Homework assignment: Be thankful!

Better Half was helping me make a quick and convenient dinner the other evening, i.e. something relatively instant, given that’s my cooking forte.

I was getting ready to throw some individual pot pies into the oven, paying heed to the directions that call for wrapping the crust edge with a strip of aluminum foil before placing them onto a baking sheet to cook.

That’s for more even cooking, less burn, so I’m told by “experts” in my midst. It has nothing to do with pot pies going for a sparkly shiny look while they bubble and bake. Whatever.

Anyway we both had the same instinct — to get into the kitchen drawer where we keep the wax paper, the clear plastic wrap and the foil, including miscellaneous scrap pieces of aluminum foil, which is what we ended up using.

“I’ll bet our moms are smiling,” I told Better Half. “Wouldn’t they be proud?”

We had one of those fleeting “gotcha” moments as I call them. They sneak up on you when something triggers a memory and makes you teary-eyed because you’re reminded of someone who’s no longer with you.

Better Half knew what I was talking about before any words were even spoken, that we were both products of Depression era mothers who wasted nothing and found use for everything, including little scraps of aluminum foil for the pot pies.

Mother memories — now that’s something to be thankful for, I thought to myself.

While dinner cooked I found a pen and grabbed my “30 Days of Gratitude” book.

I jotted down “mother memories” as one of the three things I was grateful for on that particular day.

At church we were invited at the beginning of the month to take home a “30 Days of Gratitude” booklet, and on each of the days of the month, read the scripture selected for that particular day and write down three things you’re thankful for or three things you appreciated each of those days.

It’s a simple enough homework assignment — look around you, open your eyes, pay attention, be thankful!

I am not at a loss here to fill this booklet with three things a day if not more. Some simple. Some more involved.

My husband, who is as broad shouldered as he is patient and loving.

A mother-daughter outing.

A nap.

A roof over our head even if Better Half does lovingly/jokingly call our place “the museum.”

Family being together.


The country I live in and the ability to vote and make choices, even if the analysis to follow is a bit much at times.

The service of veterans.

Enjoying my job and the people I cross paths with because of it.

The radio ministry I listen to on the way in to work.

Some “humble pie” now and again as a side dish to keep you in line.

God’s love and mercy.

My church family.

Modern medicine.

The change in seasons.

A hot shower.

Horses to enjoy and stalls to clean — yes, thankful for the ability to do so.

And, of course, pot pies, aluminum foil scraps and the memories of our mothers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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