Thankful Thursdays

For strangers’ kindness.

I’ve written in the past about “paying it forward” and what a great thing that can be. Well, during our recent trip, we had occasion to be on the receiving end.

While having breakfast at the hotel first day into our vacay, we were approached by a couple who offered us their cooler bag. They were at the tail end of their travels and had no more use for it. I suppose they could’ve picked anyone in that café, but they picked us. Maybe we looked like we needed a cooler, I don’t know, we were dressed to hike after all. But, since our adventures take us on roads less traveled, the first thing we usually do after picking up the rental is to go buy a cooler (you know, the squeaky styrofoam kind), so we already had one. Nevertheless, we didn’t want to decline their kind gesture so we accepted the bag and stuck it in the back of the Jeep.

Two days later, lo and behold, our styrofoam cooler broke! Can I tell you that the cooler bag the couple gave us saved us? Thanks to them, we were able to transfer the contents without missing a beat, and continue to stay happily hydrated and fed along now squeaky-less traveled roads.

Although tempted to bring the cooler bag home with us (it was really an awesome bag), we chose to pass it on to someone else before flying back and, in the process, you see, pay it forward. Never underestimate the power of a kind gesture. For theirs, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”
-Harold S. Kushner

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
-Princess Diana

Thankful Thursdays

For the great outdoors.

Life is good where the Wi-Fi is weak. A week thus far full of adventure, bucket list check offs, and challenges met. Here, where the days begin with breathtaking views of nature and end with unobstructed views of the galaxy, I am surrounded by the beauty, power, and magnificence of God’s handiwork.

We miss our kids, especially on these national park trips. But, we’re thankful today to be where the Wi-Fi is weak.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.”
-John Muir, Our National Parks

“Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.”
-J.L. Beatty

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
-Charlotte Brontë

 

Thankful Thursdays

For 400.

In February of 2012, when I set out to post weekly writings that focused on gratitude, I didn’t think I would still be at it seven and a half years later.

My intention was to share with you something for which I was thankful that day, and in the process maybe prompt you to think about something for which you were grateful as well. In that way, together we could count our blessings and remember the things that are going well.

I am grateful for so many things and, especially today, for the opportunity to post 400 consecutive Thankful Thursdays. And of course, I am grateful to you for reading them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Every time you post something online, you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.”
-Zoe Sugg

“Write what you know.”
-Mark Twain

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
-Anais Nin

 

Thankful Thursdays

That we always have something to give.

As you know, during the last few weeks, I’ve been fundraising for the St. Jude kids. A lot of you have donated, and I am so grateful to you. But, today, I just want to put out there that our supporting a cause and helping others is not always about money or provisions.

If we have faith, we are rich beyond measure. If we spread our faith, we can help beyond measure. We should never underestimate the power of a faith-filled word or action, or a prayer. So you see, we always have something to give. And for that, I am truly thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.”
-Mitch Albom

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
-Saint Francis

“You cannot see faith, but you can see the footprints of the faithful. We must leave behind “faithful footprints” for others to follow.”
-D. Anderson

 

Thankful Thursdays

For what points me true north.

In 1925, in his weekly newspaper, Mahatma Gandhi once published a list referred to as The Seven Social Sins. The list was first mentioned in a sermon delivered by Anglican priest, Frederick Lewis Donaldon, and it mentions seven factors that harm society:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

Timeless, and timely, don’t you think? Today I would add:

Blessings without gratitude.
Life without faith.

If a moral compass is comprised of principals, values, and beliefs, then gratitude and faith are the needle of mine. I count on them to always point me true north, and they usually don’t disappoint. For that, I am thankful.

What makes up your moral compass? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Faith is to believe that at any given moment, we all have everything that we need at that moment…and don’t have what we do not need or what is not good for us. Gratitude is when we start being thankful for all that we have or do not have at that moment. Happiness is a product of this faith and gratitude.” 
-A. Naqi

“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”
-Dalai Lama

Please remember to help us fundraise for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer taking place on September 28, 2019. Go to our page and join our team and/or donate:

Connie Perez page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/ConniePerez

Team RxfortheSoul page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/TeamRxfortheSoul

Thankful Thursdays

For parental gardening.

A couple of nights ago, I was giving my daughter some suggestions and advice on a topic we’ve discussed many times before, and the following exchange took place:

Lauren:  “I know, I know, you’ve told me that, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Me:        “Fine, but I will continue to remind you. I’m just planting
those seeds, you know.”
Lauren:  “You’ve planted many seeds, Mami, now let me grow.”
Me:        “Yes, I know, I’m watering now.”
Lauren:  “They’re already watered!”
Me:        “Well, I’m drenching them then. In case of a drought, God-
forbid. You get me?”
Lauren:  “Hm. I get you.”

In some way, parenting is like gardening. Our ultimate goal is for the seeds we sow to give our children their own fruits to reap. And okay, maybe we shouldn’t drench. But, in an abundance of caution, and in case of an unforeseen drought (when we cease to be around), we parents should not, must not, stop watering while we can. I know my mother never stopped. And for that, I’m eternally thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Please remember to help us fundraise for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer taking place on September 28, 2019. Go to our page and join our team and/or donate:
Connie Perez page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/ConniePerez
Team RxfortheSoul page
http://walkrun.stjude.org/TeamRxfortheSoul

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
-C. Reade

 

Paying it forward.

