Tag Archives: gratitude

Early January Thankful Thursday

Photo by Howard Riminton on Unsplash

With a new month comes a new chance to share my appreciation for the people who have supported me recently.

Thanks always go out to my readers, without whom I’d have to reason to share my stories, rants, and observations.

I’m grateful to my sibling who sent a giant box of yummy food treats to me and The Man for Christmas and included postcard and first class stamps just for me.

I appreciate Theresa, a longtime friend (we’re talking decades here!) and my newest supporter on Patreon.

Big thanks to Frank who’s sent stamps and postcards to me in the past and in December made a generous contribution via PayPal.

Gratitude to Laura-Marie who bought a handmade bracelet from me last month and always sends love and moral support.

I’m also thankful every time The Man washes the dishes, sweeps the floor, and starts the truck for me on cold mornings when I have to go to work.

For whom and what are you grateful today? Please leave your thoughts of gratitude in the comments section below.

Thankful Thursdays


The Man and I started a new tradition on Thanksgiving Day this year. I had a small blank book a friend found on a free shelf at a local thrift store and gave to me because of the sun on the cover. I decided the book would be a gratitude journal. I asked The Man if he would participate in filling the gratitude journal with me, and he agreed.

I found “50 Inspiring Gratitude Quotes” on Shutterfly and picked four of them to write on the book’s inside covers.

Two quotes read: "The root of joy is gratefulness."-- David Steindl-Rast and "Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."--Doris Day
Two inspiring gratitude quotes. Looks like I forgot to cross the “t” in David Steindl-Rast’s name. Sorry about that, sir.

Our goal is to each write five things we are grateful for every day. Some days we get busy and forget to write our gratitude, but we try to pick up the next day. The book is not very thick, but when it is full, we’ll each have a record of about 150 things, people, and experiences for which we are thankful.

A man and dog stand on the edge of a cliff looking down at trees.
I’m grateful for The Man and Jerico the dog every day.

Sometimes it seems difficult to think of new things to appreciate. I’m thankful for The Man and Jerico the dog every day. Ditto LED lights, eggs, and our 4 wheel drive truck. The challenge I enjoy is identifying new things for which I feel gratitude.

In the spirit of recognizing new things for which I am grateful, I’m starting Thankful Thursdays here at the Rubber Tramp Artist blog. At least once a month (maybe more) I will share gratitude with my readers. Sometimes I’ll give a shout out to the people who support me and the blog monetarily, either by buying my crafts, becoming my patron on Patreon, or making a one-time donation. Other times I’ll thank the people who give me emotional and mental support. Sometimes I’ll share a quote pertaining to gratitude. Will you join me in making 2020 a year of thanks?

Two more gratitude quotes read: "When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears."--Anthony Robbins and "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."--Willie Nelson
Words of wisdom on gratitude from Anthony Robbins and Willie Nelson

I’ll start today with this list of the people who’ve given me financial and material support in the past couple months. Thanks to all of you who help me pay the bills and send goodies. I appreciate each of you.

List of gratitude. List reads: I'm grateful for Nancy, my newest patron on Patreon. I'm grateful for Shannan who sends me a donation every month. I'm grateful for Brent who contributed financially this month and has done so in the past. I'm grateful for Keri who bought two hats from me. I'm grateful for Val who bought a hat from me. I'm grateful for Bette Rae who bought a hat from me. I'm grateful for Felicia and Liz who sent yarn. I'm grateful to Jennifer who sent postcards. I'm grateful for Keith, my computer guy who is also a Patreon patron.
My list of gratitude. Gerry sent postcards too! Sorry I forgot to put her on the handwritten list.

What are you grateful for today? Please share your gratitude in the comments section below.

I took all of the photos in this post.

If you would like to support me, click on the “Become a patron” button at the top of the column on the right, or click on the “donate” button in the middle of that column.

Vulnerability and Gratitude


I’m currently reading “A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow,” by Tim Brookes. I picked up this Ocean Beach Library discard from the free pile at the 2016 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR). Three months later, I actually started reading it.

It ‘s the perfect book to read after a long day of mentally exhausting work. The writing is not overly challenging–no words I need to look for in a dictionary, no complicated sentence structure to contend with–but not simplistic either. The story is upbeat (no abused family members, nothing to send me down a spiral of depression) and interesting to me.

Here’s the plot: Author Tim Brookes grew up in Great Britain. In 1973, he bought a cheap ticket to NYC and hitchhiked clear across the United States and back again. After this tour of the U.S. he settled in New England. Twenty-five years later, he recreated his first trip and hitchhiked across the country and back a second time. (He had more resources the second time around and could buy a bus ticket or rent a car when he needed to, but he still relied extensively upon the kindness of strangers.)

I’m about halfway through the book now, but something I read last night rang so true that I wanted to share it here.

Brooks is telling a wealthy twenty-one year-old man about his adventures hitchhiking.

