I've had one of those days that reminded me of the joy of life, and living, and how ridiculously thankful I am for all I have and where I've been -- good and bad.
So this time, I'm listing things my heart is brimming over with thanks for, and I'm not stoppin' at five.
- My home state. I am in mad love with Mississippi, and the fact that I've had the opportunity to spend so much time in so many parts of it. Faith Hill had it right -- no matter where I am, I'm still (and always will be!) a Mississippi girl. :-)
- Old friends. There is something to be said for the peeps who know you well, have seen you at your worst, and still love you. I'm overly blessed with the most wonderful friends EVER. How this happened, I have no idea, but I pray to God I don't do anything to mess it up! My peeps are the best peeps.
- New friends. Meeting new people never gets old! Sometimes I think it's not the best habit of mine (for maintenance reasons and all), but aren't new personalities the best?! It's so cool to learn where others are coming from and to see where they'll go.
- The past -- all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all part of where and who I am now, and today, I happen to really love where and who I am now. I never thought I would be thankful for some of my ugliest experiences, but I'll be dadgummed if they're not reminding me of how good it feels to feel good today.
- Cruise control. I would love to hug whoever invented it.
- Fall colors. I know I don't shut up about this, but I'm all about some fall leaves and colors, and since I don't see much of those in BR (until this week!), it was absolutely breathtaking to drive up through Mississippi and see the vibrant colors. (I guess I would need to be hospitalized if I was actually up north, where real fall occurs.)
- Stereotypes. I was reminded this weekend that just because I set stereotypes, it doesn't mean they're in stone. That was a good reminder. Sometimes this redhead needs the "refresh" button clicked so she can see things as they are, not just as she imagines they are.
- A nephew who loves his aunt. There is absolutely nothing in the world that could make my heart fuller than to hear my hilarious nephew's voice trash talking me about football, or commentating on his 5-year-old life like the old soul he is, or incredulously getting excited because he "gets to see" me in only three days.
- Music. If you know me at all, you know I love it. And there's nothing like ten hours in the car to reminisce on the playlists of your life in every genre! Rock. On. Or country on. Or jazz on. Or...
- Scripture. It's amazing how, like music, Biblical reminders can pop up just when you need them. I'm thankful to have been raised in a family and church where I was taught Bible verses at a very young age, and that they still stick with me when I need them most.
- Being a girl. For real. Sometimes I gripe about it, but secretly, I love it. :-)
- Reminders of Aunt Mildred. I had the sweetest, funniest great-aunt ever, and since she died, I have noticed more and more when things remind me of her. Like good sweet tea. And decorative dish towels. And a new friend's laugh that sounds exactly like it came from Auntie M's kitchen table! Fantastic. I love that a beautiful sound allows me to see her shoulders shake from getting tickled, even though I can no longer give her a hug and kiss.
- My mother's cornbread dressing, and the fact that I get to eat it this Thursday. No further commentary needed.
- My family. They are the best of the best, hands-down.
Today I'm there, and can only grin again and think, "Well said. And ditto that!"