions?

Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm  Comments (35)  
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Comforts ~ Day 12 Or Can I Type Through My Tears?

Governor General of Canada visits Victoria

Governor General of Canada visits Victoria (Photo credit: BC Gov Photos)

Today we start packing. Tyler, my youngest son, is going back to college a week early to get organized, meet his counsellor, and look for a part-time job. This is the third time he has left for school. The first year was hard, but I was excited for him. The second year was hard but I was glad he was continuing his education. This third year—it is still hard. But, nevertheless, I have found some things to be grateful for:

1. He has become an independent being, able to do his own laundry, cook for himself, and schedule his time. He is not perfect with all these things—but neither am I, and I have had more practice.

2. I will continue my tradition of  writing my little emails to him every day. The Governor General of Canada did the same thing when his girls were in post-secondary school, so I figure that gives me the freedom to do the same.  I know that the only responses I will get will be “meh”, or when I ask him to write back, he taps this little note to me: “back”.

3. I am grateful  that he is just on the other end of the phone and that I am one of his frequent ten phone pals (so not only is the call free, I take this as a sign that he “likes” me.)

I am happy that he is going to school – I truly am. And I know that at 21 it is not unusual for kids not to live at home—they have a whole world out there waiting for them. But I often wonder where the heck did the time go? One day they are trying to get a bird to land on their hand (oh, the innocence of little ones) and the next they are flying free themselves.

The worst part of this whole exercise is after we have helped him move into his home away from home. When we take our leave, he always stands in the driveway and waves at us until we are out of sight. This gets me every time (yes I am tearing up as I write this), but I have done it many times before and I will do it again.

Grateful thing number 4 just for today: I still have him home for two more days!

Published in: on August 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm  Comments (46)  
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Comforts ~ Day 8, Or Don’t Gag, I Am Going to be Sappy

wistful rose

wistful rose (Photo credit: macrophile)

I cannot ignore these very important three “things” I am grateful for. They are:

1 Jim, my eldest brother

2. John, my older brother

And last but certainly not least:

3. Peggy, my younger sister.

First of all I am very lucky to have just three siblings because these posts are supposed to be about three things I am grateful for each day, and if I had a fourth sibling I am sure I would be thankful for them too, but it would mess up the whole balance of this challenge (even though I realize I cheated yesterday and just used a quote—but it was a busy day.)

I am seriously lucky to have these three people in my life. I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am – you cannot choose your brothers and sisters, but I would choose these three without a second thought. I know at least two of them are going to read this and I don’t want to embarrass them too much – but guys—I do not know what I would do without you. You are there for me every step of the way and I know that I could ask any one of you anything and you would do it for me. And I for you. Okay, enough – one can only get so maudlin without the gag reflex factoring in.

I simply could not do a grateful challenge without listing three of the most important people in my life other than the three I listed in an earlier post (my husband and sons). It just would not be complete.

Three Sappy People

Three Sappy People (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on August 20, 2012 at 2:18 am  Comments (33)  
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Comforts ~ Day 6 Or I Did Not Kill the Cat!

bob

bob (Photo credit: kittykatfish)

I know this is not a very good title for a post about gratefulness. But I am going to be speaking on behalf of the family cat, Kitty Bob today. I am translating for him because I know he is very grateful. So in Kitty Bob’s words:

1.  I am grateful that my mistress did not use up one of my nine lives this morning after I peed on some very important papers that took her hours and hours of work to complete. They had mostly numbers on them and not words, so I know it was not the work she likes to do, but the work she has to do that I relieved myself on. I have heard her say many times that she does not like doing bookwork so I thought she would not mind. She did.

2.  I am overjoyed that my mistress did not bundle me up in a bag, tie it with twine and put me in the car and take me to the country and drop me off. I would have probably found my way back, but I do not think the reception would have been very warm.

3. I am thankful that she just yelled at me put and me in the basement and closed the door. I know she will feed me and she will forgive me as she always does. I also know that the three males in the family love me to death and will sneak me treat and hugs while I am being punished.

“I vow to make my mistress happy and to never pee on anything that should not be peed on again.” ~ Kitty Bob (my mistress made me say this, but there are just no guarantees—a cat has got to do what a cat has got to do.)

Published in: on August 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm  Comments (64)  
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Comforts ~ Day 5 or Now We Are Getting Maudlin

English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant

English: A Dentist and her Dental assistant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This gratefulness stuff seems to be working on some level. I was in a bit of a funk when I started this, and though this is only Day 5, things seem to be looking up. It has been subtle, but as you will see from my three things today, things are starting to go my way. Silly, simple things—but aren’t those the things that throw us off, and make our lives miserable? So without further ado:

1. My youngest son is going back to school next week and before he goes he must get a dental appointment. His dentist only practices in our town on Wednesdays and Fridays. So, today I called to try and get an appointment for next Wednesday. The dentist and her staff are on vacation all next week—but get this—they are triple booking on Friday so they can take care of their patients! They worked Tyler in at noon because he usually goes in to work at 3. But when I told him he said, “But Mom, I told you they changed our hours to 1-9 instead of 3-11 on Friday.” So I called back, and they again changed his appointment to 10:00 so he could get to work at 1:00. They mentioned that we may have to be patient!

2. The hits on my blog are still out of this world. It seems you all got into the groove and it carried over to Thursday and I received the second most hits in my year of blogging. For this I am grateful—and feel like such a part of the blogging community.

3. Again this is about my youngest son. He called while at work today to say he told his supervisor he is going to quit his summer job a few days early, so we get to spend some time with him before he goes back. Though I am not looking forward to his departure—those few days off will give us a chance to catch up on our favourite TV show, “Community” (he has it on DVD) before the new season starts, pack  leisurely, and get in a little “do nothing” time.

So these are the simple things that rock my world. Though not earth-shattering, they are happy making.

Published in: on August 17, 2012 at 12:42 am  Comments (44)  
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Comforts ~ Day 4 or Boy, Did You Come Through ~

Cheshire Cats!

Cheshire Cats! (Photo credit: pullip_junk)

Grateful?  I am grinning like a Cheshire cat. My plea sent out to you mid-day Wednesday was met spectacularly.  I asked you to help me reach my goal of 10,000 hits on this first anniversary of my blog and boy, did you come through.

The blog garnered 10,016 hits before the clock turned over to a new day! You went above and beyond, and I thank you for not letting my shameless begging go unheeded. Today was also my all-time high for the number of visits. So this post for Day 4 is going to be an easy one.  I am thankful for:

1. Exceeding my goal of 10,000 hits and 300 followers on my first anniversary; but more than that I am grateful for the way you took up my challenge and made it happen. This blog would be nothing without its followers and I am fortunate to have the best in the kingdom.

2. The feeling that you were all pulling for me – that feeling is better than any statistic known to man or womankind.

3. And finally, I am grateful that I did not drink my last raspberry rum cooler on Monday night. I popped it (actually I unscrewed the lid) and drank to you for making this happen. Cheers!

And just in case you were wondering, Nike got no hits – so the success of this was dependent solely on you.

Published in: on August 16, 2012 at 1:08 am  Comments (74)  
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