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Most of the Thankful Stuff is Small and Sweet

     I sure hoped the neighbors wouldn’t drive up. My square purple flashlight was teetering on the curb by our driveway and my hands were solid mud.  I’d told the guy I live with that I was going to take out the trash and water the flowers I planted last Saturday and then I’d be back to watch the evening news with him.

     I meant to water the plants this morning, but I got up late and there wasn’t time before work.  Actually, I was going to water them yesterday morning, too, but for some reason I didn’t – and then I forgot to do it when I got home from work last night. So here I was, at eight o’clock in the evening, with my flashlight and a garden hose stretched across the driveway, splashing night water on the flowers.

     They’re really pretty – yellow daisies of a fragile sort mixed with rose-colored and deeper rose-colored daisies. Ageratum, the lady at Nurseryland told me, not daisies. And a few white phlox amidst them. But I didn’t have enough time last Saturday, so six one-gallon containers sat patiently on the concrete, waiting their turn.

     The beam of my flashlight fell on one droopy yellow daisy. Definitely needed to find its home in the soil – and soon. But it was dark. What would the neighbors think if they saw me out there in the dark with a flashlight and a shovel?

     I pushed aside all thoughts of getting caught in the act, set the hose in the flower bed – still running water - and grabbed the shovel I’d left leaning against the wall. Promised myself I’d just plant the droopy one. Maybe one more…

     The dirt was soft and the holes were easy and the plants – all six of them – went nicely into their new homes. The hose, the shovel handle, my shoes, my hands, my watch – they were all covered with mud from the running water. But not a single neighbor drove up. Lucky me. I watered the freshly planted flowers, hosed down the muddy shovel and flashlight and headed up the driveway, back to the house.

     At the house, I shed my shoes, went inside to wash up, then settled in to watch – um, let’s see… Oh yes, “West Wing.” New episode. A good one, too. Read a really good book during the commercials.

     Which brings me right to the point. This Thursday is Thanksgiving. You knew I was getting to that, didn’t you? I mean, what else would all this nonsense about planting flowers in the middle of the night with a flashlight be leading to?

     I was thinking. Halloween and Christmas have kind of gobbled up Thanksgiving. You don’t hear much about turkey day any more. Maybe because we don’t get to dress up in costumes and no one gives us bags of candy and there are no gifts or holiday decorations and we don’t think much about saying thanks any more. There isn’t time.

     So I thought I’d give thanks for a few little things I’ve enjoyed this year. The first is you – thank you for you. (I’m not telling you why – only saying thanks!) And the second is for the flowers that brought me out in the dark on a balmy November night. And wasn’t it a beautiful day today? Sun shining, blue skies, clear air that makes you want to stretch out your arms and reach for the clouds. Or the top of that palm tree over there. Or for the scruff of the neck of ol’ Sadie to give her a warm rub over her aging fur coat.

     Yep. Most of the thankful stuff is small and sweet and it’s good to have a day to savor it - and the turkey that goes with it.

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