Amid the bustle of the vacation season, take a minute to depend your blessings | Opinion
As we get caught up within the mad hustle and bustle of the vacation season, I discover myself slowing down, quite than dashing.
I’m slowing down to know greater than a spirit of buying and dashing about. My purpose now, is to seek out extra methods to make this a season of gratitude. I do that by pondering of among the some ways I’ve been blessed all through my life.
So, I took a bit of journey down reminiscence lane, remembering among the issues that I’m grateful for. It will not be onerous for me to assume again to the lean days of my life. I don’t discover it onerous to recollect once I actually didn’t know the place my subsequent meal was coming from. But I gave because of God for the meal that was earlier than me and my then-little boys. Although instances had been onerous, in some way, we by no means went to mattress hungry.
Now it’s Thanksgiving time, when most of us flip our ideas to what makes us grateful. While there is no such thing as a approach for me to depend all of the blessings that I’m grateful for, simply the considered how far I’ve are available in life fills me with sufficient gratitude to final one other lifetime.
Like a lot of my Black buddies, I grew up not realizing I used to be poor. That’s as a result of our mother at all times noticed to it that we had a roof over our heads, first rate garments to put on, and meals on the desk. And snacks, too.
Mom knew the right way to “cut corners” as she used to say. In different phrases, she knew the right way to stretch a meal. Like a lot of her buddies, she knew the right way to make a feast out of the cheaper lower of meat.
Grits, butter and a can of mackerel
I used to be pondering of these lean instances and the way studying from my mom helped me once I turned a younger spouse and mother.
One of my favourite tales is the reminiscence of a can of mackerel, a small bag of grits, and a stick of butter. Rick, my firstborn (now deceased) was simply over a yr outdated. My late husband was attending Kentucky State College on the G.I. Bill whereas I stayed behind and labored to assist myself and Rick.
It wasn’t simple. After I paid the hire, the babysitter, and acquired child system, a couple of groceries and different requirements out of my meager wage, usually the meals didn’t stretch to the following payday.
Then I remembered how my mother used to “cut corners,” and my cooking genius kicked in.
I often had sufficient cash left over to get a can of mackerel (about 19 cents in 1959), a small bag of grits and a stick of butter. I obtained the concept to sauté an onion in a little bit of oil and add the canned mackerel and a few seasoning to the pan, and let it stew for a number of minutes. I served the fish stew over a plate of scorching, buttered grits. It was good consuming, ya’ll.
The can of mackerel, the bag of grits and the stick of butter turned our each day meal for some time. Rick, then a toddler of about 18 months, liked it. I can nonetheless see him smacking his little lips as I fed him. And I can nonetheless scent the fantastic aroma of the stewed fish and onions.
Until the day Rick died, 9 years in the past at age 55, considered one of his favourite meals was stewed fish and grits. Just pondering of this reminiscence from over 60 years in the past nonetheless makes me grateful.
Sometimes when my ideas wander over the highway I’ve traveled on this journey, I change into overwhelmed with gratitude and tears effectively up in my eyes.
Especially once I assume again to the way in which I obtained the job at The Miami Herald. To me, it was nothing wanting a miracle.
Landed job on the Herald
Back in early1965, I utilized for a shop clerk’s place on the Sears, Roebuck and Co. division retailer, then at thirteenth Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Back then, even the companies that had been hiring Blacks had a “quota” of solely hiring a sure variety of Blacks.
On that fateful day, I went into Sears’ employment division and requested for a job. I used to be given a easy check, which I used to be sure that I’d handed. But after a few weeks, and I hadn’t heard from the shop, I requested one of many staff I knew to seek out out why I had not heard again. His reply crushed me: “They said you didn’t pass the test.”
In my coronary heart, I knew that I had handed the check. But I picked up my ego up from the ground, thanked the Lord anyway, and searched the need advertisements within the newspaper the following Sunday. It appeared the extra I attempted to discover a higher job with advantages, the extra I heard the phrase “No.” My religion stored me praying for a greater job, whereas thanking the Lord for my blessing that I simply knew was on the way in which.
And one high-quality Sunday, I noticed the advert for a file clerk within the library of The Miami Herald. The advert had the magic phrases “We are an equal opportunity employer.” I utilized, was employed, and my life was modified endlessly.
You see, I didn’t get the job at Sears as a result of that wasn’t in God’s plan for me. He had one thing higher for my future. I had realized to be grateful for no matter state I used to be in. Being grateful was a lifestyle for me. It helped me to maintain hope alive in my coronary heart. Is it at all times simple to provide thanks after we are hurting? No. It isn’t. Still, I’ve realized that being grateful, even when I’m in ache, helps to ease the ache.
Reasons to be grateful
Even so, pricey buddies, whereas I’m but a piece in progress, being grateful is second nature to respiratory to me. Yet I ask the Lord to maintain these not-so-small miracles of my life ever current in my ideas. I don’t wish to ever overlook the valleys that the Lord has walked by means of with me. Nor do I wish to overlook the hills and mountain of my life that He has helped me to climb over, or the rivers of life that He has helped me to forge by means of.
So, buddies, when you are in search of methods to have one of the best Thanksgiving desk ever, or the place to get the right reward for a liked one, let me encourage you to take only a minute to look again over your life. When you do, I’m certain that — similar to me — one can find a lot to be grateful for.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Bea Hines could be reached at [email protected]
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