Gratitude and Monkey

Know how you always “plan” on what your next step is? And then with the ins and outs of life you realize, ehh…not so much? That’s me this month. I have events on my calendar marked, they’ve been there for months. I have timelines and layouts for those events, days off scheduled, shopping days, days to be home and work..and yet nothing is what it was “supposed to be”.

Today was a major meltdown day. I literally felt like the world was going out of it’s way to dump on me. Woke up on my “day off” with then intention of sending out December boxes (it’s happening 2mw YAY), and then got caught up with work. Now this wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that I had JUST explained to the folks who were blowing my phone up that I’d be off today. I’m chalking it up to first world problems. (hehehe as I type I realize I’m no different with my complaining).

However, as crazy as work has gotten, for whatever reason I was jolted back to reality this evening. For my brief lapse in sanity today, I came full circle tonight and felt bad. I had a blubbering, my Husband probably couldn’t make out what I was saying sorta fit. Tonight I feel completely guilty over it. As I sat typing the letter I’ll be sending out with the December MTK box, I was describing the holidays when the feeling struck.

I sat there in my comfy chair on my wireless internet and laptop composing a letter about how wonderful my mountain town was and how great it was to find amazing items for the box when I remembered the horror of a mere couple of weeks ago. We sat glued to the television watching in disbelief as Gatlinburg burned. The overwhelming wave of guilt washed over me.

Who am I to have a warm home filled with love and things we’ve collected throughout the years, to complain? In a season when everyone traditionally gathers with family and friends, there will now be hundreds who can’t sit around their own tables and pass their Grandmother’s antique bowls. They lost wedding photos, some lost lives and/or their loved ones. Some pets are gone, their child’s favorite toy, a teenager’s high school jacket, a mother’s chest of artifacts made for her throughout the years by her babies. Yeah..I felt it. The shame of complaining.

And so I completely changed my mindset! I prayed and remembered that for all that was crazy in my life, thank God it’s still intact. Yes, I still have that couch that I’d rather upgrade to a sectional, handmade ornaments from my eldest when she was in Kindergarten, and my little TN Tornado still has Monkey (her favorite stuffed animal) tucked under her as she sleeps.

With all of this weighing on me, I told a different story in my opening letter. And honestly, I cannot wait until the shipments are received to repeat it. As we watched Smoky Mountains Rise last night, we gave to the cause. And so, much like I’ll be asking our box subscription recipients to do the same this month, I am asking you..the MTK readers to give. We may not have much, but we have something. Which is far greater than many others in this world.

You can visit the Dollywood Foundation and donate online. Dolly Parton, now there’s a woman who should be President. But that’s a post for another day.

Thanks for taking the time to sit a spell and hang tonight. In the quiet moments of the season, it’s good to know that no matter how hectic it gets..we’re connected. Like one big long-distance family.

Hoping that you all have a beautiful and happy holiday season. May your families be blessed with health and more importantly the gift of being together. As always, I really appreciate your time… Peace, Love and Yummy Dishes from My Tennessee Kitchen.


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