Thursday, October 30, 2008

Colorful Gratitude

I know I am a few weeks early to be doing a post on gratitude, but every time I go outside I am grateful. Grateful for changing seasons.

I am grateful to have a yard alive with color (this bush really is that red).
I am grateful for trees, always grateful for trees.

Leaves too.

I am grateful for mums. No explanation necessary.

I am grateful for the bounty of the season - pumpkins included.
I am grateful for the good times had while searching for "Jack".
I am grateful the weather has been nice and my kids haven’t been stuck inside with cabin fever. Instead, they have been busy playing in the mud.

Burying each other in piles of leaves (one of my hooligans is hiding in this picture).
And busy making witches brew. They can do this for hours. Love the rotten apple & plums - very nice touch. Anything that can capture their attention for long periods of time makes me especially grateful.

Monday, October 20, 2008

College Memories

When my husband and I were first married, we were the beneficiaries of extreme generosity. His grandparents invited us to live in their basement apartment for free while we attended the nearby University. Their gift was a blessing to us in so many ways. We were able to get through college without having to take out student loans, we spent the first few years of our marriage living in an idyllic college town, and we had two of our favorite people living upstairs.

(Beautiful painting available at this gallery)

The apartment came furnished, and although the avocado green shag carpeting and orange floral wall paper would be considered retro & chic now, it wasn’t so in 1995. We painted, wall papered and made slip covers to cover the dated furniture. Before we moved in, Grandma Eddie had used the apartment living room as a quilting room and we would still find sewing needles and tacks from her quilting frames buried deep in the shag carpeting from time to time – ouch! We loved our first home together and remember those newlywed years with much fondness. When the time came for us to move on, we inherited my favorite chair from the basement apartment. The fabric was worn and dated, but it was comfortable and had always been my favorite spot to sit and read in front of the fireplace. I intended to have it reupholstered, but for years it sat forgotten, collecting dust and piled high with boxes in our basement. Last fall we finally got around to finishing our basement and during this process we purged ourselves of much of the clutter we had collected throughout the years. I didn’t know when I would ever get around to redoing the old chair, so one Saturday morning it was loaded up with a bunch of other castoffs and hauled off to the D.I. Gone for good, or so I thought.

Last week my husband and mother-in-law had a surprise for me.

I guess instead of hauling the chair off to the D.I. that Saturday, my husband took it to his parents’ house where he and his mom conspired to have it reupholstered for me. They picked out the fabric and hired someone to do the work. Such a thoughtful gift! Right now it is in my living room, by the window. Just walking past it makes me so happy. When I have a spare moment to stop and sit for a while I am overcome with gratitude. This is a gift I will especially treasure because it reminds me of so many other gifts in my life – my amazing husband, our generous families, and the best memories ever of our college years. Truly, they are the best.