Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thanksgiving gratitude November 21, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I created this Thanksgiving centerpiece using a vintage tray, vintage candles, pinecones from friends, shells from Detroit Lake and letters from my 1970s Scrabble game.


FOR WHAT ARE YOU thankful?

The standard answers are often family, health, house…

But what if you think deeper than that to the specifics. I decided to do that. Here’s a partial, quick list of that for which I am thankful in the first 11 months of 2018:

  • A new baby on the way with our second grandchild (a boy) due in less than two months.
  • Skilled medical professionals who cared for me, encouraged me and helped me recover after surgery on a broken wrist.
  • A husband who exuded absolute calm even when I semi screamed at him to drive faster to the hospital emergency room.
  • A son and his girlfriend who baked and mailed chocolate chunk cookies from Boston as I recovered from wrist surgery and again in celebration of my birthday.
  • Minimal damage on and to our property following severe storms and tornadoes that swept across Minnesota on September 20. I am especially grateful for significant advance warning.
  • An extended family that still gathers in my hometown each July for an annual reunion that includes aunts, uncles, cousins and their families.
  • The opportunity to blog regularly for Warner Press, a Christian publishing company in Anderson, Indiana.
  • Friends who support, pray for and encourage me, as well as make me laugh and wrap me in their love.
  • My 2 ½-year-old granddaughter. No other words needed.
  • Art.
  • Several days away at a northwestern Minnesota lakeside condo, thanks to the generosity of friends who couldn’t use their entire timeshare week. This was a first for Randy and me and exactly what we needed.

Sometimes all I really need, though, is to pause for a moment and consider my blessings. Of which there are many.

TELL ME: What are you especially thankful for this Thanksgiving?

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


31 Responses to “Thanksgiving gratitude”

  1. The list is very long. I am thankful that I have been able to spend time with loved ones in person as much as II have this year. I have a husband who urges and supports me to do that and it is an important part of my life right now to be available to do that. So that is what I am very thankful for. Nice list, Audrey.

  2. pkpm519 Says:

    As Thanksgiving approaches, I ponder (Isn’t that a cool word?) the blessings I have received in the past year. Most people probably wouldn’t put putting Cancer on that list, but I am grateful. I am grateful for meeting so many really great medical personnel, doctors, nurses, technicians…and for being able to connect with so many others who are also dealing with this frightening monster.
    Though I am no longer in remission…I still have a mission. My diagnosis is a familiar cancer in an unfamiliar area. The doctors, here and at the Mayo Clinic, had not seen this before, so anything they are learning from me will help if someone else also gets this. My job is to stay well and show that it can be done!
    I feel great…and have not really been “sick” with any of the treatments, though some had painful side effects. In fact, it is hard for me to even accept that I have cancer.
    I am crediting the prayers and good wishes of so many people for my good condition…and I am so grateful for all of them, family and friends and strangers. My Lily Bear friends are some of the very best!
    I have had several people tell me how I connected with their lives in my own lifetime. Please don’t wait to tell someone how important they are in your life!
    So, yes, I am thankful for my cancer and for the life I am still living!

    • Yours is one of the most moving, profound and unusual statements of gratitude I’ve read/heard. To be thankful for cancer shows your positive spirit. That you are thinking of how your cancer may help others shows tremendous selflessness. You are amazing. You are making a difference in the way you are approaching your cancer and in your attitude. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s touched me deeply. You are a blessing.

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    So many “thankfulnesses”……..I’m thankful that there are these special days that “force” us to jump off the treadmill of ‘dailies’ and pointedly spend time refocusing——on family/people who are in our lives for a variety of reasons. The days leading up to these times can be crazy frantic (which may add to the contrast of the actual day that pulls us out of our routine tasks) but even those moments are a break from the repeated mindless(?) required chores. As I’m looking out at a partially snow-covered November landscape, I hear my gas furnace kick in to warm me and those I love, I sip my warm/hot morning beverage in my cozy little “nest” and watch a new day unfold……a gift. What will it contain? Many moments of recreating recipes that have become a family tradition and that will continue to be those much requested items so important to preserving the “glue” that binds our family…….or, better yet, a “thread” that binds us together with love. Blessings and hugs, dear Friend and Hubbs……..

    • Thank you for sharing your personal list of gratitude. I can picture you with that morning beverage in your nest, your hands working to recreate those traditional foods, the inviting aroma of delicious food…

      Blessings to you also and to DH. Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend.

