Gifts & Graces
Here’s my random gratitude collection of mostly small but sometimes large things that helped make October better.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I realize this is a cliche for October, but it’s only recently that I’ve started to like these. I’m still not into pumpkin-spice-everything-else, but I enjoy the lattes if I ask for a smaller amount of the flavored syrup than is standard, so it’s not so overwhelmingly sweet. I have a self-imposed rule that pumpkin spice lattes are only allowed once we’re into October. Mostly this is to keep them special in my mind and available to me only for a few weeks. But this year, I relished breaking my self-imposed rule. I savored those pumpkin coffees starting in September and through all of October. And I found I enjoyed them more than expected as I basked in being a rule-breaking rebel.
Pancakes. When we’re away on vacation, my husband offers to make me pancakes several times. This is more challenging than it sounds since we’re usually in a tiny kitchen with minimal cooking implements and a sketchy stove. It’s always a delicious indulgence that I wouldn’t make for myself (So many carbs! Butter melting over the top! Maple syrup poured over the pancakes, and dripping down the sides!). It makes me feel very loved that he wants to do this for me when we’re on vacation.
Returning to a vacation spot. Every year we return to the same location in the fall. Sometimes I think this makes us extremely predictable people (which is probably true, but maybe not such a bad thing). But lately, I’ve realized that returning year after year to the same location has its own special joy. I can’t help but think of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit and how comforting it can be to have well-worn, well-loved things in our lives. We both love this spot, and even though it’s not shiny and new with novelty and excitement, I instantly relax into vacation mode once we reach a specific location on the long drive. We have traditions about where to stop for lunch and where to pick up groceries for the next day. And we notice the changes in the environment since our last visit. A new restaurant is reason enough for an adventurous expedition. A favorite brew pub closing lets us nostalgically discuss all the meals (and adult beverages) we have consumed there. Even a newly repaved road makes us reminisce about previously bouncy, jostling drives and realize our gratitude for the repairs.
A closing prayer
Dear God, please help me pay attention to the many gifts and graces that you bring to my life. Let me gratefully acknowledge the people and things that fill my days with joys that range from small comforts to immense love. And thank you, God, for being with me each day. I am humbled and inspired by how Your Spirit works through the actions of so many people. Amen.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL — “rule breaking rebel”. Yes, that’s you, Tacky! (And me but this isn’t about me). Never did sneak wine into our room at The Ranch, did we? Your gratitude towards pancakes resonated with me bc I get scrambled eggs with American cheese from my hubby when we are on vacation (and when we have access to a single burner). Somehow, his eggs always taste better than mine. And he seems to enjoy making them for me. Like you noted, it’s an expression of love. Lastly, you have found your Happy Place so it’s understandable to want to return to that spot yearly. Peace, contentment and love await you there. How blessed you (we) are to have a Happy Place. I always enjoy your end-of-the-month post. Thank you for sharing.
I’m such a tame rebel. My rebellion only extends to breaking my own arbitrary rules. But maybe someday I will surprise both of us and do something dramatically rebellious! Scrambled eggs with cheese (cooked by someone else) sounds almost as good as my pancakes. I’m glad you also are blessed with a husband who treats you with breakfast on vacation.