Continuing with the thankful things by the week.
15. I am thankful for the United Methodist Church… before you get all excited and think that something wonderful happened in our situation, let me explain… it probably isn’t what you think. I am thankful for the foresight of the UMC to support/start/encourage higher education. While there are United Methodist related colleges still in existence, they aren’t really UM colleges… they are just regular old colleges, privately run that just happen to have a history with the UMC. I attended 2 years of college at the University of Evansville which is a UM related college. I LOVED attending college there but circumstances in my family made it so that I had to move home. I am so very thankful that my children will get the privilege and opportunity to attend a private institution of higher education. I always knew that when I had kids I wanted them to be able to attend a private college. Having attended both, I know first hand the advantages of the smaller school. Since we are United Methodist and Wayne is an ordained elder, the local UM related colleges provide a discount/scholarship to clergy kids. There are 5 good choices in Ohio: Mount Union, Otterbein, Baldwin-Wallace, Ohio Wesleyan, and Ohio Northern. Thanks to that clergy discount, both Abi & Liz are able to attend college at a cost cheaper than most kids pay for a state school.
16. I am thankful for child #1, Abi. She has been a handful at times and tested us. She was the firstborn, the one we tested things out on and either changed it with the others or kept it because it worked. She has worked hard to be ready to graduate from Baldwin-Wallace this coming May. She will have a degree in Theater & Dance. She can do anything she wants to do with her life. She is a strong, confident, independent, beautiful, loving, helpful, caring, responsible young woman. She has matured and grown so much from those days when she was 14-15 and in her “bad boy” phase. At 21, she makes me proud of all she has accomplished. I cannot wait to see what she does with her future! It is going to be exciting. We went to see “A Chorus Line” at BW today. Abi was in charge of the costumes… ok, her official title was: Wardrobe Supervisor. She has made many costumes with her job in the costume shop. She has sewing skills that even make her Grandma Zagray impressed – and my mother is very accomplished at sewing. It is hard to believe that we have such a “grown up” daughter already. Wasn’t she just 3 and telling everyone that she could “do it herself?” At 21, she certainly can do it herself and do it well!!!
17. I am thankful for Grandparents. I no longer have any living grandparents. My last living grandparent died in 2005. I have great memories of my grandparents. Grandpa Dailey and I would go on long walks along the train tracks when we would visit them at their home in Akron each week. All the other grandkids knew that I was his favorite. 🙂 He died suddenly in 1975. That was the first funeral I remember. I also remember Grandma Dailey saying to me when I walked in to the funeral home, “It will be OK.” Grandma Dailey had a stroke not too long after that and didn’t live as vibrant a life. However, I remember her quilt rack in the dining room. She died right before my graduation from high school. Grandpa Zagray struggled with heart disease most of his life. He had a heart attack at his home in Florida in 1985 but survived and moved to the home they had purchased behind my parents. They were moving there mainly to help with my father’s declining health. Grandpa didn’t last the year. Grandma Zagray continued to live there and be helpful to my mother until after my father’s death. She was a preacher’s kid and a preacher’s wife. The more I look back on her life, the more I admire her. She wasn’t always the warmest but she loved us in her way. There are multiple sweaters she knit for us as children that I still have and have worn on my children. Maybe that is where I get my love of knitting. I remember making sure that my first stop after leaving the hospital with our first born child was at her house. She held Abi and smiled and was thrilled that we had done that. We tried hard to visit her once she moved to the retirement center, but with our growing family and the distance it made it hard. I just heard the clock chime in the living room. It hadn’t been wound in years but when I re-hung it after painting the wall, I wound it. It reminds me of Wayne’s Grandma Harding. I didn’t get to know her for very long but she seemed like a wonderful, wonderful grandma – especially from the stories I hear. That clock come from her estate after her death. Someday I want to be the kind of grandma that my grandkids love fiercly and want to visit and play with and enjoy spending time with.
18. I am thankful for food. We have had times of plenty and times of less. We are in the inbetween times right now. The stock pile of canned goods from the food bank during the year or so of less, is almost all gone. I actually had to buy green beans and canned corn to make the dishes I’m responsible for on Thanksgiving. Our frig isn’t as full as it used to be. We don’t always have all the snacks and foods we were used to having on hand. However, we are all healthy. We eat 3 meals a day and manage just fine.
19. I am thankful for child #4, Esther. She is a trip!! As the baby of the family, I think she probably gets away with a bit more than the other girls did, we are old and tired after all. She brings us joy. Esther is growing into a lovely young lady. She is kind to her friends. She is helpful, and loving, and smart, and pretty, and always (almost always) willing to help. She is learning to cook. She takes good care of the dog. She is doing well in school. She is doing well on the swim team. She is always willing to be acolyte at church (she is the only child there, so it is pretty much her job). Who knew that 4 daughters could be so different and yet so much the same? Maybe that speaks to our parenting skills?
20. I am thankful for modern appliances. I know I was thankful for electricity last week but let’s get more specific. It would be really, really hard to be washing all the dirty clothes I do on a rock in a creek, or on a wash board, or a wringer washer… I’m grateful for washing machines. I’m grateful that when the one that came with the house broke down last year, we were able to purchase a new one – a front loader. I do like clothes dryers too… though I love hanging clothes outside on the line, that is much harder in the winter, though I could do it if I had to. We lived the first 3-4 months we were here without one and it was fine. You just have to be more deliberate on when you wash – not on rainy days. Thankfully, we now have both a washer and dryer that are less than 5 years old and they work great… I just did 8 loads of laundry yesterday.
21. I am thankful for yarn… yes I said it… I have more yarn than any human being should be allowed to have in my garage. If you are ever bored and want something to do, I would love to have you come sort my yarn by color into totes. I am thankful for it, nonetheless. I am able to turn that yarn into gifts for people. I can turn that yarn into something to sell (I still have a pair of slippers and a scarf for sale). I enjoy working with it and playing the “find the right color yarn in the garage” game every so often. Yarn, and knitting and/or crocheting, bring me peace and happiness. It gives me something to do while I watch TV. Some people are all about knitting/crocheting just to knit or crochet. I am all about making something and seeing the person’s reaction when you give it/sell it to them.
9 more days in this month to go. I’ll have to think of some more things. I have a few more “obvious” ones but the rest might be harder to figure out. 🙂