Category Archives: Thankful Thursdays

Keeping Kimber From Under The Sink

I’ve heard that certain people look better on paper than they do in real life.

Me, for example.

I could tell you that I played two instruments in junior high, and one of them with the high school symphony orchestra from the time I was nine years old and you might be really impressed… unless I also mentioned that there were only six viola players in the entire city of Lethbridge, Alberta. I was total seat decor. A place holder in the landscape of the orchestra.

(And yes, I was also the nerd carrying two instrument cases around campus for three of the most crucial years of social posturing. I have a faint scar across the bridge of my nose where my glasses ((I did specify nerd)) came into fierce and simultaneous contact with both the cement and my nasal bone because as I was leaping over a low chain-type lawn border in front of the school, my toe caught said chain link, my arms flew out–one right, one left–in, I’m sure, a picturesque spread, with oboe on the left and viola on the right, and being brain heavy, but not having that organ entirely in sync with the rest of my physical being, I, well… went around with electrical tape holding my glasses together for some time following that balletic moment.)

Yes, I could rosin a bow and drag it across the correct string in time with everyone else. But I was never more than a passable musician. I was too interested in other things to devote that kind of time to one activity. Well, that, and I believed there was this impenetrable barrier between decent playing (mine) and breathtaking playing that I would never cross. I could play decently without any effort at all, or bang my head against the barrier indefinitely and still only play decently, so why not just play decently to begin with and skip the concussion entirely?

Point being:

Today’s grateful shout out goes to all those people who didn’t, and do not, believe in that barrier that I placed in my own path. Musicians who write and play and sing amazing melodies. Who dedicate their entire lives to bringing me that miracle we call music. My son tells me I feel this way because I’m a dopamine addict. Good to know. I mean, it really is; I had no idea that the pleasure I get from good music is more than just an absence of whatever sound I’m drowning out with said tunes. It also explains why whenever I press play I usually feel like doing something more than crawling into that space under my kitchen sink, drawing the cabinet doors closed and banging my head against the pipes.

I have no desire to produce music of my own, finally. My childhood interest in the viola and my adolescent affair with the oboe had more to do with being surrounded by that music than with participating in its production. But I love music; I really do, and I’m so grateful for its influence in my life, for all the people who make it, and for all the technology that makes it so accessible and enjoyable today.

An Alphabet of Thankfulness

Just in case you weren’t sick of the all the alliteration we’ve brought you this week, up next we have (you guessed it?) Thankful Thursdays, that’s right: this year, on the fourth day of the week–that one that isn’t quite Friday, but still feels a full week from Monday–we will be expressing gratitude. (And yes, we seem to be using the royal “we” this afternoon.)

Because after all, in the words of Thomas S. Monson, “This is a wonderful time to be on the earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways.” (Oct 2010)

Not to mention the fact that Aldous Huxley was probably thinking about me when he wrote, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

Yes, I know, he wrote that before I was born, but you cannot prove the man didn’t have a fully functional crystal ball,  now, can you?

So. What am I thankful for today?

The problem, really, as I begin to compose this is that there are so many blessings, most of which I’ve never really expressed gratitude for, that I’m having trouble triaging them.

Ooh! Ooh! I know–let’s go alphabetically. That should take me clear through the end of June… and then maybe we’ll start at Z and work our way backwards, I don’t know.

(And NO, the three versions of the alphabet on my wall and the basket of alphabet books by my knee in no way subliminally prompted such a decision.)

A is for Apples–in all their varieties, but next to a fresh golden delicious, you have to admit, this is the best species:

A is for Aunts: I am so grateful my children have aunts who love them and who I can trust. And who are way more fun than I am, because otherwise my kids might grow up as boring as me. Also, my own aunts. I have some great ones. Several years ago I blogged about them; if you’re interested, it was June 14, 2008. Meanwhile, I have pictures:

That’s my mother (right) and her sisters , with Grandma in the middle (L to R: Bonnie, Becky,  Elna, Necia, Linda). Of course, I have other aunts–in laws, and such, but I don’t have pictures of them. (At least not right here on my desktop.) What are the lovely ladies in the above picture doing, you ask? I’m not really sure. If I remember right, it had something to do with the Can-Can, but they weren’t very successful at it.

A is for aboulomania: Just kidding–I just think it’s amazing that a word exists for “a pathological inability to make decisions”. That’s totally me; honest to goodness, I am often so paralyzed by all the choices on a restaurant menu that I dread eating out. (Or shopping for a bra, for that matter… have you attempted that lately?)

A is for Academics:  I am grateful I was born with the constant desire to learn new things. I’ve never liked summer vacation as much as I liked the ten months that followed it. I’ve never felt completely at ease unless, ironically, I was also struggling along some continuum of growth or learning that truly challenged me. It isn’t until I have tossed aside a book in frustration after hours of laborious reading that I can in good conscience just sprawl across my bed and not think about anything at all. You are never too old to learn! When I’m forty, I’ll invite you to my graduation and prove it. (Just kidding; I’m more of a mail-me-my-diploma type.)

And along with that, can I just say I’m incredibly grateful to live in an era where learning is so easily sought out? There isn’t a question I can formulate but what I can find the answer within moments online or through texting or telephoning someone who knows. Education has never been so easily accessible and so wide-ranging and offered in so many formats. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on my Master’s degree while still being able to provide for my family because Heritage saw the need for evening and weekend classes and filled it–here in my town! How amazing is that.

A is for afternoon naps: why my own kids never took these, I’ll never know. Well, yes, I do. I was a total pushover when mine were small. Bought into the whole, “But I’m not tired!” scam.  Not anymore; twelve toddlers snoring–it doesn’t get better than that. Okay, it does. But not in the context of toddlers. At any rate, nap time has officially drawn to a close and so must we. (Royally, no less.) There are diapers to change and a collective twenty four socks, twenty four shoes and twelve coats, along with various other paraphernalia, to locate. Therefore,