I am grateful Dad always unhooked the air hose.

I am grateful for the familiar smell of new tires that reminds me of a pretty great childhood with many hours spent hiding inside stacks of tires at the gas station.

I am grateful for the ends to very stressful days and the feeling of crawling into bed completely exhausted.

I am grateful for cats who are happy to see me.

I am grateful for time spent with my brother, my sister, and my dad.

I am grateful for the best hair magician in the world and a really good feeling haircut.

I am grateful our son is moving back home tonight.

I am grateful I know how to clean a mean windshield.

I am grateful for Costco bulk.

I am grateful for the green of Kansas City WITHOUT humidity.

I am grateful for the sound of an adding machine and the satisfaction of adding up the credit card slips at the gas station desk and getting the same total two times in a row.

I am grateful for less humidity in small town USA, even though it isn’t as green.

I am grateful for a vacuumed, clean car.

And I am grateful that I’m okay but I’ll get over it. Right, Dad?

Made beds.

The case for making the bed vs. not doing so is one that I have heard forever. I like a made bed, one that is wrinkle-free, sheets pulled tight, pillows fluffed and puffy and inviting at the end of a long day.

“Why should I make it when I’m just going to get back into it tonight?”

That is the argument from those who disagree with my logic.

I supposed they could use the same argument for washing dishes, or washing their clothes, or showering.

I remember when I was just getting to know Sam, it was one of the questions I asked him. Make your bed every day, or just occasionally? He answered that he made his bed every day, because if something ever happened to him, he wouldn’t want his loved ones to have to come into his home and discover an unmade bed, and he likes to be neat and tidy.

I sure am grateful that Sam is that way.

Mom taught me how to make a bed with the corners tucked just so, like a wrapped package. Saturdays were cleaning days, and one of my jobs as a little girl, was to sit on the floor and iron pillowcases and Dad’s handkerchiefs. I know now she just needed me to be busy and work and stay out of her way, but it also instilled in me the lesson of contribution to the family, and of how great an ironed pillowcase looks on a clean bed.

I sure am grateful that my Mom was strict and taught me how to make a bed AND iron pillowcases, appreciating those square and rectangle creases.

Over the years, it has been important for me to observe how hotel staff makes the beds, and I must admit, I always click on the latest video tips and tricks to making an inviting bed. There are so many different ways, and every once in a while, I change it up.

I sure am grateful for the hotel staff who make the beds tightly and crisply every day so that guests have the simple joy and luxury of a made bed at the end of their day.

Now, Sam and I make the bed together each morning, and if by chance, one of us ends up doing it by ourselves, the other says, “I’m sorry,” and “Thank you for making the bed.” It’s just our thing.

When we do laundry, we fold sheets together. It could be an Olympic sport, I think. We’re pretty good at it.

I sure am grateful that it’s just our thing.

It is amusing how many people can’t fold a fitted sheet, though – it is easier to just take it from the dryer and straight to the bed than it is to fold it. I watched that video over and over and now I know how to fold a fitted so that it isn’t all wadded up in a drawer.

I sure am grateful for fitted sheets. There’s almost nothing worse than sleeping on a flat sheet that wrinkles and bunches underneath.

And then there are the weirdos who don’t use a flat sheet. WHAT. It’s a fitted sheet and a comforter like some alien lives among us. I have a family of grandchildren this way. Aliens, I say.

But I sure am grateful for alien grandchildren anyway.

The famous video of the Navy Seal Admiral who prompts the graduates at a commencement ceremony to begin each day by making their beds is classic and a big YES in my book.

I sure am grateful he made this a commencement address and someone videoed it and thought it was important enough for the world to hear. Spread simple lessons like butter.

We are now AirBnb hosts with two different properties. This week, two guests checked out of the house, and we walked over and did laundry, but instead of putting sheets back on beds, we just left them. We needed to walk and didn’t take time to make the beds. Besides, we didn’t have a booking for the rest of the week.

Our best neighbors in the world were interested in checking the place out last night, so I told them to go on over and have at it – “but please don’t mind the fact that it isn’t ‘show ready,'” since we hadn’t finished getting it ready for the next guest.

This morning, I walked over to make the beds and put the towels out in the bathroom, just in case we got a last minute booking for the weekend.

Today, I sure am most grateful for best neighbors in the world who MADE THE BEDS for us, just because.

He turned that frown upside down.

Mother’s Day is always a hard day. I miss my mom, and I wish I could still be a mom.

I am grateful for tulips plucked by Sam to cheer me up.

I am grateful for three messages to hear and ponder – from my sister-in-law, our KC pastor, and one of my dearest friends.

I am grateful for a beautiful day to plant flowers and shrubs.

I am grateful for a phone call from my Texas daughter and all her children.

And I am most grateful that at the end of the day, when the blues were still hanging on, I received a text message that simply said, “Go look on the back porch.”

Foster son surprised me.

I am very, very grateful that I have a son, a son who was thoughtful to remember me. And even though he needs to learn the difference between “seen” and “saw,” he gave me a card that I will keep forever. I won’t correct his terrible grammar, at least not on the card, because what he wrote was perfect for who he is, and he made me smile cry.

Thank you, M. I love you, too.

One of those nights.

It’s 9:00. The house is silent, except for the sounds of a basement sump on overdrive and two upper elementary cats chasing each other before I head upstairs to bed.

Normally, 5 miles would have been walked, dinner had and cleaned up, and a few minutes on the porch allowing my legs to rest before finishing my 30 flights of stairs.

But tonight, none of that happened. It’s chemo day, and chemo day has it’s own agenda.

So tonight, I needed my daddy. He isn’t here, and I could call him but it is 9:00. I have a rule. So the best way to need my daddy is to make Kraft Mac & cheese. We don’t keep boxed food on hand normally, but foster son changed that, so there was a box.

Dinner at 9:15 on a Wednesday night takes me back to childhood when it was past bedtime but Daddy came home from a long day of work and Mommy would let me get up and go sit at the kitchen table with Daddy and eat Mac & cheese, just the two of us.

I am grateful for that memory. I am grateful for a box in the pantry tonight. I am grateful for silence and funny cats. I am grateful chemo day is done and Sam is resting in bed.

And I am grateful for my Daddy…in Overland Park, and in my heart.