The Grateful Jar – What are you grateful for?


Last year I saw a post online…it might have been facebook, it could’ve been on twitter – not sure where I saw it, but I liked the idea.

The idea of the Grateful Jar was starting January 1, write down good things that happen to you on paper and place them in the jar. They could be surprise gifts, accomplished goals, the beauty of nature, LOL moments or even daily blessings. Then on December 31, 2015 open the jar at midnight and read all the amazing things that happened that year.

Last evening after a savory dinner out with hubby, and a scrumptious dessert at a favorite coffee house, we made the trek home eager to open the Grateful Jar.

With our fur babies gathered round – one black cat diva, a neurotic blue-eyed Australian Shepherd, and a goofy Bernese Mountain Dog mix, we opened the lid to the jar.

We poured out the slips of paper with handwritten notes on the carpet, and divided the blessings between my husband and me.

The dogs tried to get in on the act by walking all over the paper. Once they had settled down, we counted the slips, some 40 or 50 – I was sure there was more, and began reading.

These are the highlights that we remembered to record – there were many more, of course – memories tucked away in our minds, that brought a quick smile. Hope you enjoy them!


– January 4 – Sabrina and I passed the eval to become a Support Dog team.

– January 14, 2015 – Today my 3-legged fur baby crossed over to Rainbow Bridge. Grateful I had a sweet kitty named Tripoli to love for 12 years and 8 months. I’ll love you forever.

Tripoli smaller file

– January 15, 2015 – Thankful my hematology appointment was nothing more that low iron levels. Whew!

– Maggie, the red-haired barrista at Starbucks, knitted me a beautiful ‘arm’ scarf the colors of the ocean, just because she wanted to!

– January 2015 – Thankful for a beautiful dinner at Q for my birthday, and night out with friends at Picasso’s with Tina, Peggy, Donna, Wanda, and Abby

– January 18, 2015 – The night sky on Sunday at 10:32 p.m. was absolutely gorgeous.

– February 4 – A beautiful sunrise, squirrels eating sunflower seeds on deck rails, cardinals visiting…

– February – Withdrawing from the Support Dog class with Sabrina, realizing I wanted it more than my fur baby did.

– February 11 – The dream I had last night about another cat we’re suppose to adopt.

– February 26 – How beautiful the newfallen snow!

– February – Walks in the field with the dogs.

– Floating toothpaste bubbles.

– Grateful my husband still thinks I’m beautiful after all these years.

– Kaldi’s free coffee tokens.

– A day with Rileigh at the Sophie Mae Sachs Butterfly house.

DSC_0095 blue morpho on bench copyr

– Midnight’s soft kisses (my black cat).

– Russell bringing me takeout food.

– Grateful for wakeup licks from my black cat on my eyelids and face.

– March 2015 – Grateful for a wonderful book tour in South and North Carolina and gorgeous walks on the beach with hubby.

– Making new friends.

– March 2015 – Coming home to my fur babies after vacation.

– How reading the anthology Shifts (on which my photograph of the Glass-Window Bridge appeared on the cover) prompted me to have a heart-to-heart talk with Russell.

– To remember that through all the heartaches and all the trials, God has a plan for us. Alfie the cat – discovering his illness and bringing it to the attention of his foster mom.

– Grateful for the sound of easy rain on a cool summer August Day.

– Thankful for good friends and a caring husband.

– Woohoo! Won the Da Vinci Eye Award for excellence in book cover design for Folly Beach Dances – The Infinite Rhythms of a South Carolina Seashore, as well as an Art Category finalist!

– Oatmeal with raspberries

– Grateful to watch my black cat enjoy the cool rain on a summer’s day.

DSC_0239 Midnight watching rain copyr

– Exceptional food at Circa 1886 in Charleston, Blu in St. John, and Prasino’s in St. Charles

– Houseslippers with embroidered chocolate labradors on them.

– The aroma of a vanilla espresso candle.

