Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday #16

Traveling yields gratitude for the simple pleasures in life. Since I travel almost constantly, I find myself constantly being thankful for oh so many things. For example:

1. One of the things I am most grateful for while traveling is hot water, the hotter the better, in rest rooms. All too often travelers end up having to clean their hands after a flight with water that is at best tepid. I love the feel of hot water running over my hands. It is warming and refreshing. Absolute gratitude!

2. Likewise, I am oh so grateful for hot baths in hotel rooms after a long trip. What luxury! Sometimes there is even a jacuzzi. Oh, those simple things of life are not always accessible to a frequent traveler, and when I have them, I really enjoy them. One does not need expensive or complex luxuries to feel gratitude while away from home. No, those things that make one feel at home call forth the most gratitude in me, and what is more at home than being able to take a hot bath?

3.I love having someone to meet me. I have been stranded in many US cities and in many countries, or, at least, left on my own to find my way somewhere. I often can. Sometimes, it becomes very complicated, as in the time that I was abandoned in Sao Paolo, Brazil and needed to go to Campinas, where I would be working for the next couple of weeks. So, I took a bus, called a newly made acquaintance, had dinner with him and his family, and then depended upon him to help me track down the director of the institution where I was supposed to be working. It all worked out, thanks to some creative problem-solving and a whole lot of divine intervention. So, there are good reasons why I am grateful when someone cares enough to pick me up.

4. I am grateful for a warm coat in a cold climate. Since I live in sunny California, I sometimes forget to grab a coat as I head out the door for the airport. I have arrived in Siberia without gloves and had a Siberia friend take the gloves off her own hands and give them to me - typical for the warm-hearted people who populate the cold Siberian steppe (I still have the gloves because my friend would not let me return them, and they have since come in handy. Likewise, I have sometimes ended up in cold places in shirt sleeves. In Oregon one winter, I arrived in a light blouse and had to head off immediately to a store to buy a coat. That was not the first such experience, and, alas, it will probably not be the last. Therefore, I am, indeed, thankful for those times I end up in a cold area and can immediately stuff myself inside a thick coat, feeling warmth on the inside as it protects me from the wonderfully brisk and fresh cold air outside. Great combination!

5. Oh, for a seat that reclines on an airplane! Especially on a flight where not everyone is packed in like sardines but can stretch out a bit. For some reason, I too often get one of those last row seats that do not recline. Worse still is when that unreclining seat is right across from the toilet. Yuck! Fortunately, those flights where that has happened have been short. Barring a reclining seat, I am really happy to have an aisle seat so I do not have to crawl over someone to get out for a stretch or bathroom trip, something that is difficult for short people like me. Two days ago, I spilled water over the man seated beside me; two years ago, I covered the while uniform of a pilot flying next to me on his free time with purple grape juice. Both were very understanding, but I really am grateful for an aisle seat and even more so for an aisle seat that reclines. Heaven!

6. And finally, I am very, very grateful for those flights on which First Class does not fill. In those cases, I often get a free upgrade because I am such a frequent flyer. I feel like a princesse for a day. (I also feel like an intruder. I guess the stewardesses must feel the same way because on the flight yesterday, when I was waiting to use the bathroom, the stewardess told me to go use the bathroom in my own cabin. When I pointed out where I was seated, in First Class, she was rather embarrassed. She did not need to be; I know I don't look the part of the wealthy and mighty. Come to think of it, I am neither, and I don't necessarily want to be either. I am, therefore, especially grateful to experience for a day something that I know I don't want for a lifetime -- just to remind me of what is really important. Human privilege does not qualify.

More information about one of the Thankful Thursday memes can be found at the website of Women Taking a Stand. This meme host is shared with other blogs so you will need to check to see which one is hosting any given month. This month the host is Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Link up with Greg's and Daryl's Thankful Thursday at Greg's General Store.


  1. About the coats, you remind me of my husband and older daughter - - who are both very intelligent. They often forget some important details that won't affect them for a few hours. I am the one in the family who over-packs for trips and carries too much to work each day - - - but I am the one who almost always has an umbrella and is warm enough when the north wind is blowing! Guess that's why opposites attract and complement each other.
    But I agree with your travel thankfulness list. Traveling is very tiring and the things you mention help revive us and/or keep from wearing us down more.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, misslynda, and sharing your travel experience. My husband is the misslynda in our family. I always underpack and find myself sans something -- pajamas, underwear, coat. Usually only one thing is missin, but it is also usually something important!

  3. When I lived in North Dakota - I never wore a coat and my daddy would get so mad at me! It would be 20 degrees outside and I would forget my coat!