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November 2003 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Sometimes you can draw a blank at the most inappropriate moments. As we gather with family and friends to share laughter, love and -- of course -- food, we will also be taking opportunities to give thanks for the blessings we've been enjoying throughout the year. So, to help make sure your list is brimming, here are a few of my favorite things to be thankful for this year:
  • A lone rose bush that's withstood the killing frosts we've had this fall. That little bush has been producing dozens of multi-colored roses for almost six months now! (I'm also grateful for the stream of lovely bouquets that find their way to my dining table, night stand and coffee tables.)

  • The smell that fills my kitchen when I am making fresh apple sauce. There's nothing like the smell of apples paired with good cinnamon. (I'm also grateful for the Macintosh apples that were picked from my parents' tree!)

  • The cozy feeling that I get when I light some candles around me while I'm working. The glow and gentle scents are great inspiration for writing on a chilly autumn day. (I'm also grateful for the more intense glow that comes with a roaring fire in the fireplace after dinner's done and it's time to relax for the evening!)

  • The feeling of accomplishment that comes with racking the last of the autumn leaves into fluffy piles at the edge of my yard. There's nothing quite like being able to enjoy the season's coolness while marveling at the intense color all around. (I'm also grateful that the wind didn't pick up and send all of my leaves flying back into the yard!)

  • The simple pleasure that comes from curling up with a good cup of coffee and the Sunday paper while some smooth jazz dances in the background. It's times like those that make us all feel rich indeed. (I'm also grateful that my local paper periodically includes two copies of the funnies -- so my husband and I each get our own copy!)

  • A purring kitten snuggling in my lap. Our furry friends don't seem to ask that much of us throughout the year and yet they give so very much to us. (I'm also grateful that studies have shown that our pets are great at lowering our blood pressure ... usually!)

  • The excitement that comes with a new recipe that's been created. Whether it's from scratch or tweaked from a tried and true recipe, there's something wonderful about enjoying something all your own. (I'm also grateful that I've been able to share so many of those eureka moments with all of you!)
Whatever you're grateful for this year, remember to share it with your family and friends as you gather together and share what's most important of all ... your love. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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