Giving Thanks for Small Graces

In this Guideposts Classic from 1979, a woman gives thanks for what she doesn't have.

- Posted on Sep 23, 2013

Various articles of clothing drying on a clotheslines

What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I am thankful that I do not have a clothes dryer.

If I owned one, surely I’d miss the exhilaration that comes from taking a basketful of clothes into the fresh air and the ritual of the clothesline, where garment by garment, peg by peg, I link my family together, symbolically at least.

I’d miss the wet flapping sound that sheets in the wind make. I’d miss the feeling of sisterhood I share with all the women of all ages who have worked at homey chores for the people they love.

I am thankful I do not have a microwave oven, for I am accustomed to a slower pace. Besides, I love to peek into my friendly old stove to see the turkey crisping, to watch pale, waddy dough turning into fluffy brown rolls.

I am thankful I do not have air conditioning, for then I likely would not fling open the windows. Closed in, I might not see the little green lizard scampering on the screen.

Over the hum of an air conditioner, I might not hear the chattering of blue jays in the early morning, the gentle rain at night. I might even miss the howling of the wind.

I am thankful I do not have: wall-to-wall carpeting, for I love the glow of polished hardwood; central heat, for watching the dying embers in our fireplace makes me feel at peace; a new sofa, for I like the way the old one embraces me. It would take too long, I fear, for a new one to yield to my measurements.

I am thankful I do not have a gardener, for I would not spend the hours I do in my flower beds. And I would not be on my knees as often, closer to the earth, closer to you, Lord, in prayer, telling you of all the many things for which I am thankful.


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