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    I'm so Grateful by Eileen Allen

  Maybe I'm too easily pleased, but I'm just so grateful for what I have. When I get to my beach place and sit down in front of the fire, I look around at my little cabin and wonder, “Who could ask for anything more?”

  In the middle of my 95th year, I am especially grateful for my continuing good health. I know that could change just as other things have. But for now I'm grateful for every day I can get out on Green Lake with my walker, in love with the changing seasons, the people, the dogs, the babies, the whole thing just humming with life.

  Yes, I have lost vision, but I can still see. No, I can't read; and that was the love of my life. I can't curl up with a good book like I used to and I miss it, but I don't feel cheated. Look at the number of years I could curl up with a good book and did just that!

  I have so much to be grateful for: my health, enough money to get by and three caring children – all now senior citizens. Not to mention, I have two nice places to live – my beach place (a lifelong dream come true) and an apartment in a comfortable retirement home across the street from Green Lake. I can't think of anything else I need or wish I had. Which sounds strange – like there's something the matter with me – that I could be content with such a simple life.

  Perhaps out of deprivations comes appreciation for what you have. I grew up with next to nothing. We lived on a small Civil War pension in a house that cost $1500. We didn't even have a radio. We went to the park. I had a kitten one time – these were big things in my life. And this carried on into the early years of my marriage. We went forest camping and pitched our own tent. That was the only vacation the family knew.

  Maybe this is why I appreciate the simple pleasures in my life. In fact, I make it a practice to be grateful, because I don't want the good things to go by unnoticed.

  And speaking of gratitude, I'd like to think my son Dale for helping me write this piece.