The young man says he doesn’t understand the appeal of hitchhiking. He tells Brooks that he prefers to ride in limos and stay in five-star hotels.

Brooks answers, The problem with that kind of travel…is that you’re never vulnerable.

The young man asks, Why should I want to be vulnerable?

Brooks says, Because otherwise you’ll never feel grateful for anything. You’ve got to make yourself vulnerable before you need something from someone else, and you’ve got to need something before you can feel gratitude. And unless you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you never have any chance encounters.  All the most remarkable people I’ve met on this trip, I’ve met by chance.

I could say the same thing.


I took the above photo.

Tallying Up My Happiness


On this first day of a new year, I am going to follow up my own advice, and instead of tallying up my net worth, I’m going to tally up my happiness.

The van is running. The van, as far as I can tell, is running well. The van just took me 450 miles. Also? The van has four tires less than a year old.

I laugh a lot. I have friends who make me laugh, and I make my own self laugh. I see lots of humor in the world.

I pretty much go where I want and do what I want. I get to see things I’ve never seen before and revisit places I love.

Nobody’s yelling at me.

I have stacks and stacks of books to read. I probably have six months of reading stashed in bins and tubs. I love reading. I love, love, love reading, so having books on hand makes me feel secure.

My camera takes nice photos.

I live in a cozy, colorful environment. (The interior of my vanhome is basically an art installation.)

I’m healthy. I get myself out of bed in the morning without too much trouble. I can walk and bend and bike and reach and skip. I can breathe. My teeth don’t hurt, and I’m not having frequent headaches. Overall, this earthly container of mine is doing just fine.

It’s January, and I’m warm.

I have friends in fourteen different states. I have friends who invite me to stay with them. I have friends who miss me when I am gone. I have friends who love me.

There are dollars in my pocket.

My laptop allows me to access the internet, which lets me find jobs and stay in touch with friends and learn new things and connect with people all over world.

I didn’t lose anyone I love in 2015.

I am creative and imaginative. I can use my hands to create jewelry and hats and collages.

I spent over 5 months living with and teaching others about giant sequoias.

I can listen to music when I drive.

I’ve got plenty of clothes to wear. Most of them cost about $1. Most of them are bright and colorful.

My blog looks really, really good.

People read what I write.

I have a good life.

World Gratitude Day


Today is World Gratitude Day.

According to http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/September/worldgratitudeday.htm, the roots of World Gratitude Day can be traced to a Thanksgiving dinner at the International East-West Center in Hawaii in 1965.  At the dinner, attendees pledged to hold a Gratitude Gathering the following September 21st in their home countries. From these beginnings, World Gratitude Day grew to be an annual event.

The United Nations Meditation Group created World Gratitude Day to express appreciation for the great things that individuals and groups do. This recognition is on a global basis. According to their website: “World Gratitude Day presents an award to someone who we feel has done something outstanding in the spirit of Globalism.”

(I wasn’t able to find any information about the United Nations Meditation Group, and I did not find their website. I only did a quick Google search and only looked at the first page of results, so maybe the information is out there and I didn’t dig deep enough. I did find some references to the United Nations Meditation Room, such as this website: http://www.aquaac.org/un/medroom.html.

I started out 2014 focusing on gratitude, not just for people and groups, but for everything positive in my life. For nearly the first four months of the year, every day I wrote down three to five things for which I was thankful. I slacked off in the middle of April, and didn’t get back into the habit of writing down the people, events, and things for which I was grateful.

It seems like when life is hard, it is actually easier for me to express gratitude because the little bits of positivity really shine. When life is fairly easy, I don’t tend to stop and focus on being thankful. However, even if I’m not making written notes, I do recognize that I am so blessed and fortunate!  I have a lot for which to be grateful.

In celebration of World Gratitude Day, I wanted to share some of my gratitude from 2014. I wrote the following words in my (dumpstered) day planner:

I’m grateful for my LED lantern, my warm fuzzy hat, my memory foam mattress, not being hungry.

I’m grateful for my laptop, free Grateful Dead downloads, my radio, my sister, and money from Dad.

I’m grateful for sunshine, shiny rocks, the smell of sage, a warm place to sleep.

The trip was snowy and dark. I’m grateful I made it home safely.

I’m grateful for glue sticks and scissors. I’m grateful when people appreciate my creativity. I’m grateful for the ability to make something cool out of scraps and trash.

I’m grateful for the sound of a flock of pigeons flying up from the ground.

I’m grateful for wild nature.

I’m grateful for every star in the New Mexico sky.

I’m thankful for a clean bathtub with massaging jets. I’m glad for long soaks in hot water.

I’m grateful for laughter.

I’m grateful I was able to help traveling kids a little.

I’m grateful to wake up happy when other people are grumpy.

I’m grateful of the golden light of late afternoon.

I’m thankful to have enough to give away.

For what are you grateful?