I have a friend who is the devoted single mom of two children--one with severe special needs. Though she is talented and creative, and has physical issues of her own, she has chosen to pour herself into her children and sacrifice her own wants and needs in favor of providing them with the fullest, richest life possible.

Even when in severe pain from her bad back and/or the crippling arthritis in her hands, she musters up enough strength to lift her daughter in and out of the car, as well as tend to her other physical requirements--never complaining, and always with a smile on her face.

This summer she loaded both kids and all her daughter's equipment into the car, and took them on a memorable cross country trip to California and back.

Watching the eclipse

Grand Canyon

I also have a fun-loving, multi-talented, granddaughter, with a positive attitude, who despite a serious heart condition, is determined to live life to it's full. She too is a devoted mom who tends to sacrifice her own wants and needs in favor of the wellbeing of her children and spouse.

Always one for adventure, she temporarily put her own career plans on hold, left family and friends behind, and moved cross country to California several months ago in support of her husband who had received an attractive job offer he wanted to check out.

Both my friend and my granddaughter are on a rugged journey they didn't sign up for or expect. Yet they are determined, for the sake of their children, to never give up.

In my eyes, they are two of the unsung heroes we never hear about, but who I'd like to acknowledge in this post for the amazing and inspiring role models I feel they are.

Racing Malachi up the climbing wall



Day 21 - Grateful for good food and fellowship.

(More to follow about this delightful place in a blog post of its own.)

Day 22 - Grateful for the zoom on my camera.

Even though I haven't used my camera much since I got my new cell phone, it's still my go to when I'm trying to capture something at a distance. (More to follow on this as well.)

Day 23 - Grateful for some one-on-one time with my youngest great-granddaughter. She loves shoes, and I had found this vintage Old Woman in a Shoe pull toy/shape sorter with wooden figures of the old woman, her children, and the dog. 

Day 24 - Feeling grateful for Livestream. It has enabled me to experience events that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Day 25 - I am grateful that God is omniscient and in control.

Even when I don't understand why  things are the way they seem, and all I see are knots and tangles, I can trust that the end product will be a beautiful tapestry on the other side.



This tree near the entrance to Purcellville library's parking lot is one of my favorites.

The rest of the pictures were taken on my way to Charles Town.



Day 16 - I hadn't been able to cut the nails on my right hand since injuring a tendon in the left one several weeks ago, so I was very grateful for this granddaughter who clipped them for me.

Day 17 - Grateful for a beautiful day, very little traffic on the long drive to visit a friend in rehab, and a good visit when we got there.

Day 18 - Grateful for my praying friends.

Day 19 - Grateful for this grandson who turned 22 today.

Day 20 - Grateful for a good report.



Day 11 - Grateful for the GPS on my cell phone.

I use Google Maps, and it has taken the stress out of driving to unfamiliar places.

Day 12 - Indoor plumbing and toilets that flush.

I'm so grateful that I don't have to squat over a hole in the ground or use an outhouse--especially in winter.

Day 13 - The gift of a new day.

Every morning I thank the Lord for the gift of a new day, but after a really rough night last night it took on a whole new meaning. I think it's a blessing I tend to take for granted--like being able to breathe, and see, and hear, and walk.

Day 14 - Feeling grateful for how well these two items relieve heartburn. Who would have thought?

Day 15 - Feeling grateful for my comfortable apartment and the programmable thermostat that keeps it warm in winter and cool on hot summer days.



Day 6 - Clean, safe water to drink.

Day 7 - Toilet paper.

Day 8 - Hot water and warm showers.

Day 9 - I'm grateful for the view from my window--especially in spring and fall.

Day 10 - I'm grateful that my plants are thriving. Seeing them do well makes me happy.


I only found out about this challenge--30 Days of Gratitude--today. It started on November 1st (November being Thanksgiving month in the U.S.), so I'm behind and trying to catch up. Shouldn't be too hard though, since there are so many things to be thankful for--starting with this e-mail, which will be my Day 1.

Day 2 - Grateful to have made it to a big milestone birthday (the big 8-0) in September of this year.

Day 3 - Grateful for my family.

Many years ago, as a young widowed single mom of two children--7 and 9--I had an irrational fear of not living long enough to see them grow up. But I did, and have since been blessed with seven grandchildren and four great-grands.

Day 4 - So grateful for my amazing, caring, selfless, fun-loving daughter, who sacrificed so much of her time and energy to be by my side every step of the way during some serious health challenges I faced in early 2018.

Day 5 - Grateful for the birthday gift of a trip to visit my long time friend who lives too far for me to drive to on my own.



It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.  . . . the godly will flourish like palm trees . . .  Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:1, 12, 14)

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.  (Psalm 94:19)



This sign caught my eye on a day filled with gloomy thoughts. It's the chorus to Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem--a song of hope, of looking for the silver lining in even the darkest situation.

Cracks are testimonies of our imperfections and failures, but they are also the places through which we grow. There is a light on the other side, and rather than dwell on broken things that can't be mended, Cohen is exhorting us to focus on ringing the bells still available.

The song starts out:

The birds they sing, at the break of day 
Start again, I heard them say.
Don't dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be.
(From Anthem, by Leonard Cohen)



The lovely coloring of these browning hostas caught my eye, and I was happy to be able to get some pictures before their owner cut them back.

The fallen leaves looked pretty too, as did that one little lone blue flower.