Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
These are the thanks I will make:
A wonderful healthy life
Five marvelous children
Four beautiful grandchildren with more to come
A loving relationship with my children's father
A memorable family of birth in serene Iowa
Friends in Iowa, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina
The opportunity to work for nonprofits that fed my passions
A welcome move to the "cesspool of sin," Asheville
A number of kitty cats who purred and stared me in the eye
Even a couple of dogs that tried my patience but added smiles to my face
Horses on my Iowa farm that let me ride them down the corn fields
Good homegrown food as a child and now with the local food movement everywhere
Electricity for power, warmth, entertainment and sight
The flowers that bloomed before my eyes outdoors and in
Photography and its opportunities to show an artistic vein
The ability to co-create with God new life and to birth it
Mushrooms growing in the woods and in parks, and eating them
A roof over my head all of my life from big houses to small rooms
For play, games, swings and slides on playgrounds
Blue skies with white fluffy clouds rolling them
Storms with thunder, winds, snow and pattering rain
Music with words sometimes or only instruments but always stirring up memories
A deep spiritual life that joins me to a Higher Power and fellow creatures
A chance to buy land with my daughter and son-in-law
Money in the bank to perhaps one day even buy a car
A job that supplements a small fixed Social Security check
Common sense to stretch every dime just a little farther
Neighbors to help form community and support during tough times
Freshly baked bread, cookies, cheese cakes and chicken and noodles
Even the cow, the pig, the fish and other animals who give me food as well
Sweet dreams and nightmares, all with lessons to teach
The trees and bushes that provide a myriad of fruits and nuts
Books that feed the intellect and heighten the imagination
Peace and all the people in the world who work for peace
Charity that so many provide for those of us needing help
For doctors, nurses, hospitals, massage therapists and acupuncturists
Cars, trains and planes that help us unite and see the world
Newspapers, magazines, radios, TV and all electronic media
Stores that provide new things and even used.
A country that elects a black president just 50 years after MLK.
For all of these things, dear Higher Power, Universe or Whoever
I give thanks.
I even thank you for the struggles, the fear, the sorrows along the way.
The hills and valleys of life, the rocky roads and mud puddles, too.
They're no fun to be sure, but they have made me who I am,
A vulnerable imperfect human who always has a few more improvements to make before checking into those heavenly gates.