Thanksgiving is unusually quiet for my family this year, like it is for many families. Instead of waking up early to run in the Turkey Trot road race, my husband and I will go for a run in the park with our son this afternoon, as part of the virtual event. Our daughter won’t be home because she is a nurse and the hospital where she works—again, sadly, like many—has become overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. Although she is not among those taking part in their care, she will be filling in to do the regular work of other nurses who have been scheduled for pandemic duty.

Even so, my family has many blessings for which we are thankful. We have food on the table, a comfortable home, and good jobs. After my husband was laid off, he found a better position quickly and now feels happier and more relaxed. We have better fitness because, without much else to do, we spent more time exercising on our rowing machine. And, last but definitely not least, we don’t waste our time worrying about small annoyances now that it has become clear how trivial they are.

Wishing you many blessings this Thanksgiving also!

Thanksgiving cornucopia with harvest fruits and autumn leaves.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Like many of us, I am still decompressing from the bizarre presidential election that just won’t come to an end. As each day goes by, though, I am starting to feel more confident that America will once again be a country that has some dignity. As we go into Thanksgiving week, there are indeed reasons to be grateful.

Word-art that says "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." - Proverbs 31.25

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

This weekend I’ll finish the Row the Great Lakes Challenge, which I mentioned in a post in August. As the weather has turned cooler, I’ve mainly been working out on the rowing machine; but last weekend was gorgeous, almost like summer, and my husband and I rowed on the river both days.

Getting exercise, whether indoors or out, is a good way to feel healthier and more balanced. We could all use more of that, especially now.

Word-art that says "Balance."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Now that it looks like the US presidential election is all over but the shouting (of which the apparent loser has been doing quite a lot), I am among those feeling much relieved. Just walking around the house today, I felt lighter, somehow—as if stress had lifted away after sinking deeply into my bones for such a long time that I almost forgot what normalcy felt like.

Much still needs to be done, of course; but after a long, hard slog through a parched landscape that sometimes looked like there wasn’t a drop of decency or civility to be found, we’re finally making our way out of the desert.

Word-art with a camel saying "Yes, today is that day."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

I still have landline phones in my house, although that has become less common. Most of the time, I would say that the convenience of having phones in several rooms is worth the expense because I am not among those who feel compelled to carry their mobile phone at all times, even when they’re just walking from one room to another.

Landlines are a bit of a nuisance when the phones are ringing with political robocalls, though. Or more precisely, I assume that is what they are, but I can’t say for sure because I never pick them up. Anyway, the phones are quiet now, and I just made myself a cup of my favorite vanilla caramel tea, so all is well with my little corner of the world this evening.

As for politics, I’ve already voted, based on such factors as integrity and values—which, I hope, are not going to become as rare as landlines.

Word-art that says "Integrity" in a cloud of similar words.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

At a time when most of us feel that the country is at a crossroads, it can take some effort to envision a better future. It’s much needed, though, because creating a better society is not just about defeating the bad guys. When we take action from values, we move toward a future in which every choice won’t always have to be a fight. Instead, there will be many roads taking us in positive directions.

Street signs for Hope Ave. and Peace Ave.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

This afternoon I filled out my absentee ballot, and my husband took it to the county board of elections drop box along with his ballot and our son’s. As the day went on, it got darker and colder, with rain showers passing through. My thoughts wandered while I sat at my desk finishing my work for the day. I pictured myself in a sacred cave wrapped in traditional shawls, meditating at an altar while candles burned brightly, silencing my mind’s chatter and allowing the universe’s energy to pass through me and change the world.

I wasn’t really there, of course—but imagination has an energy all its own.

Word-art with candles and words like "Allow" and "Acknowledge."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Sunday was cool and rainy, so I chose a photo for my art display that had trees with red and orange leaves on a cloudy day. My husband looked at it and said, in a less than enthused tone, “It looks like fall.”

And I said, “Well, it is fall.”

Then he said that he wasn’t ready for the summer to be over yet. He got his wish and had a few more warm days this week, and I’ve been displaying more summerlike photos. The seasons always have to change, though—so we may as well make the best of it.

Word-art that says "Think of raking leaves as Mother Nature's way of getting you in shape to shovel snow."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

In a conversation on another blog about the hot mess that was the first presidential debate, I mentioned that I am contributing to the Carter Center, which—for the first time ever—will be monitoring the election in the United States because the country now meets its criteria for a democracy at risk.

While it’s not easy to keep a positive outlook in such times, I am grateful for the strong tradition of American democracy; hopeful that our citizens will vote to restore a decent government; and heartened by seeing so many people doing what they can to help.

Word-art that says "Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around and be helpful."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

With everything that we have had to contend with this year, sometimes it’s hard to see how the world is making any progress at all. Staying focused on a better future is a challenge when even the smallest step forward seems to be against the wind.

We’ll look around one of these days, though, and find that all of today’s worries are behind us. When that happens, I expect we’ll be able to see a lot farther.

Word-art that says "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.