Thankful for Cliches

Happy Thanksgiving Farmgirl Sisters! I hope your days are filled with delicious foods, wonderful company, moments of nostalgia and the giving of many thanks. Since I have been one of the Farmgirl bloggers for less than a year, this is my first Thanksgiving as part of the crew. That means that I get to write about all of the things that I am thankful for in life! Next year or years to come I can write about the perfect Turkey preparation or an awesome carved out pumpkin pot; but for now, it’s a cliche “What I am Thankful For List.” I highly recommend making one of these, yourself! I think that a hard look at what is really great in our lives is so necessary sometimes. This is such an opportune time to do this and to think about our gratitude more than the obligatory declaration of thanks around the dining room table (which has its own merits!).
Bringing Home the Turkey, ca. 1910-1915

I am Thankful For…
This list, once started, could have gone on and on. Once those gates of gratitude open, the search for what makes us happy and thankful is easy peasy.
My Fiancé
Evan is the love of my life and definitely my better half. We met on the other side of the world after having grown up only five hours away from each other. Sometimes it feels too good to be true! He puts up with me and supports me when I’m acting like a crazy lady; we celebrate the good times in life together; and we relax together on the rare Sundays we have off together. He is my rock and I love him!
Evan and I at a Glacier!
My Family
I have an amazingly strong family that has been through a lot and endured some hard times together and apart. I love that my parents never hovered and allowed me to pursue my interests, no matter how misled they seemed to be in the moment. I am thankful for the great childhood I had with my three kind, intelligent and fun brothers. My two nieces–Nola and Carolyn, bring me more joy than I ever thought imagineable! Finally, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins make up such a great network of love. We might not be one of those incredibly close families that make up half of a town, but space and time seem like menial obstacles when we are together. I am very sad that I cannot spend this Thanksgiving with my family!
The Nieces and I last winter…Such Cuties!
My Friends
If I can’t celebrate Turkey Day with my family, at least we have a great network of friends and acquaintances here in Alaska to celebrate with. We are celebrating pot luck style with a morning ski, afternoon croquet,(croquet in Alaska in late November? Who says climate change is a myth?), football on the big screen, and Thanksgiving favorites from across the U.S. As many of us know, it gets harder to make friends in new places the older we get. I have been incredibly lucky in that I’ve made really amazing friends throughout my life. Now, even though I don’t have a large group of friends in Alaska, the friends I do have are amazing. I am also incredibly thankful for my friends across the globe and across the U.S. Whenever I see them it feels like we’ve been apart for mere hours even though it has been several years in some cases!
My Situation
While I may curse my situation at times, it really is quite amazing–I get to live in a beautiful place with the man I love.  My work involves exploring nature with second graders and teaching them about healthy lifestyle choices.  I am surrounded by inspiring people and an inspiring landscape. I am not rich, but life is good.  I am challenged on a day to day basis by both my education and my colleagues. My schedule is busy but fairly flexible, and we have a new puppy!
Our Puppy
Maybe this is pre-emptive, but I don’t think so. Evan and I got a puppy on Monday! She is a great mutt: German shepherd, golden retriever, border collie and malamute mix. Her name is Moki Dugway, or Moki for short. She is named after a super cool stretch of road in Utah. As I type this, she is napping at my feet and twitching in her puppy dreams. She is precious! She is so smart and so cute; it is worth waking up in the middle of the night to bring her out to potty and to sacrifice a bit of work time to play with her.
And many more…
Trees, air, water, brussels sprouts, bluegrass music, Mary Jane’s Farm, freshly picked radishes, wooded trails, my health, snow, mountains, books, my pots and pans, a warm home, dreams…The list could go on and on and on and…
This is a good exercise in appreciation. In a culture focused so much on criticism and constant improvement, it is great to take a moment to focus on what is great right now–not on what could be or what is desired.
For Thanksgiving we will have a great spread of local fare: Duck and chicken from the farm, pork from down the road, locally caught salmon; mashed potatoes from storage; home made bread and home brewed beer, among many other family secret recipes!
I hope your meals are bountiful, the love overfloweth, and you all get a chance to take a good long look at what you are most grateful for!
Sending you peace and love on this Thanksgiving Day!
Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

  1. MaryJane says:

    Beautiful words to start off my thankful day. Peace and love to you!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Thanksgiving (and beyond) blessings to you, Evan and Moki for the holidays!

  3. Lynn says:

    Hi Alexandra,

    Just read your blog post. I love what you have said here:

    "This is a good exercise in appreciation. In a culture focused so much on criticism and constant improvement, it is great to take a moment to focus on what is great right now–not on what could be or what is desired." ~Alexander Wilson

    It is so very, very true and if being in the wilderness breeds life learnings like that…. you are bound for higher thoughts. Thoughts that will continue to inspire.

    God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Toni Adams says:

    Peace and love to you as well, Namaste. There is more to life. You are blessed.

  5. Anne says:

    Hi Alex You do have lots to be thankful for, and it’s good that you so lovingly appreciate it all. I read an article a couple of years ago about being thankful, and the author wanted to get in the habit of being thankful for lots of little things as well. I took that to heart, and it is amazing how many good things we have on an everyday basis that we take for granted. For me it starts real early each day with a hot shower! then the coffee. You get the idea. Love your post — regards, Anne

  6. Miriam Russell says:

    Thank you for your beautiful comments of thanks and gorgeous pictures of fiance, nieces and puppy. It is a joy to read and makes me appreciate my life’s blessings also.

  7. Kathy Riley says:

    Alexandra you say Thanks so well,I enjoy your Blog so much ,this one was the best. Thank You

  8. Debbie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Alex…So glad to read your " list of gratitude" and to get to know your heart better through this blog…You have everything you need when you have your health, love and a true appreciation for both! Many blessings to you and Evan.. and Moki! She is adorable! My little Corgi boy Max is at my feet as I type this not to you!
    Farmgirl Hugs from the beach!
    Deb ( MJF blogging sister in MA. )

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