Friday, November 4, 2011

With a Song in My Heart (or somewhere)

Oh you are in a for a treat today! Let me introduce the witty and talented Kay Keppler, author of Betting on Hope. Kay lives with me in California, but it's a big state and so we've never met in person. Maybe one day. Without further ado, here's the very talented Kay!

What am I thankful for? I wanted to write something profound. I’m so lucky in so many ways. I have great parents, a good education that I didn’t have to go into debt for. I have my health and my work. Friends and family.

And...blah, blah, blah. I’m thankful for those things, sure. Absolutely. But I wanted to be more specific.

I thought about my life. I watched the news. I wondered: What are our aspirations? Are we more thankful for things we work to get? Or things that are given to us? Or events we have no control over?

And you know what else I thought of? That song from the Sound of Music. You know the one I mean: Raindrops on roses. Right, that one.

I want to say up front I’ve never much liked this movie. It’s just too scrubbed for me. And I don’t much like that song, either, for the same reason. I’m more of a Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin kind of gal. But once I’d started to think about what I was thankful for, I just couldn’t get this song—My Favorite Things, the raindrops one—out of my head. All week long, it’s been running through my brain. And when you don’t much like the movie, and you don’t much like the song, well, it’s been a bad week for thankful. Not so much thankful now, no sir-ee.

But I kind of like old Maria’s take on life. She appreciated the small things (those dang raindrops). She lived in the moment (the doorbells). She liked color (the bright copper kettles) and bad weather (the raindrops, the snowflakes), and, of course, she was a sensualist, she liked presents (brown paper packages tied up with strings).

So with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, here are a few of my favorite things. A few things, among very many, that I’m thankful for.

Chocolate and cashews and ripe avocados
Wool socks and seeing the Dickeyville Grotto
Old dusty books with their spines torn apart
These are the things that are close to my heart.

Hard contact lenses and exit row seating
Tampons and Advil and pain that is fleeting
Comfortable shoes and adjustable chair
These are the things that I simply can’t spare.

Phone conversations with friends close and distant
Lunches and dinners with folks real insistent
Tax refunds after I file my forms late
These are the pleasures that never abate.

When life cheats me
And defeats me
Forget what makes me glad—
I drink down a shot of my favorite gin
And then I don’t feel so bad.


  1. Hilarious but so true! I loved it and now your song is stuck in my head...Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I know it sounds sappy, but that is how I fight the blahs. I just look around me at something as simple as a tree and appreciate it. I take a walk in the garden or around the blog and breath. It's amazing how it will adjust your perspective.

    Even those things I complain about: kids being crazy, dishes in the sink, I have kids, that is a gift and I have a sink and dishes and electricity to heat the water.

    LOL Now I know I'm being sappy. ; )

    We really do have a lot to be thankful for!

  3. Too fuuny! Love it and so true. We should always be thankful for the little things (definitely tampons!!!). Great post.

  4. Thank you so much for the Friday chuckles! Great song. Sell it!

  5. I had a blast writing this this blog, Shawna! Among all the other things to be thankful for, this was one. Happy Thanksgiving--or happy thankfulnesses--to all.

  6. Kay!

    Very funny! I needed the chuckle. Been a rough day.

  7. Hi Barbara, Dee, Kay, Veronica and Sharon!

    Kay, I'm glad you had fun; that's important!

    Dee, I hope your day is getting better!

    Barbara, she could sell it. ; )

    Veronica, it is a happy song.

    Sharon, yup, sometimes on the survival shows, I wonder if that's even an issue. I mean do the producers supply them or do they really have to rough it? Yup, I think too much. ; )

  8. Oh, good one! I nearly went into heart failure when I read you didn't LIKE the movie, but those lyrics made up for it. :-)