Thursday Thanksgiving

I mentioned Monday (or was it Tuesday?) that I spent the weekend in Bennetts Point with Mama. It was a “girls’ weekend.” Mama wanted to check up on the place down there, visit with some friends, and attend the community meeting to see what was going on. She also planned to attend services at the new community church, but it is not yet ready for occupancy. We had hoped to take pictures of the new church, too, but the weather interfered with that project!

It has been a long time since Mama and I have had some extended one-on-one time. You know, she has always been my parent, but also my friend. We connect on many levels. She enjoys reading; I love to read. She has been crafty in her years—sewing, knitting, wood working, some painting. She loves to learn stuff. She is interested in many things. She has taught me much about being independent. I think she was a women’s libber before it was popular! I could easily picture her as one of the original suffragettes!

Daddy was often on the road for his job through the week. He worked construction as a laborer, foreman, and finally job superintendent, until his retirement. That meant he often went where the work was—Owensboro, Kentucky; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; various places in North and South Carolina and Georgia, leaving Mama to raise three children and keep the small farm going. I learned a great deal about being independent, making decisions, and being strong from Mama during those years. Even during these last months of Daddy’s life, Mama was strong. She told me that she had been preparing herself to be a widow for the last thirty-five years or so, ever since Daddy was diagnosed with cancer the first time in 1976.

This week, I am thankful for Mama’s presence and guidance, and most of all, for her love and support. I am thankful that she “gets” me, even though I am sometimes the “odd one out” in my family. She understands my introversion (my brother is the same. It’s my sister who is the extrovert!); she gets my need to create things. She knows who I am perhaps better than I know myself sometimes.

Mama is not exactly camera-shy, but she does not like us to take her picture unless she is ready for it, so I don’t have a candid to share from this weekend. But I do have one image that I love. The bottle bush at the end of the driveway is still blooming in November. There were maybe a half-dozen “brushes” still on the bush. And they were such a vibrant and deep red. (I wonder if they would grow this far inland. I know the oleander that grows around the house at Bennetts Point does not like the Midlands of South Carolina. Mama tried to grow one at her house in Peak.)

Beauty is all around us in all places and in all weather. It just takes us being wide awake to the world.


(I “messed” with the editing. The red is more muted in this image, and a little “bluer” than it was in real life, but art is about vision, and this is what I “see” in my head.)


Thursday Thanksgiving

It has been so long since I’ve written a gratitude list. This used to be a regular part of my blog. But then “life” happened, and I made some changes, and.  . . . 

Excuses, excuses.

So, today, I’m starting over. On Thursdays, I will post a list of things for which I am thankful. Ann Voskamp calls them “gifts” in her book One Thousand Gifts. In her book, she lists some of the ways that keeping a gratitude list helps: being thankful actually can make us healthier. It relieves depression, and certainly, not being depressed leads to better health. Being thankful and grateful makes us more pleasant to be around, for sure, and it leads to better performance all around.

So, here is my list for this week:

  • cherry blossoms. Several years ago, my darling husband decided that the blooming cherry tree in the back yard was taking up too much space, so he cut it. It was definitely a “George Washington” moment around the Fulmer household. I was heartbroken and devastated beyond belief. I looked forward to that cherry tree coming into bloom every spring. I knew that when that tree was in bloom, it would be warming up soon. DH (darling husband) told me that it would come back, that it would sprout from the stump. And it did, and finally, there were cherry blossoms on the tree this year!


  • camellias. I’ve told the story so often about Grandma’s camellias and how she brought some seedlings with her when she left her home in Georgia after she married my granddaddy. This year, we had some deep freezes in February, the kind of freeze that goes to into the low tens and teens. One morning, it was 12 degrees here by the ponds! That kind of freeze! The camellia was budding, and I knew for sure that the buds had frozen, and I would have no bloom this year. God amazes me time after time. The camellia is in full bloom!
  • piano lessons. Okay, I know how to play the piano. I took lessons from the time I was eight or nine until I finished college. I could, at one time—the end of my junior year in high school, play Chopin’s “Military” Polonaise! I can’t now, but still. . . .  This year, I decided I wanted to take lessons again. I am studying with Wanda Neese, instructor of piano at Newberry College. I have rediscovered my love for the piano and for music in general.
  • blue skies. Not only have we had cold weather, we have had rain. I think one weather reporter said that in February, there were only six consecutive days of sun. March didn’t start out any better. We’ve had rain and clouds for seemingly days on end. But today, the skies were blue, the clouds were white, and the wind was just a gentle breeze.


Share your gratitude in the comments below, or link up with me!