Friendship and relationship advice,  Gratitude

Meaningful gifts

“Gratitude is an emotion that reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others.” ~Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart

My nesting instincts always kick in this time of year. This month, I’m motivated to move furniture, reorganize my shelves, and donate old books to the library. Though it sounds like work, early fall cleaning makes me appreciate the seasonal changes — and the treasures in my home.

The salt-glaze pottery shown in today’s photo is one example. It was a gift from my college pal, Libby, who moved to Virginia after graduation. I still remember opening her package, years ago, which contained this vase and another pitcher, both from Colonial Williamsburg.

After cleaning my kitchen shelves last week, I clipped some hydrangeas from the yard, arranged them in Libby’s vase, and sent her this photo in a text. I said that I think of her every time I see her pottery on my shelf — and feel grateful for our many years of friendship. ~CL

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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