We Are Lucky – We Are Blessed

Apparently, the Editor does agree.

One of the things I like about writing vs. speaking is the opportunity to avoid saying the wrong thing. Sometimes, after I write a post, the Editor says: “Are you sure you want to say that?” or “Do you really want to go there?

She might point out that what I wrote has a meaning I didn’t know. She might remind me of one of the meanings I do know about, and explain that I shouldn’t expect my readers to understand that it wasn’t what I meant. Sometimes, I explain my way around things.

Sometimes she draws a red line, and gives me the look that implies that her advice is non-negotiable.

I’m a little less safe when it comes to comments. As you might have guessed, given the typos, no one edits my comments. What you don’t realize is how often I write a comment but don’t post it. Staring at my thoughts in the little window, with that “Post” button beckoning, sometimes gives me pause.

When Laura over at RFTM posted about adoption issues, and how she felt like she was on a tight rope, my first thought was: “do NOT comment” – I mean what do I know about her situation? There are so many differences between her life as a parent, and my role in our daughter’s childhood, that I am clearly not qualified to offer advice to Laura.

In addition to that, there’s that part of my brain that said: “dude, women don’t always want an answer. Sometimes they just want to say stuff.” The Editor is probably shaking her head as she reads this.

(un)Fortunately, there’s a bigger part of my brain that said: “maybe you could share a bit of your experience that she would find helpful.” I mean, it’s possible…right?

You can laugh.

I heard women laughing in my brain when I wrote that.

OK, I was on shaky ground, but I’ve gotten more comfortable commenting on the blogs of women, ever since Sammy ventured down the lingerie aisle and dared me to follow.

I wanted to share something, because Laura touched on a topic that is close to my heart – being lucky. When I was a kid, we were often reminded of the fact that we were lucky – usually when we complained about not having something. Despite my wanting to point to some other kid and shout to my father: “no, he’s the one who’s lucky!” I understood that our life could have been much worse. If you walked around the neighborhood I grew up in, “lucky” might not be the word that would come to mind, but it should be.

I’m sure that sometimes the message was: “you are lucky” but I remember that it was often: “we are lucky” unless the message was coming from my grandmother. If it was my grandmother, the message was: “we are blessed” and St. George was responsible. She would follow with a story from her childhood in Syria. Given the vast disparity between her childhood and mine, and the fact that she felt that she was blessed, my being lucky became apparent.

The other lesson that has become apparent is that we weren’t only lucky when compared to unlucky people. Luck doesn’t appear at a specific income bracket, geographic boundary, medical state, marital state, or Internet speed. Luck doesn’t arrive with an acceptance letter. Luck isn’t waiting at a vacation spot, it doesn’t come with a specific car model, cell phone or gadget.

Having people around you that care about you means you are lucky. Knowing that you are a child of God means you are lucky. And, especially for those of you that I follow, having talent and the opportunity to explore that talent means you are lucky.

Happy New Year


As you might guess from the gallery, it’s still pretty cold here. The video is one of my favorite songs. Leon Russel “Tight Rope” which was a theme in Laura’s post.

88 thoughts on “We Are Lucky – We Are Blessed

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  1. You are surrounded by smart women and you communicate with so many women in the social media community, you’ve figured us out. Impressive and a good way for you to start 2018. :-) But, you are right, sometimes we just need to say it aloud and don’t expect a solution to the issue. And, you are also right about our ancestors paving the road for us so we can figure out what lucky means to us and grab on to those special people in our lives. Many years ago, I took a class on how to effectively communicate in a group, and the one thing I remember is something to the effect of are you saying something that contributes to the conversation or do you just want to hear yourself talk. So, many a time as I’m trying to proof a comment, that comes to mind and I just hit delete. But, here’s to many more blog posts and conversations in 2018. Have a great one, Dan, and please give Maddie a pat. :-)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Judy. I try to follow that guide and I try to ask if I’m making the comment more about me than it should be. I delete a lot under those guidelines. Sometimes, I’ll take what I wanted to say and turn it into a post. This was a little of both.

      I’m not sure that I’ve figured you guys out. At least from the looks I get. But I do enjoy being part of this community. I am very lucky to have found the people I follow and am very grateful to the ones who follow me. Happy New Yeat to you snd yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year Dan! Yep, looks cold and dark there but I still love a snowy/icy photo (because I don’t have to live with it). “dude, women don’t always want an answer. Sometimes they just want to say stuff.” – you are a smart, smart man, Dan. ;)
    One of the advantages of working in special education is that whenever my kids are driving me nuts, I go to school, see the kids and families that have such enormous challenges and realise how lucky I am. A reality check is always useful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I know that tidbit about women but I don’t always listen. The urge to “fix it” is strong.

