Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Life will give you lemons, but what recipe will you use?

More than once I’ve been told that I’ve managed to turn a lifetime of lemons into some pretty good lemonade.  Recently, someone questioned what I might make if some really good stuff came along.  Hmmm… well, there’s a course of a different color.

If you ask me what my favorite restaurant is, you’re going to find that I really don’t have an answer.  Mostly because I always manage to find some redeeming quality out of every meal I’ve ever been served.  Sure, some experiences are more stellar than others – but overall, if someone made it?  I’ll eat it.  AND I’ll find something good to say about it, no matter what.  If everything from soup to nuts was horrible, but the forks were clean?  Well, I can be happy with that.

When faced with an unsavory task or a difficult person, I have always just taken a deep breath, muscled through and when all was said and done I made an effort to figure out what good came of it.  Tasting the bitter can give you a greater appreciation for the sweet.

Over the years, I have stood alongside loved ones who have had to endure the words of a doctor with the power to question the shelf life of a human being – and there is no more powerful motivator to bring your existence into focus.  Why am I here?  What have I done?  What will I do?  What is the point?  When you start to wake up everyday and ask these basic questions, you become a bit more grateful for something as simple as the gift of breath and thought.  When you are forced to choose from a different cosmic grocery list you just might find that what you already have, or can cook up, is richer and more filling than you might have otherwise thought.

For me, life has been a lot like the old folk story of “Stone Soup” – the one where people come together to make something warm and delicious out of seemingly nothing (or nothing good).  Ultimately, it is a tale of cooperation in times of famine or shortage.  Where my world might not have had the richness of a Norman Rockwell painting (really, does anybody know anybody like that anyway?) my life has been full and fulfilling from all that my friends and loved ones have brought to the table.  Pulling all of the combined elements together, I am able to see the much bigger picture of the greater feast of life.

Yeah, sure, I’ve been given a bushel and a peck of lemons over the years, but I chose to make not only lemonade, but some pretty delectably sweet things, too.  We are given the choice of what to do with what we are given, you know.  With a new year on the horizon and the promise of some new and exciting (read: positive) ingredients I am actually excited to see what I might make of it.  Once we’re cooking with gas (as my Grandpa Andy used to say) I’m also looking forward to sharing and seeing what you’ll be bringing to the potluck.  After all, we’re in this together.  Let’s see what kind of banquet we can set before us.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  — Melody Beattie

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