  4. Kiandra Judge Says:

    That is a good list!
    My list:
    Our son Soren. After 6 miscarriages he is truly a miracle.
    My husband who’s always on my team.
    My sister who is so supportive.
    My mom and dad and their love.
    The ability to live in beautiful areas of Minnesota, Lake Mille Lacs and in the country by Sogn Valley.
    The YMCA in Northfield. A great blessing for my physical and mental health.
    My volunteer position with the Special Olympics.
    My best friend in California who calls me every day.
    My faith that is a “anchor for my soul”.
    Thanks for this opportunity to write this down and share it.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    I am grateful for emergency room doctors who helped my daughter last week when she went into diabetic ketoacidosis thanks to a stomach bug that prevented her from keeping any food down. Very scary episode with a very happy ending. And I am grateful that my kids were here last night for our annual fudge-making. Those are just the two latest things – one big and one small – that make up part of my list of the many, many things for which I’m thankful right this minute. Tonight, when Mick and I go to yoga class, our teacher will do her annual “walk of gratitude” exercise at the end of class, which is a profound experience that reminds us just how fortunate we are no matter what else is going on in the world and it gives us the wherewithal to be more generous to those who need a little help. Happy Thanksgiving, Audrey.

    • Dear Kathleen, I am so thankful your daughter is alright. What a scare is right. And then, in the next sentence to be grateful for fudge-making, well, that reveals much about the love you hold for your family. Thank you for sharing your gratitude list. Happy Thanksgiving to you and those you love.

  6. Lovely, Audrey. This makes the rest of us think about the sometimes “ordinary” daily life occurrences that are miraculous in their own way. I’m going to have to follow your example here, Dear Friend. I think I need to write about all of the amazing blessings that I’ve received this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Almost Iowa Says:

    And we, the followers of your blog, are blessed with having you.

  8. Caryl Larson Says:

    We have one daughter (only child) who lives up in the Cities. I’m thankful that she has a great live-in boyfriend whom we love! His whole family lives up in the Metro area and they are wonderful and have taken her in as one of their own. It’s hard sometime when she’s with them and we’re 4 hours away but still thankful she has them so close. So can you be thankful and sometimes jealous at the same time?

    • Oh, Caryl, as a mother with a daughter also four hours away and a son in Boston, I can relate. And holidays for the other daughter are shared with her husband’s family in California. So, yeah, I get that part about being far from kids and the mixed feelings.

      How wonderful that your daughter has met someone you love. (I can’t believe she’s already out of college.)

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Jackie Says:

    Good health, happiness, a God who loves me no matter my flaws, and YOU my friend, I’m thankful for you!

  10. My biggest thanks is for the peace that extends to the Middle East where both my adult children are currently deployed. The holidays away from family and friends is never easy for deployed military but if the loom of war were hanging over their heads and ours it would be even more stressful.

    Thank you for peace wherever it exists this season and pray that it spreads to the hearts who have closed it off.

  11. Valerie Says:

    Thankfully I too have a long list of things to be grateful for, but high on the list is, as you probably already know, our son and his family are moving back to the US after ten years of living in Africa.

  12. pkpm519 Says:

    Thank you for your response. Your post made a lot of people think about what is really important to them, and how blessed we are…even in the midst of turmoil! Have been a faithful reader for quite some time, not sure how long. Your posts are always a bright spot in my day…even when they deal with hard subjects. Thank you for you.

  13. Littlesundog Says:

    Gee, this year my cornucopia is filled with thanks that several members of my family are healing and have overcome some great obstacles with their health. I’ve been making trips up north to help out… which is why I haven’t been on here much. Realizing just how connected we all are in this life really hit home this year for me. I have never been upheld by hundreds of people in prayer, as I was the day of my sister Juli’s surgery. I can still feel that uplifting warmth and love. I don’t think I have ever had a Thanksgiving that was as special as this one. It’s humbling.

    • Lori, what a blessing you have been to your family. I am thankful for the many prayers offered by those who care about you and your family and I will add you to my prayer list. There is much comfort and power in prayer. I hope your sister is healing.

      I wondered about your absence and now I know. Thank you for sharing your reasons for feeling thankful.

  14. Bella Says:

    a humble list of gratitude and I am thankful for our friendship
    Blessing of the year to you and your family

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