Grateful for little things

I’ve been feeling very grateful for small things in my life. Often, when I write a prayer or speak a prayer with people in the church, I speak of big and important things like love and family and community and God’s grace and forgiveness. But I also am aware of things that are much smaller, There are little things that make my day much easier and help me to weave my way through this life.

Last evening, I was grateful for accurate weather reports. We complain about inaccurate reports, but weather science has become much more precise over the span of my life. In anticipation of a meeting in Pierre yesterday, I was able to get hour-by-hour weather forecasts for several points along the way that enabled me to plan my trip in a way that made for safe and relatively easy travel. The meeting was important. It wasn’t the kind of meeting that i wanted to miss, but safety is important too. I had the information to make a good decision and that information was very helpful.

It was a day when experience and perhaps even a touch of wisdom paid off. I knew to fill up th car with gas on the way into town so that I would be leaving with a full gas tank. I was prepared to pursue all of the necessary conversations as we gathered for our time together. I’ve been around enough to know how hard it can be to get out of a church after a worship service, so I made sure that folks didn’t expect me to linger. We were prepared to walk down the aisle during the recessional, take off our robes and head to the car for a quick departure. I even had the car parked so it faced the right direction. I wouldn’t have done many of those things earlier in my career. I would have felt an obligation to greet everyone after worship, to make sure that I had complimented the preacher and given enough time for visiting. Yesterday, an extra half hour would have made the difference between being able to drive straight to our home and pull into our garage, which we did, and being stuck behind cars that had slid out trying to get up the hill, which would have been the case just a few minutes later.

I felt grateful yesterday to be able to have a reliable all-wheel drive car with good tires. As we came up the hill from Walmart there were a half dozen vehicles unable to make their way. A large flatbed tow truck was spinning out and sliding sideways on the hill. Our little car was able to keep going and thread its way around the other vehicles without stopping. Again, on the last set of curves and hills before home, we had to navigate around vehicles that were spinning and sliding and our sure-footed little car got us where we needed to go without spinning a tire.

As long as I am listing the little things that make a big difference, I am grateful that we own a crock pot. In the morning, I placed a pheasant and some of my favorite barbecue sauce in the crock pot. When we returned home, all i had to do was to put some rice in the rice cooker and within a few minutes we had a delicious hot dinner ready to eat. Little fuss and less labor that it took to wash the dishes after dinner. Sometimes an easy meal can make a big difference after a long day.

And speaking of dinner, I am grateful for friends who are generous with the bounty of their hunting. I don’t hunt, but I enjoy the gifts of food that we receive. To have three or four pheasants in the freezer is a luxury. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store to plan dinner. I could just turn to items we had on hand. After the day we had been through and the slightly nervous driving to get home the last thing I wanted to do was to go back out. I wouldn’t have even made a trip to the grocery store without a lot of hassle and on the eve of the Super Bowl I’m pretty sure that the grocery stores were crowded and crazy.

On days like yesterday, I am especially grateful for a warm house. We lived for a couple of summers in a remote cabin that had only a wood stove for heat. It is hard to get up from under a pile of blankets to have to make a cold trip to the outhouse and then build a fire before you can relax in front of the stove. People do that all the time. I could do it too, but it is nice, on days when you are tired to have a few less uncomfortable chores.

And, last night, I was grateful for the live entertainment that was just outside my window. Shortly after we got home, a car slid into the ditch across the road from our house. That got a couple of additional cars stopped on the road. Before long a sheriff’s patrol deputy arrived to direct traffic and they were able to get the car out of the ditch, but not before the spinning tires had really polished the surface of the road. So it wasn’t more than ten minutes before the next car slid into the ditch in the same place. For all of our dinner, we were entertained by a long parade of vehicles, some with flashing lights and some without that were stopped alongside the road at our back yard. When I went out to the deck to have a closer look, I could see down the hill where a large number of additional vehicles were scrambling to get sorted out. More than a few had to turn around and head back down the hill without making it to the top. Fortunately the ditches are shallow and all the cars stayed upright and no one was injured. Their antics were more interesting than the scripted car scenes in movies. Someone with a video camera and the ability to edit could have made a good short movie for YouTube.

Life is good. There is much for which to be grateful. Sometimes it is good to be grateful for the little things.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!