Friday, November 6, 2015

Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving, 2015 edition

If you've followed our TeachingAuthors blog for a year or more, you know about our tradition of setting aside time in November to give thanks. It started in 2011, with our Ten Days of Thanks-Giving, inspired, in part, by Esther's post about thank-you haikus, also known as Thankus. In 2012 we expanded to Two Weeks of Thanks-Giving, which we repeated in 2013. And last year we stretched our Thanks-Giving posts to a full Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving!

Over the next three weeks, each of the TeachingAuthors will blog about 3 (or more!) things we're grateful for in each of our posts. I'm kicking the series off with a Thanks-Giving Thanku poem below. As in the past, we're also inviting you, our readers (and your students!), to join in by sharing your own "gratitudes" with us. And this year you can participate in one of FOUR ways:
  1. Share your "gratitudes" in a comment to any of our blog posts from today through Friday, November 27.
  2. Send them to us via email to teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com, with "Thanks-Giving" as the subject. Depending on the number of emails we receive, we may share some of your gratitiudes in our posts.
  3. Post them on online on your own blog, Facebook page, etc., and then share the link with us via a comment or email. (Feel free to include the image below in your post.) On Saturday, November 28, I'll provide a round-up of all the links we receive.
  4. AND NEW THIS YEAR: share them as a comment on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. While you're there, we hope you'll also "Like" our page.  

In an interesting bit of Synchronicity, a friend of mine recently posted a link on her Facebook page to an article on the science of the benefits of gratitude. The article quoted Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science, as saying:
"Speaking of stress, writing thank you notes has been shown to ease stress, reduce depressive symptoms, and encourage people to be more mindful of what makes them happy (just ask Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon), as well as foster better relationships."
I'm definitely in need of some stress relief right now. The past month has been rather nerve-wracking. We're in the midst of a major home remodel project encompassing our family room and kitchen. I'm currently without a working kitchen, and the furniture that used to be in our family room is scattered about the rest of our small house.

In my thank you note for last year's Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving, I expressed gratitude to my family, my writing friends, and to all our TeachingAuthors' readers. Of course, I'm still grateful for all three groups of people, but I'd like to add three more groups this year. The "Thanks-Giving Thanku" poem below is dedicated to:
  1. The students of my COD class, Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, for their patience with me if I was a bit distracted/frazzled during the last two weeks of class.   
  2. My family members and friends for all their help and support during this time. In particular, for my husband's siblings and their families for providing temporary homes for my father-in-law. (He normally lives with us, but his bedroom is currently storing some of our family room furniture.) And also to the dear friends who allowed my husband and me to stay with them for two nights while our new hardwood floors were stained and finished.
  3. The wonderful craftspeople carrying out our remodeling project. They've been careful, courteous, and punctual throughout the whole project AND they're doing marvelous work!
The target completion date for the kitchen/family room remodel is Saturday, November 14--the same day I'll be attending the SCBWI-Illinois Prairie Writer's and Illustrator's Day. We'll still have lots to do afterward, but if all goes well, I should have my kitchen back then. I'm definitely looking forward to that!

The other day, my husband and I were eating dinner in our makeshift kitchen (in our dining room) when the Passenger song "Let Her Go" came on the radio. In case you're not familiar with the lyrics, the song begins:
Well you only need the light when its burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go . . .
I began singing a revised version that went something like:
Well you only need the kitchen when it's been torn out
Only want to cook when there's no stove about
Only miss the cupboards when you must do without . . .
I thought of turning this into a poem for Poetry Friday, but decided to go with a Thanku instead:

I invite all of you to also participate in our Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving by sharing your "gratitudes" with us in one of the four ways I listed above. And don't forget to also check out this week's Poetry Friday round-up over at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

And if you're looking for more resources about gratitude and its benefits, see the links on the resource page of

Happy Thanks-Giving to all!


JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, Marti, for all you do for Teaching Authors contributors and readers! The kitchen really is the heart of the home, isn't it? I hope you'll be enjoying yours again soon!

Mary Kincaid said...

I'm grateful for many things, but also for the great web resources that are right at our fingertips. We have so many resources to help us on our way. Hopefully you can still plug into these even if you can't cook or find anything in your kitchen. Mary

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, JA.
Mary, thanks for sharing something your grateful for! Yes, I'm grateful that I can still "plugged in" and able to work despite all the construction work going on around me. :-)

Linda Baie said...

I'm glad for you that so many have stepped in to fill your needs as your 'heart' gets its renewal. I've done a kitchen redo & it's not so easy making do, but the joy will come. Love seeing the pics on FB, & of course love the thankus. What a lovely tradition started & continued. Thanks to you and all the Teaching Authors, Carmela.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda. I'm grateful for so many lovely readers here like you.

Bobbi Miller said...

What a lovely, lovely post and poem! I am grateful that we connected and you welcomed me into the TA fold. I think we do important work here, exploring these many topics. Thank you for all of your hard work at keeping us moving forward. We are cooking now <see what I need there, in homage to your new kitchen!)!

jan godown annino said...

Many gratitudes for Teaching Authors, always.

Appreciations for your hearth of the home Thanku, Carmela.

It's lovely to be in the season of ThankUfulness.

Happy conference to you, this very weekend. I peeked at the lineup.
Looks extra special with Esther on board, too.

Carmela Martino said...

Yes, I saw what you did there, Bobbi. :-)
Thanks, Jan. PWID is always a great event.

April Halprin Wayland said...

I love the graphic you created, and the words within: moving and brief. Wonderful!


Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks for kicking off our Three Weeks of Thanksgiving, Marti.
You're the heart of our TeachingAuthors home!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, April.
And I <3 you, Esther, and all our amazing fellow TAs!