How would you like to help save a child’s life? Here’s yet another opportunity knocking on your door.

When I think about the challenges faced by cancer-stricken children and their families, I feel so fortunate for the simple things in my life. And I am inspired by the difference we can all make through organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. By donating to St. Jude you can make a significant difference in the life of another.

Once again, I have signed up Team RxfortheSoul to participate in this year’s St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer taking place on September 28, 2019. I invite you to join our team and/or donate. Thanks to your gracious donations last year, we were one of the top fundraising teams in Miami. Below is a picture of our group. We had such a nice time together! I hope you can join us, but more importantly, I hope you will donate. This is a great and important cause.

You know all those blessings in your life? Well, here’s a chance to pay it forward. Answer this knock with me and make a meaningful difference, won’t you? Go to our page to join and/or donate:  Team RxfortheSoul and My St. Jude Page.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
-Sally Koch

“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
-Saint Augustine

Thankful Thursdays

For opportunities to make a difference.

We really don’t have to wait for such opportunities to come knocking at the door. There is so much help needed out there. All we have to do is look around us and we’ll find them.

Today I bring this one right to your virtual doorstep: The opportunity to help the people of the Bahamas. Below is a list of items needed, and drop off locations.

List of items needed
:
Water
Canned goods
Can openers
Mosquito spray
Sunscreen
Diapers
Baby formula
First aid items
Flashlight
Batteries
Tarps
Pet food

City of Miami fire station locations:
Fire Station 1: 144 N.E. 5 ST
Fire Station 2: 1901 N. MIAMI AVE
Fire Station 3: 1103 NW 7 ST
Fire Station 4: 1105 SW 2 AVE
Fire Station 5: 1200 NW 20 ST
Fire Station 6: 701 NW 36 ST
Fire Station 7: 314 BEACOM BLVD
Fire Station 8: 2975 OAK AVE
Fire Station 9: 69 NE 62 ST
Fire Station 10: 4101 NW 7 ST
Fire Station 11: 5920 W. FLAGLER ST
Fire Station 12: 1455 NW 46 ST
Fire Station 13: 185 NE 82 TER
Fire Station 14: 2119 S.W. 19 ST

There are many other drop off locations, just check online.

We are all grateful to have been spared from a monster of a storm. Now we can help those who were affected and are in need. 

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
-Sally Koch

“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
-Saint Augustine

“The purpose of life is not to be happy — but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.”
-Leo Rosten

 

Thankful Thursdays

For time to prepare.

I think those of us living in hurricane-prone areas can be thankful for advances in predicting the course of these storms.  New technology in satellite imagery and computer modeling is making it possible for meteorologists to alert us with ample time, so we can secure our homes and go out and get our waters, batteries, and non-perishable foods (a/k/a junk food  😉 ).

Wishing everyone in the path of Dorian safe and healthy days ahead. For time to prepare, we should be grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Two things Florida can teach the other 49 states: how to make a good margarita and how to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane.”
-T. Feeney    

“I’m always amazed at how ‘We The People’ come together to assist one another during Hurricane Season or any other calamity. The beauty of human compassion always staggers me and reminds me of how divine we truly are. However, It shouldn’t take a disaster, natural or otherwise, to remind us of our collective humanity.” 
-S. Newby

“Most politicians are like hurricanes. They know their path and their destination. Woe to anyone standing on their way!”
-B. Habyarimana
(Couldn’t resist)

“Without God, my internal compass is something more akin to a windmill in a hurricane.”
-C.D. Lounsbrough 

A storm-less view from my porch.

Thankful Thursdays

For that intoxicating scent. Please find me perfume that smells like café!

We know smells can trigger all sorts of feelings and conjure up sharp recollection. The scent of Cuban coffee does that for me. Especially in the morning.

My hubby is the cafecito maker at home. And a darn good one at that. When he brews that a.m. colada and the smell makes its way down the hallway and into our bedroom, the scent creeps into my consciousness and immediately I’m transported to one of my favorite memories of childhood – – Mom walking past my room at first light with a vasito de café (a shot of coffee) in hand for Dad. That aroma was my alarm clock. Still is. And that memory is golden. Ay, how I miss them both.

By the way, a few other smells of my Cuban childhood that bring back great memories: sofrito (sautéed onions, garlic, and bell peppers), Agua de Violetas (violet-scented baby cologne), guayaba, cigars, and Mom’s torrejas (her signature Cuban-style French toasts – never to be equaled again).

As for that intoxicating cafecito scent (and its master brewer) that helps to stir my emotions and color my thoughts, today and always, I am thankful.

What’s your favorite scent? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”
-Helen Keller

 “When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered…the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls…bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory.”
-Marcel Proust

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that fairy tales aren’t real. I drink a potion made from magic beans every day, and it brings me back to life.”
-N. Hoffman