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Being grateful

Maybe it was because of my winter coat, or maybe it was because of…?

On a rather cold day, I decided to get out and take a walk. I had “chickened out” the past few days because of the outside temperatures, but I really needed some fresh air. We Minnesotans know that during cold spells we need to layer up our clothing, and I did just that. After putting on four layers, I had just enough room for my winter coat.

Out I went, and to my surprise, I felt darn good. The cold air felt good entering my lungs, my bare cheeks reminded me to bring a scarf on my next walk and I was thankful to L.L. Bean for my warm winter coat. Walking along the path, I became aware that a word kept going through my mind.

That word was: thanks!

A number of years ago I learned a lesson, and it was to not take anything for granted. Some moments of life are minor and some are major. Some moments are painful and some are pleasant. The thing they all have in common is those moments mean something to us, and we should remind ourselves to be thankful for them. Those bits of time make us who we are.

Because of that lesson, I began a daily routine. After each day, I took time to reflect on the day’s happenings and gave thanks for the day.

After a recent wine tasting event, one of the participants brought me an empty wine bottle for me to expand my knowledge. His son had brought the wine to a family gathering, and I thanked him profusely. It was a bottle of Carska Vina, Premium Edition Carska Blatina. I’d never seen such a wine and was enthralled by it. However, six other wines were calling to us and I had to begin the event.

It’s from Herzegovina. They’ve grown Blatina for a long, long time so the history of the wine — which is lengthy and complex — is amazing. Fortunately, the cork was still in the bottle so, later that night, I pulled the cork and got some aromas! The smell told me the wine was earthy and with some spiciness to it. I gave thanks for the experience.

During the same wine tasting event, a participant handed me a bottle of La Co-Operative wine. He is a member of a wine club, and this bottle was from his latest shipment. During the event, I popped the cork, and gave everyone a sample of it.

The wine is made at a French Co-op. The scent was very mild, but the taste was quite strong. It’s a very dry wine that opens with lots of plummy tastes and then ends with a bit of soft cherry. Later I discovered the wine is a blend of cabernet and merlot — a very interesting wine and it was extremely nice of the fellow to bring me the bottle.

Again, during the late night thankful moment, I gave thanks for the man’s generosity.

Thankfulness…

During this time of the year, let’s give thanks for where we are and who we are. Who gets the credit for these where’s and who’s? We all know the answer to that question.

I give thanks to my family. All of them — from grandparents, to parents, to siblings, to spouse and children and to the myriad of relatives who are around me. They may be far away, but they are with me.

I give thanks to my many friends. They have supported me, held me up when I faltered and are so important to me. Their influences have given me many insights to life and the joys within it.

I give thanks for the many experiences I’ve had during the path of life. Yes, that path includes the good, the bad and the ugly, but without my family and friends, I wonder where I would be today.

I give thanks for health. It’s something I don’t take for granted and appreciate everyday I have.

My thankful list could go on and on — so just like my L.L. Bean winter coat, thanks to each and everyone of you.

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