I once overheard two doctors greet each other inside a hospital cafeteria. One of the doctors posed a common question that got an interesting response. He simply said, “How are you?” The other doctor replied, “OK, I guess, still able to take my meals upright.” I was stunned! I never knew that sitting up to eat was a criterion for health. This answer also brought tears to my eyes because my father was currently a patient at that hospital, and he was not only unable to take his meals upright, but he was days away from dying.
It is interesting to approach the topic of gratitude from the upright-eating-doctor’s point of view. What things can I do today that I might not be able to do in the future? Of course, the list is long – I can see, hear, smell, taste, speak, walk, etc.
It was probably the nearness of Thanksgiving that caused me to think about all of this on an early November road trip to my hometown. St. Louis is 360 miles from my current home in Cincinnati. From the moment I got in the car, I appreciated the facts that at age 65, I am still able to drive, and that my health permits me to travel alone. As six hours of travel passed, I found countless things to be grateful for and made a photographic gratitude journal documenting all that brought me joy.
Here it is now:
I am grateful for cappuccino at Speedway to start my day.
I am grateful (an hour later) for a much-needed restroom stop.
I am grateful for terrific oldies stations on Sirius XM to keep me company as I drive. (But have you ever paid attention to the lyrics of Mack the Knife? What’s that all about?!)
I am grateful for wonderful weather and gorgeous skies during my journey.
I am grateful for Arby’s fast food to fill my stomach quickly with minimal delay to my travels.
I am grateful for a safe arrival in St. Louis and for a nice “visit” with my beloved parents.
I am grateful for a stop at Jackman’s Fabrics, a store I loved when I made clothes as a teenager and that I love even more now that I am a quilt maker.
I am grateful for reaching my hotel so I can freshen up after a full day of driving.
I am grateful for dinner at a favorite hometown restaurant and for the childhood friend who will meet me here, and of course for the fact that we are able to take our meal upright.
A six-hour drive to St. Louis could be considered a pain in the rear or it could be viewed as a joyous journey. I chose to see the joy. My reward was that all these little things added up to a wonderful day and for that I am very grateful.