Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankfulness . . . it changes everything

"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily." - Gerald Good

It is amazing how this gratitude thing works. 
I mean it's not like it's a secret or anything,
 and I might even dare to call myself a pretty grateful person,
BUT boy,
life sure has a way of showing up and saying . . . 


It can be so easy to become idle in our own problems
that we temporarily can't see the all the connections.

It's all too easy when things seem so hard,
to get caught up in attitude instead of gratitude, 
with the latter setting us free. 

And that's exactly what happened last Friday.
After an extremely stressful week I was in great need of
a change of scenery, a different perspective . . . 

...some gratitude instead of attitude.

(all with a little help from my friends)

We started out meeting at our sunrise spot, and then moved on to coffee, 
with a side of instagram, to the nearest Starbucks. It's quickly becoming
our "Friday" spot.

I brought along a little project, a random act of kindness project,
which all by itself was good for the soul.
(maybe more on that later?)

And then, we hear this deep rumbling noise and people are looking out the window
and when we ask what's going on they tell us that a military helicopter is landing
in the parking lot - for reals?

Without hesitation, the entire place leaves their belongings to check it out.
We find out that two more are on their way, arriving in 15 minutes. We dash back 
to our cars and fetch our cameras in record time and anxiously await their arrival.
By now, we have learned that this is part of a Veterans Day event over the next four days.

We were there among only a handful of people, right there, front row
while they landed the next two in the parking lot with precision.

{KK Pinit8}

This lovely woman was waiving to her husband who was flying in this Cobra (if I remember correctly) that was borrowed from the flight museum.

...and here he is setting 'er down.

 And when you practically have the entire place to yourself, you just might decide to lay down in the parking lot...why not, right?

And then you may ask if she could look your way . . . and you get a great big smile!

And while down low to the ground, with this new found perspective (because it's not very
often that I lay down in front of military helicopters I tell ya) you get this awestruck wave of
emotion, gratitude, because everything else seems a little bigger, and you feel a little smaller in
matters of the world. You have an immense appreciation for those willing to sacrifice everything
when the cards are put on the table . . . for you, and for me . . . for all of us.

A deep sense of gratitude for their service, both my own family members and strangers. I have relatives that fought in the Revolutionary and Civil wars, World War I and World War II, and one that has had 3 or 4 tours in Iraq. Some, never made it back home. I also have a strong Quaker heritage and although they were opposed to war, it didn't stop them from providing aid. In fact, the Battle of Brandywine was fought on and around our (Mendenhall) family farm and they used their teams to haul cannon and supplies to aid Generals Washington and LaFayette. And they often provided medical care for the wounded of the battles. 

After some camera talk, a hand shake of thanks and a hug, I noticed the reflection in his glasses and he was such a good sport letting me move him to just the right place to get the helicopter in his glasses. I got his email so that I could send him a copy.

...and when I wasn't looking, this little experience DID turn my week around,

I honor, and thank you for your service!

{My post from yesterday at FOL - Focus on Gratitude}

Love, Kim


you-wee because said...

In my "former life" I used to fly a US military helicopter as well, but it wasn't a combat helicopter, it was the light utility (= transport) helicopter BELL UH-1D ("The sound of freedom"). I had a great time being a copter pilot at the German Army Aviation, but today I'm glad that my time in the military is "over and out"... ;-)
So: Thanks a lot for this reminder, Kim!

Kimberly Vensel said...

Beautiful post! God has a way of making us realize that our problems aren't as great as we make them out to be. This was a wonderful reminder of how truly blessed I am. Thank you.

HansHB said...

Great serie of photos, interesting reading!
My post at:

Gail Dixon said...

A truly beautiful post, Kim. Words and photos both. Hope you are doing well!

Jeanne said...

How awesome that you just happened to be there for this event.

Nicki said...

Fantastic opportunity to get to get these photographs and a bonus to walk away with a greater appreciation, gratefulness, and perspective on life.

Anita Johnson said...

Such a great experience! I can see why that totally turned you around! Beautiful shots. I know the airman will love that shot...way to bless him too!

Nancy said...

I am always amazed at how life can change our attitude so fast…sometimes for the worse but in your case for the better…How wonderful that you were at the right place at the right time to experience such a neat event….
Your shots are awesome...

CountryMouse said...

Amazing! How lucky that you were in the right place and the right time.

Ida said...

What a wonderful experience. Great shots of the event.

Evelyn S. said...

Love everything about this post!

Cathy H. said...

What an amazing experience! Aren't you so grateful that you carry you're camera! This is a beautiful post that brings tears to my eyes. The soldier is going to love getting the picture you took! We don't appreciated our military enough. Well done!

Life Images by Jill said...

wonderful post, words, thoughts, feelings, and emotion, and IMAGES! It is amazing how things will come along when we least expect them to give us a jolt from our daily grind and remind us to be grateful. Have a wonderful weekend. It has been great to meet you over on Communal Global -Our World Wednesday.

ju-north said...

Such a great event and all the more so because it was unexpected. Life can surprise us!

June Caedmon said...

Your spirit really shines through in this post, Kim. I love your heart. Thank you for sharing this.

Brenda said...

What a wonderful lesson in gratitude. Your images and words brought tears to my eyes.

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