Six in the Morning: Small things make the sweet easier to take with the bitter

Fawn Musick

This week has been one filled with memories of the tragic happenings of Sept. 11, 2001. Many continue to struggle and suffer from the losses of that sad day, so let’s keep them in mind as we go through our day. This week also brought fears about the weather and the effects of a hurricane hitting the east coast of North Carolina. As I write this, the event has not happened, but at the grocery store, Sam’s Club, and Walmart there are no bottles of water on the shelves, as folks prepare to face possible difficulties. People are being evacuated from their homes on the coast, and students are being sent home from the schools.

People are calling and checking on loved ones, neighbors are helping neighbors get homes prepared, and still others are making room for those displaced. When scary, threatening things happen, we tend to blur the regular lines and distinctions that operate our society, and it is a beautiful thing. When circumstances ebb and flow back to “normal,” we tend to forget that we were willing to help another in a crisis, and the old attitudes slide back into place.

I have no solution for this aspect of human nature, other than to spread kindness and be thankful. This past week brought me several opportunities to be thankful, and as I think about them, I realize that it is the small items that add up to a wonderful day.

On Saturday, we headed to Lowe’s to buy lumber, nails, and screws. We were working on the chicken house roof. As we drove up I asked hubs how long it would take him, and he said about an hour. What? An hour in Lowe’s? I can see an hour in the garden center, but in the lumber department? Yikes! So, I told him that I would walk right next door to Hobby Lobby and get some sewing things that I needed. We agreed, and off I went. I shopped around, got what I needed and headed to the truck. Thankfully, he was not there yet. I found him in the store waiting in line. What perfect timing.

I was thankful that the timing worked out perfectly, but I marveled at the brilliance of whoever decided to put two shopping centers together with one very large parking lot. On one side is Lowe’s Home Improvement, and on the other is Hobby Lobby and Kirkland’s – also home improvement stores of a kind. As I walked across the parking lot, I was struck by the brilliance of having both stores so close together. Hubs wasn’t so sure it was intentional but, still, I am thankful for small things.

On Monday, I was kind of feeling down about some things, and I called my sister to check on my brother-in-law’s health. He was fine and asked to speak to me on the phone. He shared a funny joke about a little old lady and a rooster. We both had a good laugh, and I was extremely thankful for the bit of laughter in my day.

My No. 4 offered to pick up No. 7 after cross-country practice and then took him to Chick-fil-A. Can’t beat that. I was thankful that he is now old enough to act without being asked. Well, at least part of the time!

And to top off my week, at work, several patients commented on how they loved how I have decorated the office. They went on to say how homey and welcoming the reception area is, which made me feel like a sort of decorator rather than a tired mom throwing things together. I was telling my college-age daughter about this and she said, “Well, Mom you spend a lot of time at the office. It should look nice, as it is kind of your home away from home.”

So nice that she supported my decorating efforts! At least she made me feel better about all my visits to Kirkland’s, Hobby Lobby, and all the antique stores.

Life can be rough sometimes and deal us some devastating blows, and we can get anxious and upset, or we can look around and try to find small things to be thankful for.

Places that offer half sweet/ half unsweet tea.

Small dogs that like to lick the lotion off your legs as you feed the chickens.

The cool weather of fall.

A note or phone call from someone you care about.

Funny jokes - or memes - as the young ones call them.

Clever books.

Big hugs.

Hot Tamales.

Enjoy the weekend and be thankful for the small things.

Fawn Musick is a Princeton Times columnist, a mom, and a blogger. To read more of her work, visit To contact her, write