Sunday, June 03, 2012

Thankful Thoughts...

For those new to my blog let me begin with a brief explanation of my "Thankful Thoughts" post. Occasionally, on Sundays, I publish a post that answers one or more of the following questions...

1.) What surprised me this week?
2.) What moved me this week?
3.) What inspired me this week?

By concentrating on these questions throughout the week, I start and end each week with a more grateful, happy heart and a more positive outlook on life. On to this week's journal entry...

What surprised me this week?

Years ago I planted a strawberry border around a rock garden by our front door. The plants have a sweet fragrance, and the cheery white flowers and deep burgundy fruit put a smile on my face.

For years these strawberry plants have provided nourishment -- not to us, mind you -- but to the myriad of creatures that flourish in our neighborhood. With few exceptions sweet little birdies, chubby squirrels, and greedy raccoons have been the beneficiaries of our strawberry crops. Yes, indeed, we've kept the critters surrounding our house fat and full! As proof I offer this piece of evidence...

"Chuzzlewitt" {our resident squirrel} circa 2011

This year our strawberry plants have provided a bumper crop. Not even the birds and squirrels have been able to keep up with the astonishing number of strawberries our little patch has produced. As a result, much to our surprise, my husband and I have delighted in fresh strawberries by the bowlful! It's the kind of surprise we love...

What moved me this week?

My thoughts often drift to my father this time of year. His birthday, Memorial Day (WWII Veteran), and Father's Day all fall within a few short weeks of time, so my heart naturally turns to him. I was only 40 years old when he suddenly passed away. I remember thinking at the time, "I'm too young to lose my dad." Now I know, that I'd never be "old enough." Years later I still miss him, but memories of him don't make me sad like they did shortly after he passed. Now those memories make my heart happy and fill me with a sweet longing that I know eventually will be satisfied.

During these times when my father's memory rests on my mind, I often turn to an activity that I began shortly after his death and one that has always interested me -- genealogy or family history work. I love researching my ancestors and finding out as much as I can about their characters and the lives they led. By identifying information about my ancestors, I have found I've discovered much about myself.

Some days are better than others when one is doing family history work. Occasionally information will seemingly fall into your lap and other times the research road is long and bumpy. After being on a long and bumpy road for a couple of hours one day last week, I decided to do something that I knew would produce results.

Did you know that the 1940 United States Census is currently being indexed? Volunteers are creating an automated index for this census, like they have for thousands of other vital records around the world. These indexes are then made accessible to people worldwide through the LDS Church's family history centers or online through Family history researchers -- both professional and amateurs, both members of our church and not -- can use these indexes to quickly locate information about their ancestors.

After a frustrating day of family history work I decided to help index the 1940 Census to end my day of research on a more positive note. I quickly chose "California" as the state I'd like to help index. When indexing the 1940 U.S. Census one can choose a state to index but cannot choose a specific location within that state. I waited patiently for a page to upload and when it was done -- to my surprise -- it was a page from the town of Los Gatos. I was moved. You see, Los Gatos was where I happily spent the first 18 years of my life. For over an hour every time I uploaded an additional page it was from that same location -- my hometown.

I know this experience could be considered coincidental, but at that time I recognized it as a loving ministration from a caring Heavenly Father.  What's more, it made me feel close to my dad. When I recognized the source of this ministration, I was moved and I realized how wonderful it feels to be blessed by Him.

1 comment:

shez said...

lovely post Suzanne,love the pic of the squirrel eating his dinner,lol.xx