Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Message)
In contrast to yesterday’s aggravation and puzzling grumpiness, today was an opportunity to clear my head and really be thankful. No predawn trips to the stores for Black Friday shopping on my agenda. Instead, Andrea and I took off for Little Manatee River State Park first thing this morning and rode for almost three hours. It was a great day with a cool breeze and cloudy skies. I saw so many beautiful things that I wished for my camera, but never can get good pictures on horseback so had left it at home. There were bright golden wildflowers with shiny yellow butterflies floating all through them. They looked like sunshine on the overcast day. The meadows were full of tall waving tan grasses dancing in the wind. The maples were full of red leaves in contrast to the dark green of the pines. I love fall. All our favorite trails were dry and insect free in contrast to the mosquito filled water logged rides of summer. There is one spot where I love to go down by the river where the water is so calm and blue. I could sit there all day just enjoying the view and feeling calmness wash over me. But, we usually get there close to the end of our rides and the horses know that they will soon be back to the trailer so we can’t rest long. It was a beautiful day to be riding, and the park was empty. We saw only one other rider and horse. I guess everyone else was out shopping. Mid afternoon when we got home, I didn’t even come inside, but immediately began putting up Christmas lights around the house. It took me a while because we have new strings this year having invested in LED lights. The clips were tiny and did not go up as easily as our old lights, but after some wrestling and a little help from youngest son, the house is now transformed. Husband, who seems to have recovered from his grumpiness as well, came home from work early and helped me put up the outside garlands on the porch rails. Then, he took me out to dinner at Carrabbas. They have pumpkin and butternut squash ravioli on the menu for a short time. I know it sounds gross and I almost didn’t order it, but it was so good. Afterwards, we went to Lowes to buy a new water heater. We’ve been taking cold showers for the last 24 hours as the water heater bit the dust on Thanksgiving Day. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why everyone was so grumpy! Now, I am listening to husband and both boys talk man talk as they install the new water heater. Husband is giving instruction on soldering and pipefitting. It is nice to hear them working together. So, there are several things to add to my blessing list. Horseback rides, good food, fall beauty, hot water and family. And I’m still counting.