      Happy New Yeat to you and your family. We’re still in a deep freeze (it was 0°f this morning) but winter can’t last forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My family is lucky. My parents survived into their 80s in relatively good health, my father survived a plane crash, there has been cancer, childhood accidents, too many near misses (boats, trains, cars) to count. Even bad stuff has lead to good stuff. So yes, we are lucky. Oh and Dan if you often hear women laughing in your head, just tell yourself they’re laughing WITH you not AT you. It helps.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jennie. New Years is always a good time to take stock of where we are and how we got here. I have been very lucky. I wish you good luck in 2018 and I look forward to stories from your classroom (I hope those kids will realize at some point how lucky they are).

      I don’t know how much longer Connecticut will have tobacco barns. I certainly was lucky to live here while they were still growing tobacco under shade. The shade cloth is gone, but those barns will be here for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Dan. Yes, it is a good time to take stock. I think that’s more important than setting new resolutions. The past fuels the future. Make sense? I look forward to sharing my classroom stories in 2018. Thank you for being a reader! I am fortunate that children and families do remember and realize.

        I have driven by CT tobacco barns. We may have driven by barns with the shade cloth in VA, but not sure. Let’s hope the barns will remain for a long time!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you understand us gals better than you realize. It’s true….sometimes we just need to say it. But it’s a big plus for us that you get it!

    We’re all lucky/blessed in some way. I’m lucky that although it’s 0 degrees, our furnace is working just fine. I’m lucky that the bad stuff that has invaded my life hasn’t been worse. I’m lucky for the friendships I have. And although I have health issues, they could be far more serious.

    I’m lucky to have found your blog. Never fails to put a smile on my face or make me laugh out loud, or stop and give serious thought to something you said.

    Those are great winter shots….you can feel the cold just looking at them.

    Wishing you and yours, furry babies included, a healthy, fun-filled 2018. And a winning lottery ticket!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Ginger. I appreciate your following this blog. I’m not sure I really get you guys, but I’m learning a little about not saying things that might not be helpful. I still make some major blunders, but fortunately those stay closer to home.

      Your comment about the furnace is timely. My borther’s furnace died right be fore the latest cold wave rolled through Iowa. He has a new one now, installed right before the temperature plummeted below zero for about a week now. The high in his town yesterday was -6.

      I’m looking forward to 2018 – I hope it’s lucky for all of us.

      Like

    1. I was so happy when you returned to the community Maggie. It’s good to see you here in the comments and over at your place. I think you were involved in the “lingerie” episodes. Sammy’s blog is still out there, but it hasn’t been updated since she left. I keep hoping that a ping here and there will coax her back. I haven’t heard from her.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great wintry shots Dan. I can feel the cold in them. Brrrr…I also grew up with lots of “be thankful for what you have” reminders. So much so that I can never feel sorry for myself without the though of someone else who is worse off than me or mine. It is almost like a warning to be appreciative or else it’s about to get a whole lot worse-and soon! I have grappled to learn it is okay to feel angry, tired or even a bit sorry for myself as long as I know when to leave the pity party-and to always acknowledge those that are worse off. Giving thanks for all that I have had good in last year and sending hope and prayers for all things we need in 2018! Happy New Year Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always tempting to feel bad when we see folks with so much more, or when things don’t turn out the way we want. But you’re right, we can’t dwell on those moments. 2017 gave us good and bad. At least I got to Daytona Beach while you guys were still living there :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As I lay here in my warm bed, I am lucky and blessed to have that bed, a roof over my head, a job that feeds me and two cats and heat! Most important, though, are the people in my life…family, friends and even internet bloggers I have never met. 😁

    Happy New Year to you and the editor! May all your posts and comments be free of red marks and second thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I count you among the blessings I have. I hope you have enough heat for those cats.

      I’m sure the red lines will continue, but that means I’m lucky, too. Enjoy 2018!

      Like

    1. Ha ha – don’t ask me. Maybe I should have added that luck isn’t having someone’s barn to store your junk in ;-)

      Thanks for the support, and have a happy new year, Gregg.

      Like

    1. Thanks Audrey. I got a little bolder adding comments to your blog in 2017. You weave such beauty into your words that I do want to call attention to it. I’m looking forward to 2018. Happy New Year.

      Like

  7. Happy New Year, Dan, to you and your family and to each of your readers too. I’m still off for a few days but your post about feeling lucky hits home. Yeah, we are pretty lucky if we live in a free world, can write and speak up, travel and be creative.
    To 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy New Year, Dan. I love your blogs and pictures and am saying that, because I looked back at another blog you posted about the time when you posted everyday and it was causing you a lot of stress. Yes, I feel lucky to have heat in these subzero temperatures without including the windchill. Although, when we sit in our family room we have to put the small heater on, because that room is the coldest in the house. And yes, you really seem to have a knack to understand the woman’s perspective. Wishing you the best in 2018 and I look forward to future posts during the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just reading your latest post from the family room. The room where we have the wood stove is otherwise the coldest room in the house. Can you imagine living in these areas prior to central heat?

