Thankful As of Thanksgiving, I will have been gone from home for 17 months and 2 days.  I never planned to be gone this long, and my journey has taken me to places and feelings I never expected.  Most of all, it has made me grateful…thankful. They say you sometimes don’t appreciate things until you no longer have them.  I’m happy to say I don’t think I’ve lived that way.  I’ve tried to appreciate things when I have them, recognizing that it may not always be that way.  Having lost my mother when I was 12 years old, I always knew that people, circumstances and things could be gone in a second. Being gone from home has made me miss and be even more grateful for so many things…so on this Thanksgiving Day I wanted to take a moment in honor of all that for which I am thankful. My family, whose love and support mean more to me than anything else in the world.  Grandma, Dad and Fran, Shirl, Amanda and McKinnon and Jacob, Steph and Todd and Landen, Arica and Matt, Heather and Bruce, Megan and Robert and their two beautiful munchkins, Jennifer, and all my loving Aunts, Uncles and cousins…my family are all the most genuine and beautiful people I know.  We are each others roots and the giver of wings. If home is where the heart is, then mine is with these people. My friends, who are the family I have built for myself, or that life has blessed me with…who inspire and teach me.  Friends who are incredible women and mothers and wives, men and husbands and fathers, cooks, gardeners, storytellers and card players. They are football fans, hunters, dog lovers, bakers and people of faith.  They are athletes and photographers, lovers of the outdoors and music. I learn and grow from each of them in small and big ways, and am always thankful for their examples and lessons. Brian, who is my love and friend, my buttkicker (when I need one, as I so often do), my rock, my shoulder, my bike-picker-upper and personal mechanic, my sounding board, my companion, my cuisine guinea pig (aka cuy), my silent partner and partner in crime, my laugh starter and my heart.  He inspired me to take the leap of faith and start this journey and for that I will be eternally grateful. My journey, which has helped me to correct my priorities and shift my perspective, allowed me to see the world and make some incredible memories and friends…this journey has reminded me to live in the moment, to love completely, to take chances (within reason), to always want to explore and learn, to be open to new experiences and ideas and people and their different ways of thinking, to worry less and laugh more, to be less burdened by things and travel lighter, to take nothing for granted and to always, always, always be grateful.  Part of my journey has been disguised as not-so-great things – including having worked for a couple of greedy people who cheated me out of a share in the company that they had promised me and I worked for, for many years – but later I realized that their lies and actions was in part what allowed me to leave the unhealthy environment of their company.  In a way they helped me to move on.  That makes me grateful for the hard parts of my life too, and the lessons I learn in unexpected, and sometimes unpleasant ways. My bike which has been my means of travel, but so much more. It has been my wings in a way and the start of conversations with new friends. This is self-indulgent and extremely first-world of me, but here goes anyway, because life is made up of a lot of small things for which I am also grateful – hugs, kisses, dogs, hot water in a shower, and a soft bed, did I mention hugs?, messages from home which raise my spirits just when I need them to, the shade of a tree, shelter from wind, a hot cup of tea and something warm from the oven, clean clothes, cold water to drink (or maybe a Coke?), movies that make me laugh or cry or both, just enough money to keep me safe and fed, a good story to read or listen too, something to laugh about, the sun to warm me, flowers, guacamole (lol), movie popcorn, a good laugh, an inspiring book or blog to read, an episode of Dirtbag Diaries, music on my ipod and freshly charged batteries for all my gear.

Categories: SC philosophyTags: , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m still jealous… Love reading your blog and living your experiences vicariously. You will be writing a book later,… right?

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