Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Things about Michigan I'm grateful for...

It seems like everywhere I go, people are talking about the woes of living in Michigan. They think there's a silver lining in Texas or Tennessee or Arizona. Maybe there is, but I'm not going anywhere. I am so tired of hearing bad news, especially concerning Metro Detroit, the car companies, Mayor problems, foreclosed houses, etc, etc, that I decided I wanted to make a list of 10 things that I'm grateful for.

  1. Water. Michigan is surrounded by six quadrillion gallons of fresh water, and over 3,000 miles of lake coastline. There are also more than 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan and, according to the Michigan Historical Center, one is never more than six miles from an inland lake or more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. I think I've personally traveled along 1/2 of those 3,000 miles of coastline. I plan on seeing more of it this summer. "We never know the worth of water 'til the well is dry." -English Proverb
  2. Pine Trees. I know everyone has pine trees, but can you hike through a forest of white pines, kicking up sand under your feet and come up onto a bluff that looks over miles of sandy dunes that lead down to one of the great lakes? If you can, then you know how wonderful it is.
  3. Diversity. A few weeks ago my sister and her family and I went on our annual traditional shopping spree. In 5 hours we bought hot tortillas in Mexican Town, Fresh produce and spices at the Eastern Market, bought kielbasa and pierogis in Hamtramck (had a great Polish dinner there), stopped in Greek town for some sweets, bought fresh Italian sausages and cheeses at a great Italian market in east Dearborn and ended up at an Arabic bakery for Syrian bread and baklava.
  4. Snow. Seriously, sometimes I like it. Like tonight when I came home from work. It was dark outside my home, and as I got out of my car, I was met with a soft silence as wispy snow floated down from the dark sky. There was a light scent of smoke in the air; someone had lit a fire. It was a pleasant moment.
  5. Spring. Do lilacs bloom in warm climates? I'm not sure, but I would hate to live where there were no lilacs. I planted a lilac bush close to my bedroom window so that in the spring I can smell it's perfumy fragrance.
  6. Family. My family is here in Michigan. They live 5 miles, 10 miles and 40 miles away. But they are here, close enough for me to see weekly. I can't imagine being any further away.
  7. Friends. I have a handful of friends. It is just the right amount for me. I've had friends come and go and now the friends I have are probably the most important I've ever had.
  8. History. I'm such a nostalgic person. I drive past a bump in the road and can remember something from my past that has to do with that bump. I remember sights and smells and sounds and can only imagine that if I moved anywhere else, my soul would stay in Michigan.
  9. Comfort. Yep. It's all about comfort. It's too scary to think of living anywhere else. It's scary to think about leaving behind my friends, my home, my family, my job, my contacts, and my memories.
  10. Hope. No matter how dismal the news is, no matter how many people are facing job cuts and loses, people here still have hope. I see it everywhere I go. People still shop, they buy paint to paint their houses, crafts to decorate, fabric to sew, books to read. I know people are suffering and times are hard, but people still smile and laugh and they keep on living.
I understand there is real pain and fear now because of the economy. I am surrounded by it and don't want to act as if trying to change the way I think will make it all go away. But, it's a great coping mechanism that I use. Being grateful for what I do have helps me. I don't practice Buddhism, but I sure like their sayings.....Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

What did Debbie do today?

I made several embellishments. Here is a picture of some of them. I used rubber stamps and made little words. I'm giving them to a friend of mine who does Artist Trading Cards. I did an alphabet and some faces too. Kind of simple, but she will find many things to do with them.

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