Sally over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:
Following on from Thanksgiving, and picking up the "Black Friday" theme of boycotting the Christmas rush for bargains I thought it would be good to set a simple Friday Five yet one to get you thinking. I am sure that you'll agree that some of the best gifts we receive do not come in fancy wrapping paper but might be the gift of an unexpected afternoon with a friend or coming across a long forgotten photograph, or- well the list is endless...
So take a bit of time to think back over the last year and ponder the gifts it has offered to you, then list five of those gifts, in no particular order- there is only one rule- all of these gifts must have been free, neither you nor anyone else should have spent money on them!
1. A job: not exactly a "no money spent" gift, but the best gift I received this year is a new job, a new call. I have been blessed with a fabulous community to work with - creative, intelligent, energetic, kind, and thoughtful. I really appreciate this community and have come to love them all.
2. Dog walking: and, the young woman, a parishioner, who helped me walk my dogs over the summer. I enjoyed our walks and conversations, and I miss her now that she has gone off to college. We also have a delightful neighborhood to walk in.
3. Music: I am enjoying music in worship, on my iPod, and, once again on our stereo system (which was in storage for two years). We have a lot of musicians in the church - a recorder ensemble, some fabulous soloists, pianists, guitarists, dulcimer, flute, cello...it's great fun!
4. Fireplace: the house we live in (a rectory) has a fireplace. I enjoy sitting near it, knitting, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. It affords me one of the primary places I can rest and relax.
5. Garden and yard: we were able to participate in the community garden hosted by the church. It did cost a little bit of money for the starter plants - but in comparison to the produce I received it was practically free! I thoroughly enjoyed spending time planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden, and all the conversations that took place between me and others who had lots in the garden.
I am always grateful for the gift of my family - my husband and children, our dogs and cats. We have reached a very comfortable place in family life, with children mostly grown and can appreciate the fruits of the labor that went into birthing and raising children. Our dogs, too, are mostly grown and established in good mannered behavior. It's a gift to just be with my family.