October 21, 2020

I am thankful

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Dody-Denman-FPBy Dody Denman

On my facebook page, I began writing a daily “List of Gratitude” through the month of November and wanted to share with you.  As we enter into the Thanksgiving holiday I wish you peace, love, happiness and leftover turkey recipe!  Today is an incredible “Jerk Pasta Salad” that I know you will love.

November 1, 2013

I had thought I would start a list of things I am thankful for and then saw that some on facebook had a similar idea! However, I am still grateful for many things and am going to post a few as we near Thanksgiving…in no particular order.

Today, I am grateful for facebook. It has given me an opportunity to stay involved in the life of many people that I love yet rarely see. Many family members and dear friends that live far away are loved and missed. It is so good to know what they are doing, to see current pictures and write, laugh or cry with them.

November 2

I am grateful for mistakes today…for the lessons life teaches us and the joy on the other side.
Mistakes are always forgivable,
if one has the courage to admit them
Bruce Lee

November 3.

 

Today I am very grateful for this sunshine. I so enjoy the comfortable days and cool nights. I am happily appreciating the open doors and windows as the breeze flows through. This type of day makes me feel I can do most anything!

November 4

Today I am very grateful for the people in my life that are no longer here. Mostly, my mother who has been gone 12 years, I am forever thankful for the love and support she always gave me. I am grateful for the wisdom, humor, generosity, and strength she encompassed. Also, the $ways use it! I miss her every day, appreciate the time I shared with her, and trust in the knowledge I will see her again.

I have also been thinking about my dear friend Shirley Stifflemire. She was one of my closest friends from the first day at Fonville Middle School. We remained sisters of the heart through several marriages, deaths and birth of our children. I love Shirley and miss our laughs.

There are many others…one of the truths of aging is that one day you have as many people you love on the other side as here. My precious brother, Lance, grandparents, aunts, uncles, many family and friends and most recently my wonderful cousin, Bill. There may come a day that I don’t think of you, but it hasn’t happened yet. I love all of you and look forward to a grand homecoming.20.00 she would slip in my hand occasionally…knowing that as a single mother with three small children I could always use it!  I miss her everyday and trust in the knowledge I will see her again.

I have also been thinking about my dear friend Shirley. She was one of my closest friends from the first day of middle school. We remained sisters of the heart through several marriages, deaths and births of our children.

There are many others…one of the truths of aging is that one day you have as many people you love on the other side as here; including my precious brother, Lance, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, many family and friends and most recently, my wonderful cousin, Bill.  There may come a day that I don’t think of you, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I love all of you and look forward to a great homecoming.

November 5

Bob Dylan once said, “Take care of all your memories…for you cannot relive them.” I understand the sentiment behind this but not certain I completely agree. There was a time that I had an opportunity to travel and took total advantage of it. I fear those days are past…chronic pain keeps me stagnant much more than I would choose. However, all I have to do is draw on those memories and I do relive them.

In a moment I can be in Belize face to face with a seven foot shark.  This is also the trip I was shipwrecked, and it was incredible!  I can be standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or walking the streets of Paris alone at midnight, instantly.  With one thought, I am in a restaurant in Amsterdam with my friend Ana, as we languish on pillows, eating unfamiliar foods with our fingers, studying the belly dancers.  They also offered massages at this restaurant, which we took full advantage of.

The Cayman Islands became my second home as I made lifetime friends.  This is where I became pirate, a writer of plays and a mermaid.  I love the Caymans and visit often in my mind.  I can climb Mayan temples, have high tea in London, and swim in waters waving upon black sand.  None of these adventures are simple and the stories that accompany them are quite entertaining.  Today I am grateful that I can visit these memories anytime I need a holiday or a momentary escape.

November, 6

I am grateful to have been born in the United States and specifically in Texas. As a single mother with three small children (4, 6 and 8) I needed a job. At the time; my education was only a high school graduate who had no skills. God led me to a career that was so far beyond my dreams. I began selling newspaper advertising with a wonderful mentor. One of my bosses taught marketing at U of H and he chose to teach me. My newspaper career grew to being an editor, photographer, writer and sales. This is where my travel opportunities came from. There was never a day my children and I were in need. I have always been grateful and truly believe this would not happen in too many places outside keting at University of Houston and he chose to teach me.  My newspaper career grew from being in sales, photography, writing and an editor.  This is where my travel opportunities came from.  There was never a day my children and I were in need. I have always been grateful and truly believe this would not happen in too many places outside Texas.

November 7

Yesterday was an incredibly busy day so I did not post what I was grateful for. Actually, the reason for my full day of activity is what I am thankful for. I spent several hours with Logan, Theresa and Karen. That is one cute great grandbaby I have. Theresa and Logan rode back with me. There was an accident on Hwy. 59. The drive that took about 40 minutes south was a full 2 hour return trip!  (Am I forgetting about gratitude?)

After a quick change, Mike and I headed to Brendon’s school.  I am very grateful for the program these 4th graders presented.  It was a patriotic show with all the standards.  That in itself would be amazing, but these children presented information about EVERY branch of the service and their song.  Then they spoke of each war that America has ever been a part of and the number of lives that were lost in EACH one.  It was so moving to see these children with their memorized scripts (impressive!), flags and songs of our wonderful country.  So I went to sleep last night being very grateful for AMERICA AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!

November 8

Today was another busy day. I don’t usually have two in a row…and I am grateful! Actually, I am extremely appreciative for my friend Debra that helped me clean house. She is always there for me and I truly appreciate her. It really needed a good cleaning and this was a very productive day. Aren’t you happy when your house is vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed and you’re sleeping in clean sheets? Yeah, me too…

November 9

I am so grateful today for my home. It was definitely a gift from God. I had been living in one of my rent houses, but it was out of the school district. This made my life difficult because there was no way to get my kiddos back and forth to school. I was given great advice…move to the school district! Sounds simple, but money was a consideration. I took a short term lease on an apartment that has school bus service.  I moved in on faith. I had only enough money to pay the first month rent…and no job.

I was hired at the first job I interviewed for…The Airport Newspaper.  (This was another gift from God.)  After a few months I began searching for a permanent home and found this one…affordable and in the school district.  It took multiple miracles for me to be approved…but I was.  There were those that helped make things happen, but the Glory is definitely God’s and I am forever thankful.  I have been here over 25 years and appreciate each and every day.

November 10

Mike and I went to the Big Thicket today. There is something very special about being in East Texas…this is where my grandparents settled. My Dad was born here. As adults, he and an uncle lived on the homestead with their property divided by a road…in my youth it was dirt.

Today we drove to what was my Mom and Dad’s home. They would have been so happy to see multiple grandchildren and others playing football in the huge front yard. There was sunshine and blue sky. I sat on the porch with my great grandson Logan as the ducks swam and the chickens pecked! Life wasn’t good today…it was incredible. So blessed and grateful…

Jerk Pasta Salad

jerk pasta saladIngredients

8 oz pasta (I like the tri-color spirals)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup jerk marinade

1 cup chicken or turkey, cooked and diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

3 green onions, finely diced

½ red bell pepper, finely diced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

Directions

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water.  Meanwhile, in small bowl mix mayonnaise and jerk marinade.  In large bowl add remaining ingredients.  Then add pasta and jerk mayonnaise.  Serve immediately on bed of lettuce, or refrigerate until ready to eat. 

trip! (Am I forgetting about gratitude?)

 

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