a month of thanksgiving…a challenge

To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. ——Confucius

Everyday this month, I have challenged my self to post something I am thankful for…join me by doing the same if you’d like, or maybe just add a note of thankfulness as a comment on my daily post.

November 1, 2011


In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by chairs filled at the dinner table, but by traditions; you help family members create, by the memories you share, by our commitment to one another over time, caring, and the love you show, and by the hopes for the future…as individuals and a family. In family a story is constantly playing out, and each family their story embodies its hope and despair. Our family has seen many changes in the past years, coming home…passing on…bonds are strengthened, memories made, memories retold.
I believe balance comes from family; some times you lean on them, other times they lean on you…
With all of the differences, all of the quarrels, all of sadness, and hurt…we are always there, always willing to give of our time, our selves, our finances if need be.
Our family aglow with warmth of common references, jokes, events, calamities ~ all combine to cement a sense of a family…We have been through so much together; continually trying to make our way, forge our future,our destiny…We are a family ~ like any other family…in family even exaggerations make perfect sense…and a hysterical, if not peculiar charm.

I thought I’d share a few old photos, the first of my Grandmother (Burr) McHale holding my Mother…and before the pending birth of my Uncle Frank. The next are of my Mother varying ages.I just love old photos…

Gramma McHale~ She taught me the good side, to act right, be polite.unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life; and, most importantly,we shared tea.

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. ~Christopher Morley

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckley

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. —–Bombeck, Erma

Be well,

6 thoughts on “a month of thanksgiving…a challenge

  1. Such a lovely post, Jess, and I am thankful everyday for my family and friends and the myriad of ways we have woven our lives together.

    The Erma Bombeck quote is especially poignant and brought a huge grin to my face!
    p.s. LOVE the photos! I, too, am a fan of them and have them throughout my house.


  2. Oh your grandmother holding the baby at the top is stunning, and to allow herself to be photographed whilst pregnant in those days shows such determination of spirit.. that is a superb photo.. I am so far away from my family that i sometimes find these posts hard to read, but there you are..lovely words.. c


    • C,

      Your comment is Interesting, and perhaps intuitive… “determination of spirit”…my Grandmother in a nut shell. She was born in 1917 ( I believe). She went to College, and married a man her family did not approve of…He was Scotch~Irish Catholic, a family of Police Officers from Wilton,CT. She a from a wealthy Yankee (English/ Wiltshire ancestry) Episcopalian family. Grampa McHale was never allowed to set foot in the Burr family home, Yet she was married to him to death do them part, and she maintained a good relationship with the Burr’s through it all. Amazingly strong woman and determined woman.
      Do you skype with your family?


  3. Pingback: imagining is easy, doing is not « the fine things

  4. Pingback: Imagining Is Easy, Doing Is Not | Fine Things

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