Thankful Grateful Blessed Pantoum


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed – A Pantoum

A Pantoum is a repeating poem

of four original lines 1-4 that feature elaboration of thought in lines 5-8 and follows this stanza sequence: 1,2,3,4 and then 2,5,4,6, and then 5,7,6,8, and finally 7,3,8,1 so that the poem begins and ends in a circular fashion 

be thankful 

be grateful 

be blessed 

not only at Thanksgiving, but always 

be grateful for life – for all it holds 

for family, for friends, for dogs, for love 

not only at Thanksgiving, but always 

just imagine a life absent of love  

love of family, friends, dogs  

are cherished treasures – not collections of things that may all burn to ash

life without the blessings of love would be empty 

time, moments, conversations, and experiences: gift-wrapped memories 

real treasures aren’t measured in green value or worth 

be blessed with presence- not  presents 

time, moments, conversations, and   

experiences: priorities

be thankful



  • National Tree Company 48

Grateful for new reading glasses! Just ordered them

Yesterday, online. 

It’s a good thing. 

I just wasted some valuable minutes trying to figure out why a new dieting app would feature a crab tracker. 

Let Us Break Bread Together


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

For “Rodeo #1” – for which I was completely unprepared – I received a number of cookbooks as bridal shower gifts.  Among my favorites was Frederica Fare, from church friends Mike and Lee Malone. If you ever want to know where the best recipe in a used cookbook is, look for the most stained and food – splattered page. In this one, it is page 163,

on which my lifetime “standout” recipe appears, submitted by Sue Bachrodt and Paula Clark, complete with a heads-up that says, “Warning: people always want the recipe for this!” 

Perhaps that’s why I made it the first time in the mid-1980s. Since then, no one in my family can begin the holiday season without pumpkin bread. They start asking for it in October whenever they see the first yellowish leaf flitting its way to the ground and the crisp air awakens their sluggish lungs from a warm, humid slumber. I’ve always known this recipe had a magical way of drawing my family together, but never more did I realize this until the moment I received an unexpected phone call from The Bethany House in Clarksville, Tennessee. My oldest child had entered a year-long Christian-based women’s recovery facility late one summer and was allowed no contact with anyone for many weeks. By fall, we were allowed to visit her on the first weekend of each month for a few hours and made those long drives to spend just a few hours at the family pancake breakfasts, reveling in God’s answer to prayer and the miracle of her progress in recovery. 

I knew I had my baby girl back when she pleaded for special permission to call home that day before we left to visit her for the first time – she wanted to be sure I didn’t forget to bring the pumpkin bread – the bread of breakfasts with slathered whipped cream cheese and the bread of late-night games of Scrabble huddled around the kitchen table in pajamas, with strong coffee. This is the bread of togetherness of a family – and a testament that food plays a powerful role in the roots of home and belonging. 

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 c. white flour

2 t. soda

1 1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

2 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. cloves

3 c. sugar

1 c. oil

4 eggs

2/3 c. water

2 c. mashed pumpkin (I use one small can)

Sift together dry ingredients. Make a well in center. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide into bread pans. Bake at 350° for one hour or until done.

Today, I am grateful for God’s answer to three years of fervent prayers in bringing Mallory back from the brink of death. We continue to celebrate her recovery in prayers of thanksgiving every day. 

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

An acrostic of thankfulness


having coffee 

autumn winds 

neurotic dogs 

knowing God 

Fitz and Boo

unconditional love 


games of Scrabble 


ability to forgive 

the little things 

everyday routines 


uninterrupted sleep 

long walks 



early morning newness 



expressions of tenderness 

deadline-free down time

USA Acrostic


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

A month of thankfulness in verse

Today, an Acrostic poem

Under God, one


Indivisible, but

This 2020


Divides us on issues

Still a great place to live

The sun will still rise

At dawn

The sun will still set 

Each evening

Still the world spins

On its axis at

Full tilt

A nation of freedom




I am blessed to be a

Citizen of the United States of 




Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

An Election Day Haiku

like one small fish in

Lake Superior, but still:

my one vote matters! 

Tired Monday Haiku


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed 

 A Tired Monday Haiku

Grateful for Mondays?

Grateful for any day that 

we’re alive and well! 

To Be Blessed


Thankful, Grateful, Blessed 

A poem each day of November to spark gratitude 

Today’s poem uses a borrowed line from Mary Oliver’s “It Was Early”- Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed

I can feel it – 

the love in the kiss by the campfire, a kiss for no real reason at all except to say I love you 

I can see it – 

you, taking a picture of Boo Radley as he barks at the skeleton dog Halloween decorations

I can hear it – 

Fitz’s cat-like purring as he nuzzles next to my ear deep in sleep on the back of the couch 

I can taste it – 

in the morning coffee you bring me when I’m busy or when I’m lazy,

fixed just the way I like it 

I can smell it – the first fumes of furnace heat you spent time figuring out in this new used camper so we could sleep warm


I need only to stand 

where I am 

to be blessed

A High Falls Halloween


A Very Mary Variation 

Using a borrowed line from Mary Oliver’s “Mussels,” – even before I decide which one to take 

A High Falls Halloween

in a corn husk 

pumpkin candy basket 

at High Falls campsite 65 

I see all the good stuff- Kit Kat, Reese’s, Heath, Rolo, Whoppers and Milk Duds – 

and gremlins and goblins of all sorts 

including Scooby Doo,

the greatest cartoon detective dog of all time

whose master later counted down the hits to number one on AT 40 each week 

and I never connected the voice dots 

until someone told me 

still, the candy in the basket 

lures me like a spooky siren to the dark side for a tastier countdown

even before I decide which one to take 

I already know it doesn’t much matter 

the Halloweeners are thinning 

and our basket is still brimming

and besides, one piece, like the apple of Eden, is only step one of the fall