Local column: A treasured morning in gratitude

Taking an entire morning to be grateful is an experience I will treasure for long after the morning ends, writes Louise Smith.

I’m writing today with a completely grateful attitude and a heart that is full. I woke up very early in a warm bed in my own home. I wiggled around a bit and stretched and found that I felt pretty darn good, so I came out to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee that was ready and waiting for me, thanks to automatic settings. I added a huge dollop of creamer and, as usual, I pretty much inhaled my first cup.

I stepped into my slippers and went out and got the paper from the front walk, and settled into my oversized recliner to see what might have transpired while we slept. In between reading the paper and making trips for another cup of coffee, I fed the dogs treats, as well as the three cats that let us reside here. Then I got to thinking that it was so light out, due to the cloud cover, that I could probably go do a round or two of cross-country skiing in a nearby field, where I’d made a track a week or so ago. So, I donned my winter outfit, grabbed the keys and skis and headed out.

It was so invigorating and peaceful at the same time. I had the world to myself for a little while, and it was awesome! I felt my heart pumping, my breath coming out in puffs, and every once in a while, I’d ski through a mist in the cloudy morning, half expecting to come out the “other side” in a whole new world. I loved every second of it. Then I came home, changed boots, and took our dogs out for a game of Chuck-it. They go crazy for Chuck-it.

I came home, shed the winter gear and crawled back in my warm bed, beside my still snoozing husband. Suffice to say, he wasn’t snoozing for long once I snuggled my chilly parts as close as I could get so he could warm me up. It was heavenly, laying there snuggled up, listening to the tired dogs snore, and I can’t think of a better way to re-start the day.

As it happens, it’s Sunday and pot-luck day at church, so I couldn’t snuggle for long, because I had a pot of chili to make to take with us to enjoy after the service. And as I sat here reflecting on the morning, I couldn’t have felt more content.

It occurred to me just how many men and women sacrificed so I could enjoy the very freedoms of which I write today. We can come and go as we please, eat what we want, worship where we want, or stay home if we want. It’s up to us, and we owe these luxuries to all those who served and are still serving this wonderful country.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, and God Bless America.

Smith is retired and lives in St. Anthony with her husband.