– Ceyton tea on a cold winter morning.

– Belly rubs with the pooches.

– Grateful to celebrate Dena’s birthday dinner with 16 Lifegroup friends from church.

– Wonderful, relaxing vacation in Sunset Beach rekindling friendships and making new friends.

– The Clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch in Booneville – touching their silky manes and calling them “BooBoo”

– Early morning talks with friends at coffeehouses, and of course, the smell of espresso!

– Grateful for my beautiful rose bushes in my garden that provide a lovely vision in vases on my wood table.

– Reading a good book on a quiet night when all the babes are asleep (including hubby)

DSC_0126 My loves copyr

– Visits to Tenth Life Cat Rescue to play with the kittens

– The beauty and magnificence of the Holy City, Charleston.

– August 4 – My iron levels are better than my April visit per Dr. Majerus. Yeah! No chemo!

– Grateful for my new, strong friend, Nancy Caraway.

– Beautiful wife – (Russell)

– January & February – Walks in the field by the 100-year old white barn with the dogs.

– Grateful for little moments like kitty kisses, the peaceful rain, birds chirping and my squirrel friends Bandit, Brownie, and Whitey.

– Grateful for my silly dogs jumping on the couches at Sebastien’s, their groomers.

– June 5 – Grateful my husband can take a mission trip to Haiti to spread God’s word.

– Grateful my writer friend Tom Poland who will be speaking at the Missouri Writers Guild conference in KC in the spring, because I can’t wait to hear his southern drawal!

– Grateful for a great editor at AAA, Debbie Reinhardt.

– Missouri sunsets.

– Long hugs with my wife – (Russell)

– Grateful for a fun evening at Van Buskirks Chocolate Café with Tina, Tabby and Pam on June 10, playing cards, eating ice cream, telling stories, and baton twirling in the parking lot.

– Grateful my hubby picked up dinner, and that I tried sushi again, because it wasn’t that bad after all.

– Grateful for my second cousin Lois, the closest person to Mom, and that I can pick up the phone and talk to her anytime, even though she is thousands of miles away.

– Grateful for crisp fall walks with my fur babies along the different lakeshores of local parks.

– October 2015 – The beach house we stayed at on St. John with views of Cruz Bay, roosters crowing and birds chirping, and Frodo the cat we tried to rescue (well maybe just me).

DSC_0602 views of Cruz bay copyr

– Seeing a G rated movie and hearing Sheree laugh louder than the kids there – (Russell)

– NYE – This morning Bandit the squirrel had a heyday and found all the pecans and cashews on the deck rail I left for him, and ate every single last one of them. (See picture)

DSC_0626 Bandit the Squirrel crop copry
These are the things I’m grateful for.

I notice there were many things repeated – the love for my fur babies, rain on a summer’s day, walks with the dogs, walks on the beach, the squirrels and birds that visit our deck, food, my husband, my friends, books, smells and tastes.

Material things don’t mean that much to me, rather, things that are intangible create the best memories.

A simple touch on my shoulder from my husband, a loving yet goofy gaze from the dogs, a familiar voice on the phone, the universal beauty of nature – these have staying power. These are important.

Will you start a Grateful Jar this year?

What are you grateful for? Feel free to post here in a comment.

3 thoughts on “The Grateful Jar – What are you grateful for?

  1. I’m grateful that earlier in the year I read about your grateful jar. Yes, I began one. Had such fun reading my scraps of paper on New Years Eve. I laughed out loud at some of them, not the cause they were petty, simply because it takes very little to make me grateful… Like the little things in life. Most of all, I was thankful that I went forward with your suggestion. Wishing you all the best in 20016!

  2. Kathy, I’m glad you decided to make a grateful jar. After I cleared the pieces of paper from my jar for this year, I changed the 5 in 2015 to a 6, and started another one again. I’m saving those bits of paper in a plastic bag and labeling them 2015, so when I’m old and gray I can go back and read all the things I was grateful for.

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