Writing about gratitude daily for a month makes you really, really think. What AM I thankful for? In all the history of my life, what gifts make me say "Thank you" the most often?
It's a daily "Thank you" for me.
When I was a freshman in high school, my parents decided to build a new house in the country, away from the village where we'd grown up. I'm not sure what motivated this, really. Our house was big enough, we had a great yard, the neighborhood was full of playmates. I think my Dad may have thought that a new house would be less work to keep up than an old one. Who knew? One of the main reasons I appreciate my old home is because I learned early that new homes are not necessarily 'easier'.
Our old house went on the market and sold immediately. The new house ran a couple weeks, and then a month, and then a FEW months behind schedule.
We moved into a local park in a pop-up tent camper and a couple of pup tents at the beginning of July.
During the summer it was okay. Weekdays, we'd move camp to the sites across from the restrooms. Weekends, we'd move further out to make room for the folks with reservations for those sites. Our friends would come out for sleep-overs. People from church would drop off pies and other things that simply cannot be cooked on a camp stove.
School started. We'd cut through the woods, hop over a guard rail and catch the bus at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. What the district thought of our pickup location I cannot imagine. The limitations on our wardrobes due to the lack of storage space was daunting.
Fall weather hit, with daily frost in the morning. Crawling out of the tent and running barefoot to the john was no longer an option. The days we awoke to four inches of snow on the tents? Sneakers were not enough. My brother and his best friend took to sleeping in the bathrooms because they had HEAT.
Sometime after November 1st we moved into our unfinished new house. It had very few interior walls, one toilet and cold running water coming out of one pipe in the bathtub. But it had a furnace, was warm and dry, and I could get to a toilet without a coat or wet feet.
There is never, ever a time when I don't say a fervent "Thank You" when I step into a warm shower or crank up the heat on a cold snowy day.