Thank you to Amanda at Oh Amanda for judging this month's writing contest, she's terrific and you'll get to read more about her later this week as I interview her.
Thank you also to Bath and Body Works for the prize package from their new antibacterial line.
But the greatest thanks to the entrants who shared their feelings on being Grateful. I hope you enjoy the entries.
The Chocolate Chip Waffle with Gratitude: Seeing It
Our judge said: "This was beautiful. As good as any novel I've ever read!"
Mozi Esmé with To Be Grateful for More
"I think she really answered the question, if there was one. Such a great perspective."
Such the Spot with Whispered Reminders
"Oh, i needed this reminder today!"
Glacier Racing with Thanks to Joey
"They deserve this for the sheer volume written about a dog!! Plus, it was so articulate!"
Here are a list of the entries in the order they were received:
1. Glacier Racing with Thanks to Joey
I'm mourning this dog more than any of the people I've lost in the past ten years. Earlier today the grief leaked out, my body making sounds I didn't know it could. It doesn't help there's no shoulder near to cry on, or that night shift makes emotions tougher to control. Perhaps weeping is weakness, but I'm just now realizing the weight of the role he played in this simplified life I've made, and the hole that's left, and I am weak, and so I weep.
2. Lifenut with My Thanksgiving with Mick Jagger
The turkey and the stuffing were diced into tidy brown blocks. They sat side-by-side, looking like bricks for a dainty but foolhardy construction project. The mashed potatoes were scooped by hand like ice cream. Someone four floors below, in a basement kitchen, released the dull white lukewarm globe over a tray with a flourish of a tired wrist. There were stubby grey green beans and a short glass of milk with a paper lid to prevent sloshing.
3. The Time for Change with Gratitude
It's sitting there in the paper robe, staring at the ceiling, wondering, as always, what would happen if the fire alarm went of at that exact second, that it all crept up on me. While waiting in the lobby for forty-five minutes, I had worked myself up into a state of anxiety and worry. It's routine, but routine for something I try to deny, as if by denying its existence, it will suddenly disappear and never haunt me again.
4. Mozi Esmé with To Be Grateful for More
The overcast skies didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd on Wednesday as we applauded the marching bands, the Scout groups, the fire trucks, the branches of services, the veterans, and most importantly to many there, the flying candy. It felt good to be an American!
5. Blog o' Beth with Gratitude
Sometimes an argument over a toy can lead me to say ugly words, causing my bottomless patience to vanish in a flash. Sometimes the simple sound of Max’s heavy breathing at night can awake worry and concern. Sometimes the smell of Lucy’s hair as it is nestled tightly under my nose can be comforting.
6. In the Mom Zone with A Lot to Be Grateful For
There's a challenge circulating around Facebook to post one thing you are thankful for each day until Thanksgiving. Two weeks and they call it a challenge? That's only 15 things you're thankful for. Surely there's more than that to be grateful for...
7. The Holly's Family with Gratitude
9. School Teacher by Day, Super Hero by Night with How Sweet the Sound
Gratitude and grace go hand in hand. It takes grace to have gratitude for all that's in your life, even in those hours where you might feel lost. Truly, there is so much in my life for which I am grateful. I am grateful that even though I don't want to work outside of the home, I have a job. I am grateful for this in a tough economic time when so many would give so much that have a full-time job with good health insurance.
10. Such the Spot with Whispered Reminders
I lead a blessed life. This much I know is true. Well, most of the time anyway. Admittedly, I’ve been known to forget from time to time. If I’m being honest I will tell you that there are days when my four young blessing from above seem particularly heavy.
11. Me and Mine with I Have a Few Wrenches If You Need to Borrow One
I'd like to think of myself as the kind of person that's grateful for her trials. I was thinking about this yesterday and wondered, "Am I really grateful for them?" It's easier said than done, really. Sure, hindsight is a wonderfully safe place to be grateful for one's lessons through adversity, but what about when you're actually in the process of "learning"? Whenever my life starts to make sense and seems reasonably steady, I know it's only the calm before the storm.
12. The Chocolate Chip Waffle with Gratitude: Seeing It
I think I began to grasp the concept of gratitude when I was seventeen. The summer of 1989, before my senior year in high school, I was dumped by The Boy Friend of my young life who was going to become my husband and the father of my future children. I was sure of it.
13. Food for the Soul with Give Thanks with a GRATEFUL Heart
For the last few days I have been contemplating the theme on everyone's mind as we approach Thanksgiving Day. No, not turkey (although I have contemplated that quite a bit as well!) I'm talking about the theme of giving thanks.
14. Paula May with Gratitude to the Rescue
I've been focusing on gratitude all month. Partially because the Thanksgiving season is a perfect time to reflect on the gifts we have in our lives. Partially because I have been having a hard time coming to terms with the reality of my life as compared to where I think it should be.
15. The Mommy Machine with Grateful
When I say my in-laws live a few towns away, I'm not talking about an hour's drive through the suburbs. Because we reside in Alaska, a visit to Grandma's house involves a half-day's journey over 370 miles and a trek across the marsh, up the mountain, into the pass, over the river, and through the woods. Service stations are few and far between—even if we manage to make it to a gas station, the restrooms aren't always working.
16. Fractured Toy with One More Day
I wished that she would not see tomorrow. I wished my mother's life away. I dressed in the dark and I drove there in the darkness. I quietly put the key in the lock and entered her house, praying that I wouldn't awaken her. I knew she would be asleep in the back bedroom and yes, I could see the night light from the living room. Would tonight be the night? Would tonight be the night I'd watch my mother die?
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