      Happy New Year to you and yours!

      Like

      1. that is the other mature – where we donot forsake our youthful spirit. knowing the difference between stuff and and true blessings is the best maturity. this one you have. and do please hang onto the other one too !

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy New Year Dan to you, the Editor, Faith, and Maddie!

    I’ve been blessed to have found your blog. You bring up many great, funny, and poignant topics.
    Like your Grandmother I feel blessed rather than lucky.

    Sometimes I don’t comment either. There are times when I don’t what to say, or just saying Beautiful, etc. seems…looking for a word, and not finding it this morning. Well, trite perhaps. I’m not a writer and it shows often! I certainly could do with an Editor for all my faux pas, typos, and missing words.

    The images: It looks cold, but beautiful. Those little birds are resilient aren’t they!
    I love that sunburst bursting through the tree branches, and your image of the river with the reflections and skyline are always lovely.

    Stay warm, and healthy! I’m looking forward to 2018 and your posts.

    Like

    1. Thank you Deborah. I am very glad to have found your blog as well. You capture so many great images. I admire your skill and patience.

      The birds are amazing in this weather. They get out there pretty early and they seem to be better at predicting the weather than NOAA. We’ve been trying to feed them, since there’s nothing else available for them to snack on.

      We’ve had fires in the wood stove every day this past week. The Editor is getting ready to light one in a few minutes. We seem to be stuck in this pattern of lows near or below zero, although daytime highs are going to climb into the 20s this week – woohoo!

      Like

  10. What a lucky man to have such a wise editor but it sounds like you have your own wisdom too. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t comment on women’s blogs. I see lots of women commenting here. That said, I find it hard to comment, too and sometimes it takes me several days before I think of something “worthy”. Talk about the inner editor at work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susanne. I’m not so sure bout wisdom, unless it’s the wisdom to not hit ‘Post’ when something seems remotely dangerous. I comment on women’s blog all the time, but I get nervous when the posts are about (at least historically) female issues. Note: I tried continuing this comment twice, and it headed off the rails, so I’ll just leave it by saying thanks again and reiterating that I wish you all the best in 2018.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoyed the personal, reflective, and thoughtful nature of this post. At first, I thought it was going to be about “lucky” versus “blessed” since I recently read that “blessed” indicates that somehow we’ve been singled out to receive certain favors that others have not. “Lucky” is more random. Either way, you have much to be thankful for, and we, your readers, do too. Best wishes to you for a happy, healthy New Year (maybe this is the year that Sammy returns)!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, Happy New Year to you & family! Between you & Gregg, I get a sometimes chuckling reaction to your post comments about “women’s stuff.”’ Meaning you are right on! I also have the “let me tell you something about that, or here’s what you need to do” syndrome. It doesn’t work woman to woman either. We just need to pause & reconsider over the send button. I delete a lot. People really know what to do making decisions in tough situations. They just want empathy & support. Thanks for the snowy, cold photos. Reminders of my life on the east coast many years ago! Still looks pretty! ☃️ 🛷⛸Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christine. I hope you can remember the crunchy sound, snow makes when it’s really cold. That’s what we’re listening to these days. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in my quandary over comments. I could start a lot of comments with “here’s what you need to do…” I’ll continue to practice restraint.

      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I really liked this post. I understand Editor. I can imagine. I do go there. Not often, but I think it’s important to go some places sometimes. If no one ever goes anywhere, then it’s lost expression and while I’m not a self-expression extremist, I think it’s important.
    What I loved most about this post was “Knowing that you are a child of God means you are lucky.” Made me well up a bit. Reminded me of Desiderata : “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars…” It’s so true, and I think it has a lot to do with hope and gratitude. If you feel God and divine purpose in everything, then there’s no way to lose hope.
    I have always been lucky. I have always held hope.
    Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you liked this and I’m glad you liked that part. That was the message that was passed on to me by so many people as I was growing up.

      I enjoy posts that take me places. I just have to watch what I say when we get there. But it’s amazing how comfortable I feel in this community, even as it grows and changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy New Year Dan – your family included! So many things have already been said.Being listened to, understanding are two big gifts you can give to men or women. We now live surrounded by vets, and we’re learning that there are many who need to be understood, PTSD and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Although I hesitate to tell someone he is lucky, you are lucky to have your “Editor.” It’s wonderful to have reliable feedback on a post before you post it. Of course, you are willing to make yourself vulnerable by letting your Editor look at the post and by listening to her feedback. So, maybe you are wise as well as “lucky”! In fact, having read your blog off and on for a few years, I am sure that you have acquired wisdom in your walk through this sometimes-weary world. Happy New Year, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

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