Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Are You Grateful For?

We're coming into the season. You know. The season of being grateful, brotherly love and shop until you drop.
This is my favorite time of the year. Somehow I find a way to rise above the mass marketing shouting at me at every turn and then burrow below to find the joy I felt as a little girl.
I loved the family gathering at Thanksgiving--all of the special dishes my mother made so well, the kisses and hugs from my cousins, aunts and uncles, the Macy's parade. And all of this as a prelude to my favorite time of the year, Christmas. Well, more on Christmas in a blog to come. Today I am grateful.
I washed my windows yesterday and as I was doing that, I thought of my mother. She always washed her windows before Thanksgiving and put up fresh curtains. The house was cleaned from top to bottom--everything sparkled.
She can't do that anymore and I'm not even sure she remembers Thanksgiving is coming, but I am going home for Thanksgiving anyway. Even though today she is not the mother I remember, I am grateful for the mother that she was. She taught me all that I know about being a good person. She taught me all that I know about being a loving mother and wife. She taught me all that I know about being compasionate and helpful to others. And for that, I am grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Got Any Interesting Mail Lately?

Have you ever received junk mail? OK, I'm being funny. Of course you've received junk mail. What I meant to ask is have you ever received funny, or weird junk mail?
The funniest junk mail I ever received was back in 1974 when I received an invitation to sign up for an American Express card. The American Express card was for my son, Lateef, who was then 2 years old! Crazy.
Well I really hate junk mail and even though I've opted out several times, the junk mail just keeps coming. The holiday season is beginning and the catalog onslaught has started. I even used to stop the catalogs, but they just keep coming.
Well, we'd been on vacation for a week and when we got home the amount of mail waiting was daunting, to say the least. I have no problem recycling, so I started the job--being ruthless in my zeal to get rid of the junk. Nope, I won't even peek into the Nordstrom's holiday catalog. J.Jill? No way. J. Crew? Bye bye.
So I'm working my way to the bottom of this huge stack of mail and one envelope catches my eye. It was addressed to me and appeared to be from NorthLake Memorial Gardens, but I read it NorthLake Memorial Gardeners. I thought, "I'll see what they have to offer. Maybe they have a good deal on gardening services." I opened the envelope and, sure enough, it was from NorthLake Memorial Gardens, which must be a local cemetary. They were selling burial plots and had a special. Buy one space, get the second space free. And, deal of the century? You could take advantage of their 12 month interest free payment plan. Didn't I want to give my family the gift of love by preplanning my final arrangements? I looked at the pamphlet that was included. You know what? There's just no way you can make a burial crypt look attractive.
Anyhow, I smiled and added this communication to the recycle pile, but as I continued to go through the mail, I wondered. Just how would they know that I am of that age where I would be thinking about things like this?
If I'd gotten that mailing 10 or 15 years ago, it would have hit the recycle pile, just like it did 2 days ago, but I wouldn't have thought about it again.
A couple of days have passed....Still thinking about it.