John and Bethany Arndt

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1. Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful.
2. Expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.

thankful·ly adv. thankful·ness n.
It was my first Thanksgiving in South Africa; its been in Oregon or Oklahoma for the last 10 years. I have  left here each year a couple days before so I could catch all the holidays in one trip. Thanksgiving in summer has its certain appeals though; I mean it is a holiday so you might as well have access to the sun and beach. Access to family is a must, and thankfully I have that here too. How many missonaries get to share life with people of their same tribe?
While the shops & banks stayed open and ministry and normal life went on around us, the Americans in my community snuck away to justify our annual act of gluttony. It never does dissappoint does it? I opted to brings drinks and salad; lets just say it was better for everyone this way.  Even though our celebration was oceans and scores away from where our ancestors first gave thanks, the traditional gratitude and aromatic flavors were certainly in the air.
Naturally I have been mourning the absence of autumn in my life. Autumn is more of an honored theme of life, rather than a season to me…All true appreciators agree that the lustre of the autumn sky, the deep accentuating colors that often stand in front of it, the crispness in the air, the bonfires, the cider, the creative power behind pumpkins, the need for sweaters, the caramel apples, the musk of fall… all of it is the essence of the most sacred of seasons.  Yes…Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all? Tis true, tis true.
Just as my bereavment nearly consumed my consciousness… a solitary, floating article of both simplicity and grandeur just happen to land in my kitchen… it whispered “glory” to this adoring saint.
Autumn lives in my heart, if not before my senses. And I am thankful for these sensors that are able to view, feel, percieve, and touch. I am thankful for every particle that makes up my life. The people, the purpose, the challenges, the memories, the sentiments. Life will always be more than okay. He surpassess mediocrity and even soars past goodness and despenses a certain “autumn” to our days.. a certain color and a descriptionless vibrance that comes from merely knowing him.
I’m definitely thankful.

Salem, Oregon 2007
Salem, OR  2007
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