Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving

As we near the day we call "Thanksgiving", I think of its origins and the reasons we give thanks.  Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday, which commemorates the gratitude exhibited by our earliest settlers who had endured extreme hardship in their quest for freedom from an oppressive ruler.  Many of us celebrate this day with a special meal, taking time from our busy, busy, and perhaps, humdrum lives to give thanks to God for our freedom and many other blessings.

When I was growing up, we didn't have a "Thanksgiving" meal, as my father had to work that day.  As best I can remember, I was a teenager by the time my father had that day off from work.  Then, we had an "official" Thanksgiving meal to which my mother invited older friends who might otherwise be alone that day.  I remember my mother making the turkey and cooking everyone's favorite vegetable.  So therefore, although we weren't by any means rich, along with the turkey, we had a full array of condiments and at least six different vegetables on the table.  That was the only day I ever had another meal later in the evening consisting of "left-overs."

As my husband and I raised our seven children, we tried to instill in them a spirit of thanksgiving in our everyday lives, so this day was celebrated in a big way.  Now my children, separated only by approximately 2,600 miles, celebrate with nearby family and friends, remembering their brother and sisters, living on the opposite coast of the country, in their hearts.  This is a time when we wish we could all be together again, but living on two coasts doesn't afford us this opportunity.

Judeo-Christian teachings instruct us to be thankful to our Creator.  Psychologically, it is beneficial for us, in our busy, busy, and perhaps humdrum lives, to assess our lives and our blessings.  I'm sure there are physiological benefits from this as well.  It's been my observation that when I center on being grateful, my spirit rises.  While I'm far from what I consider financially "rich", I consider myself blessed beyond belief.

I'm thankful to God for my family, our health and wealth (however, subjective) and ability to do and be what we want, within reason.  I'm thankful, as a Christian, for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who guides me day by day.  I'm thankful for the wonderful family and friends with which the Lord has seen fit to provide for me.  I'm thankful for our service men and women who lay down their lives for our safety, and their families who willingly sacrifice their lives as well.  I'm thankful for my health and ability to spend time throughout the year with all of my children and grandchildren, who are growing like "weeds."

My prayer for you, this day, is that you are able to fulfill your God-given destiny with your God-given talents.

Please feel free to share your comments.

Check out my photos at:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Slitherers

On Sunday I accompanied my daughter and her children to Costco (a membership only warehouse-style store) on Morena Boulevard in San Diego.  This was the only day my daughter had free.  The parking lot is always crowded and that day was no exception.  As my daughter waited for a shopper placing their purchases in the car, a driver (about 30 to 40 years old) in a white car passed her and made a u-turn in the aisle.  As the first person was backing out of the parking spot, the person in the white car slithered into the now empty spot.  As my perturbed daughter now drove on around the lot looking for another spot, we found ourselves on line behind some others also waiting to park.  Then, we saw the same occurrence we personally experienced.  A man (looked to be in his 30's) passed others, made a u-turn and slithered into the spot just vacated, robbing the person who had been patiently waiting for that opening.  We just nodded to each other as we agreed, "This is a ME society."

When I've accompanied any of my young grandchildren on a shopping trip, I've always told them that I had to be on the outside nearest passing traffic because the people, speeding by, seemingly oblivious to the safety of pedestrians, could see me.  I jokingly tell the children it's because I am larger and taller than them (an obvious statement that is received with smiles).  This practice is especially needed in the Costco parking lot as people speed down the aisles just to get a spot.

Inside the store, Costco has employees who provide tasting of the food products they sell.  The children love this.  My daughter likes this practice because she can observe if the children like a product before she buys it.  The children politely waited for the person putting food on the tray.  My daughter told me that when the employee put food on the tray, adults just reached down over the children's heads and took all the samples.

Costco seems to attract shoppers who appear affluent.  Does privilege extend to incivility?  Does being fortunate and having more money automatically determine that you can act anyway you like to the detriment and inconvenience of all others?  

While this is an age-old problem, it is quite noticeable at this store.  I suspect that what we saw and experienced is more a product of "new money" and lack of education in the way of discipline and respect of others.  Or, maybe it is just selfishness....  We've shopped at stores in LaJolla, Cardiff and Encinitas, which really are affluent communities, and have not experienced this.

As we were leaving, my daughter made the observation that the Costco workers were much nicer than their customers. While Costco is not responsible for the actions of their customers, they could provide a live person to monitor their parking lot on weekends and especially busy times.  Thankfully, the people who lost their parking spot to the "slitherers" did not lose their patience and confront these slimy characters, but just moved on.

Please feel free to share your comments.

Check out my photos at:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Back

First New York Snowfall Oct. 2011
Electricity, oh wonderful electricity.  Four days without it is a trip to "yesteryear."  Thankfully, my sons-in-law had wood and/or pellet stoves to provide heat.  Although, many people have endured worse and still don't have it.  Today's Poughkeepsie Journal relates that about 1100 people are still without power in that area.  A TV report (today) stated that other Northeastern states still have many users without electricity. 

Last winter, I gave my granddaughter a gift certificate for a tea party.  She went with her mother and had such a good time, they decided to take me on my next trip.  On Saturday afternoon, my daughter and 10 year old granddaughter took me to "The Cup and Saucer" on Main Street in Beacon, NY.  The tea sandwiches, scones and cookies were delightful.  The little sandwiches in various shapes were made of pumpkin butter, salmon cream, cucumber (my granddaughter's favorite), and egg salad.  We selected  Earl Grey tea and a chocolate mint tea.  The teapots were covered by tea cozies.  This brought back memories of my childhood.  We had a very nice time.  I definitely recommend this restaurant.  It's a great idea for people who take the train from New York City on the Second Saturday of the month .

While the snow was falling on Saturday night, we played a game called "Hedbanz".  You have a card in a headband on your forehead stating you are something, like a food item or a baseball, etc.   You have to ask questions of the others and guess what you are.  It was fun.  I think everyone enjoyed the evening.

Sunday was very quiet.  Soccer, as well as our possible mountain trek was cancelled.  I would never step out of the house in that weather.  In fact, I didn't leave the house for three days.  I live in San Diego to avoid weather like this.
Day after Oct 2011 Snow Storm

My visit to New York was a busy one.  I loved visiting with my children and grandchildren.  The grandkids are getting so tall, I have to look up at them to converse.   Also, I enjoyed seeing friends who could spare the time.

In an earlier blog, I said I would share about my $266 flight on Delta to and from Newburgh NY through CheapOAir.  I flew through Detroit and on the return trip, the agents asked for volunteers to give up their seat for a $400 voucher for a future flight, a first-class seat on a plane to Los Angeles, overnight stay and meals paid for by Delta, and a flight to San Diego in the morning.  I volunteered.  A female passenger stated that the plane was overbooked by 14 people.  I phoned my son and daughter-in-law to see if I could stay with them for the night instead of using a hotel.  My daughter-in-law invited me to stay the week.  That would have been great.  However, by the time the agents made the changes, I had no time to get to the gate for the flight to Los Angeles.  So, I continued on to San Diego. 

It was, as usual, a great trip, but I was glad to be back in my own bed in sunny San Diego.

Please feel free to share your comments.

Check out my photos at: