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Sunday, November 22, 2015

When You Don’t Feel Thankful

This is what the road in front of Storybook Cottage looks like right now.

It’s not much of a fairytale.

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Now some of you who follow me on Instagram may be thinking “Weren’t they working on your street like last June?”

Yes, yes they were.

This has been constant and ongoing.

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For the past three weeks, unless you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, residents are safer parking their cars about a long block away. I haven’t minded the walk to and fro too much as it has been a glorious fall.

Although I must admit lugging groceries home in a wire cart is not all it’s cracked up to be.

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It has gotten tougher mail wise too. Since the postman is unable to deliver I’ve had to drive twice a week to the post office to pick up our mail. As we inch ever closer to Christmas the lines and waiting time have gotten longer and longer. Still, I guess I am lucky my mailbox is still standing in one piece. Some of my neighbors have not been so lucky as big caterpillars have backed into several of the brick towers. Some went tumbling into a pile of rubble while others now channel Pisa.

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But last Tuesday I had HAD IT! The tornado sirens had gone off at 3 am during the night and after climbing out of our shelter at 4 am sleep alluded me. The day was long and difficult. I came home late in the afternoon, once again lugging groceries, only to find that they had also closed the sidewalks. So, it meant walking home in the thick mud. Let’s just say my J. Crew ballet flats were a lost cause. In hindsight I should have taken them off and walked home barefoot. 

Oh, I was in a fine funk!

Loudly complaining to myself about the horrible mud… the horrible day.

I was really working myself up into a lather.

Then I heard a quote very clearly in my mind that my grandmother used to say. 


Tears started streaming down my face. Part of the difficult day was that it had been a year to the day that my beloved Grandma Jingles had passed away. But she was still there. Carried in my mind and heart.

So I began thinking about what else she might say to me. Well surely she would talk about the poor women in Africa who, year after year, have to walk 20 miles every day for water. They have to balance heavy jugs on their heads and babies on their hips during the long journey home.

And still they smile.

Couldn’t I find a smile during this minor and temporary inconvenience?

I need to remember this at times, I think it's hard for people to realize how well they have it over others.:

Life truly is about perspective. Our true character is how we react to the difficulties that life may hand us. 

Thanksgiving Printable, Give Thanks in everything chalkboard art print, bible verse print:


Truly thankful,



marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I know you are always thankful, just a little frustrating.

Mountain Mama said...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder to look around and be thankful for the little things in life. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I absolutely love this post :)

Donna said...

Love this post..well said! The picture of you and your sweet grandma is just precious. We should all have a tiara sometime in our life.

Jeannie Marie said...

I love the poster that says no matter how bad your life is, it's someone else's fairytale. How true that is. It's something to remember often and live it accordingly.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I love this post and thank you at this time of Thanksgiving for the reminder. I have to say though that you deserve to be a little down, that looks like a mess and a huge inconvenience!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Another great lesson that attitude makes us or breaks us.

Your gma Jingles is smiling in heaven right now, for you found your way out of the funk.

Gosh, I sure hope they finish for you soon, that's awful. But I am glad about your having a lovely home to go back to - even if through mud and muck.


Cherie said...

Laura, I have to be the debbie downer here. This is not a natural disaster, when indeed, one should be grateful for what one does have. Instead, it is a contract road crew who are probably on a fee + costs -if they can lengthen the time on the job, their company can give (easy) reasons why the delay, and they win big $$ for all the extra time on the project. I would contact my local fire station and ask for an inspection, as the road is unsafe for fire or medical emergency vehicles. I would contact my local city council member, using the same "unsafe" and unlivable condition of the roadway. I would contact the local TV station, the one that loves to take the city, county or whomever is in charge of your road, to task. I would try to get neighbors to make those same phone calls. Because the contract road crew are not doing their job properly, and whomever their contract officer is is not either. So contact the government agency who let the contract.

You and your homeowners are being taken advantage of big time. If your family or a neighbor family has a member who has and a heart attack in the past, for example, you can also be a "concerned family member", saying what if that happens again and they emergency crews cannot get to you in time? What if there is a fire and the crews cannot get there in time? What if your child rides his bike and gets injured trying to get through the mud? You don't have to be angry, but certainly be as "concerned" as can be to get their attention. What if you had slipped in the mud and conked your head on something, or broken your hip? This is not a natural disaster, but may be a man-made impending disaster if someone gets hurt, etc. Sometimes you have to be the activist for your own safety.

My queue to action whether for a friend, family member of myself, is using the words "health, safety and security". Certainly, all of these are in play here. It takes the emotion out of it, and uses real-life concerns as a call to action.


Decor To Adore said...

Cherie- you make a great point! Our neighborhood has a large elderly population and it has broken my heart to see some struggle to get to their cars. We have contacted our homeowners association as have some of our neighbors. They have promised that paving will commence tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Eilis said...

I love your positive attitude. Looking forward to meeting you at your cookie exchange!

Lisa said...

I'm sorry for your street drams(We lived in a neighborhood 2 houses ago that redid the streets and it is a big annoyance) but I'm glad you found the silver lining.:-)

Auntie Em said...

Amen! I hear your pain and at the moment we are trudging through mud or dealing with some other difficult moment, it is hard to keep it in perspective of the bigger picture. But these moments pass and we become our thankful selves again and remember how much we have to be thankful for.
Its not easy when your heart is hurting. How lucky you are to have so many special and warm memories of your wonderful Grandma Jingles to cheer you up. Her love keeps on giving. What an amazing legacy.
{{{hugs}}} to you and hope they get the mud cleared up soon. Think of how nice your street will be once they get it all done! :)

Lori @ Dining Delight said...

Excellent post! My motto is "it could always be worse" and it can! Makes me find perspective and a more positive attitude.

ellen b. said...

Amen and bless you dear mud trudging one!!

Denise said...

I love this post, Laura! I know you miss your Grandma Jingles; we can tell what an amazing and special person she was. The best part is, you will always carry her with you in your heart, but I'm sure you wish you could still talk to her in person. Thanks for reminding us of what's important and of all the things we have to be thankful for. I hope they get your road paved ASAP!

Warm hugs to you my friend,

Denise at Forest Manor

Cozy Little House said...

Beautifully written words! Sorry for the frustration of your neighborhood. But you still saw the glass as half full.

Kelley Dibble said...

Daddy punched out on one of those peel and stick plastic thingies in the '60s and stuck it to the one bathroom mirror, shared by all six of us:

I had the blues because I had no shoes
Until upon the street I met a man who had no feet.

Nearly five decade later, I remember that.

You made the right choice, Laura. Thank you for the wise advice.

Prayers for your street and the patience wearing thin. I'm so sorry this has happened to you, dear.


Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I so relate. The road leading to Cottage was closed all week, so I had to drive through an other longer, very narrow road in the fields all week. Last Thursday, I was cursing like a sailor about that because the drive is 6 more minutes and I have a very short lunch break and I needed to come back home at lunch break for medical reasons this week... Suddenly in on of the fields, I spotted a gorgeous pheasant. I stopped the car to watch him. I think it was nature's way to tell me that there's a bright side to every situation and that I should stop complaining, stop swearing and began smiling and remember to be thankful for my life.
Beautiful post that reminded us how lucky we are.