Thankful Thursday – Family Tree

Almost thirty years ago, my grandparents bought a home that overlooked a natural, spring-fed creek.

The creek ended in their backyard (or started, depending on your perspective), and a pathway led around the water to a rock-filled peninsula which could be seen from their back yard.

Grandpapa purchased that peninsula from the city for a dollar.  $1.00.  He jokingly told Grandma that she could have the gardening area in front of the water, and he would take over the peninsula.

She did, and he did.

Every Arbor Day, each of us 16 cousins would proudly bring a sapling over to Grandpapa.  He would beam with pride as he dug a hole for his newest addition.

“Well, I think I have just the place for that,” he would say jovially while winking his eye.

Fall through Spring, we could almost bet that we could find him either in his “woods” or in the garden that he had planted in his self-proclaimed clearing.

My fondest memories are of joining him on that hill, picking up rocks, loading up the wheelbarrow, or even weeding.

I daydreamed in those woods, and had a safe place to run from my preteen questions.  His woods brought me solace, and taught me how to simply be still in nature.

It was my sanctuary, my cathedral, and my prayer chapel all in one.

It was the birthplace of my imagination, and the incubator of my writer’s heart.

Somehow, as the trees grew and reached for the sky, my heart grew stalwart, and my passions were birthed.

Walking through the woods these last ten years never fails to produce the haunting ache of loss.  Simultaneously, though, is the quiet calm that comes from unconditional love.  I am his beloved granddaughter.

Death may have claimed his body for this decade, but there is nothing that will ever sever the cords of his love for me, or the memories that he made for me.

I think back on the desolate peninsula that was, and marvel at his faith.

He saw what could be, and poured his life into seeing it happen.

He left me an irreplaceable legacy.

I am thankful that he had faith for the generations yet to be.  My kids love running through Grandpapa’s woods, enjoying the shade and the mystery of the now-giant trees that he planted long before they were born.

I am thankful that he directed my gaze back to my Creator, whatever season of life I was in.

I can only pray that I have the same legacy of faith, that I invest in those around me the way that he poured life and love into me.

Today, I am thankful for my Family Tree(s).

"Family Tree"

“Family Tree”

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Thankful Thursday – To BE

     He waits. I scurry to and fro, busy doing this and that important thing for him. I pause long enough to read a quick thought from him, or to shoot him a quick message, but something is missing.
     So, a space is cleared, a table is made and the lights are carefully hung to aid with the ambience. Still, he waits. Once a week, I thoughtfully review that things that I appreciate, the things that I am thankful for.
     I would feel so….used if I was only appreciated for what I did, and not for who I am.
  Today, I am thankful that God is love. I am grateful that his name is called “I am”. He waits for me, as he waits for you…”be still, and know that He is God.” Psalm 46:10

image

©Gracie K Harold 2015

Today, I am thankful that it’s never too late to join him where He waits. God is love.  Take a moment, breathe in and out, and simply thank Him for being Him.

Thankful Thursday – A Review

Dear Readers, I am thankful for your company through my grief journey!  Thank you for your constant encouragement! Sincere in love for you all, Gracie PS some of these photos were originally tagged under #PureMichigan

Remembrance 9/11

Remembrance (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Remembrance (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

“Remembrance”

by Gracie K. Harold

I remember horror as the 2nd plane crashed.

I remember panic and fear.

I remember swelling pride for our fellow brothers and sisters; the unafraid, the unflinching, the unselfish.

Those who ran in…never to walk out.

I remember a sleepless vigil, waiting by a phone that refused to ring.

I remember falling to my knees at the sound of my brother’s voice,

collapsing into relieved sobs as my pregnant belly heaved with every breath.

He had been there, a mere hours before.

He had changed plans at the last moment.

It took him two years to expose his own grief and tell us

how his best friend had died on September 11.

Now, I carry the memories of the acrid reality that lingered over the city…

months after the attacks.

I carry the deep respect and loyalty for the brave men and women who

choose daily to run in…whether or not they will ever walk out.

Remembrance 2 (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Remembrance 2 (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful that although certain situations seem to be hindering me, in the end

they are incorporated as an intricate way to emphasize the light.

Intricate Emphasis (c) Gracie K. Harold 2014

Intricate Emphasis (c) Gracie K. Harold 2014

What about you?  Is there anything that you are thankful for?

Comment below, post and include a link to your blog,

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 Twitter: @GracieKHarold #ThankfulThursday,

or private message me on Pinterest and I’ll send you an invitation to pin on my board!

Remember, darkness is dispelled by the smallest flicker of light!

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for a world full of international readers!

International Stats

International Stats

I am so enriched by the opportunity to learn from so many diverse perspectives!

What are you thankful for?

Feel free to comment below, paste a link to your Thankful Thursday post in the comments, or find me on Facebook &/or

Twitter: @GracieKHarold #ThankfulThursday

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for the reminder that I am sheltered and engulfed.  Here it is in black and white.

Light Grove (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Light Grove (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

What are you thankful for?

Post your #ThankfulThursday comment below, on Facebook, or on Twitter @GracieKHarold.

Share Your World

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard?

Ketchup…on hot dogs, burgers, eggs, and especially grilled cheese sandwiches!

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

Yup.  All of the above, as some people believe inspirational/supernatural qualifies as Science Fiction.  Also, it qualifies as a suspense-thriller; but probably overall a comedy.

Curious? You can read my life story here:

"Across The Street From Normal" (c) Gracie K. Harold 2014

“Across The Street From Normal” (c) Gracie K. Harold 2014

 “Across the Street From Normal”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you could be given any gift what would it be?

An Earth-friendly home with a workshop for James and an adjoining writing “cave” for me.  Somewhere that allows us to offer others a quiet respite from life’s “over stimulation”.  A legacy that will bring our family and friends together.  A home of security and self-assurance.  (One with enough bedrooms for each of us…and a multi-stall bathroom for both the girls and guys…with toilets that hang on the wall for ease of mopping!)

For potlucks or parties do you cook it yourself, buy from a grocery store, or pay for catering?

This depends on time and energy.  If I have both, I will usually bake or cook.  If short on time, I will stop at the store.  I honestly think the only time I “catered in” something was when I brought a slew of “Slurpies®” to a party.  Recent Birthday Party Cakes were made from a mix, but my Editor’s dear wife helped me brainstorm the decorations.  Some photos are below:

Baseball Cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014.

Baseball Cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014.

"Animals" cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

“Animals” cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

"The Planet of Hoth" cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

“The Planet of Hoth” cake (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week was a journey through emotional upheaval.  I am thankful for a quiet assurance that clarity was reached and that we managed to have some very sweet family moments together.  Looking forward, I am excited about new endeavors, steps closer to health, and love…from God, family, and friends.  My dear college Professor Dr. H. used to say, “Don’t take life so seriously, Grace.  And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well…and that’s that.”  Today, I couldn’t agree more.

 

"That's that" (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

“That’s that” (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

 

Thankful Thursday

Fading Memory (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Fading Memory (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

 

Today, I am thankful for the apparent “graduation” from my Botox® injections! It’s been four years that I have been to my neurologist every three months or so…until this last interval.  I have officially gone ONE year this month since having a major migraine!  I am also thankful for the miracle that Botox® injections were in helping to prevent my migraines!

I finally feel like my head injury is starting to become a fading memory!

What about you, dear readers?  What are you thankful for today?  Nothing is too small to be grateful for…are you breathing? Give thanks. 😉

Love,

Gracie

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Twitter: @GracieKHarold #ThankfulThursday

or simply comment below.