By creator to www.thegazette.com
In a yr like no different in current historical past, it might be simple to be grousing as an alternative of grateful at the moment. The next folks, nevertheless, answered our name to share their grateful ideas to brighten the vacation season. Get pleasure from.
The reward of life
Kari Dirks, 60, Coralville
The yr 2020 will go down in historical past as a really difficult yr. Nonetheless, this Thanksgiving I’ve a lot to be grateful for.
On Oct. 22, a really particular buddy, Greg Johnson, saved my life by donating his kidney to me. It’s laborious to place into phrases simply how a lot that reward means; anybody who donates an organ is a hero.
I’ve the inherited PKD gene and wanted a kidney transplant, like my dad and brother. My household and my donor’s household have been mates since our daughters met in kindergarten in 1991. I by no means thought once we met this household so a few years in the past that I might be given the final word reward of life.
On Thanksgiving Day, I will likely be particularly grateful for my donor and his household (who’ve been very supportive); for my great household who has cared for me; and for therefore many caring mates. I’m blessed.
Items from dwelling
Joyce Hollingshead Cole, 70, Hanover, Mich.
In fact this has been a difficult yr for us all. However I wish to give a HUGE shout out to my husband, J.R., who I feel went above and past for our anniversary this yr, which was Nov. 8, and likewise to the Jefferson Excessive Faculty Principal Mike Hawley.
I grew up in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Jefferson in 1968. I moved to Michigan in 1972 when my first husband was laid off from Collins as an engineer. He took a job in Jackson, Mich., and we moved right here per week after we had been married.
My present husband is aware of how a lot I am keen on my hometown and miss being there. So he contacted the Jefferson principal to see if he might get one thing with the Jefferson identify on it. The principal and his workers went above and past by sending me two shirts, a yearbook, my transcripts and a few photos. My husband was keen to pay for transport however they took care of every thing. Then at the moment I obtained the Sunday, Nov. 8, (our anniversary date) Gazette. One other great shock!
As a result of I’m all the time pleased with being from Iowa, this was the proper reward for me. I’ve a lot to thank God for this yr, my considerate husband, my household staying wholesome and lots of great mates in my life, each right here and in Iowa. It’s troublesome to be melancholy with a lot to he grateful for.
Reward of well being
Jean Salter, 88, Cedar Rapids
I’m so grateful to God that he let me stay to see 2020. I lived via the catastrophe when the world went wild worrying when the calender hit 2000. We had no downside. Had many issues, two nice floods, and so forth.
When COVID-19 struck, we thought that was all we might deal with.
Then got here the storm from hell on Aug. 10. I’m so grateful that God has saved me match and powerful so I might use my chain noticed to assist minimize the limbs that weren’t too massive, and carry them to the curb.
Principally, I’m so grateful to my daughter and her husband for his or her assist, and to the church that got here from Volga to handle the massive timber for most of the households and spent weeks serving to us all. I, after all, am so grateful that solely the timber and my fence blew down — the home and we had been saved.
I’m grateful for each day good or dangerous. God bless this nation
Serving to palms
Deb Dunek, 67, Cedar Rapids
Since this merciless pandemic hit, I’ve felt grateful to be retired and capable of keep dwelling in my good, protected home.
This snug feeling was shattered Aug. 10 when all of the 100-year-old timber round our property started to fall within the storm, with their branches flying like heavy, exploding projectiles.
When the winds subsided, I toured our dwelling to evaluate the injury. Apart from three home windows blown out in an upstairs room, the tree injury outdoors was in every single place. Heavy branches and uprooted timber coated the yard, driveway and storage roof, making opening the door virtually inconceivable.
It completely brings tears of gratefulness as I consider how my household and mates gathered to assist me flip this havoc into restoration. Unknown to me, my household was chatting on-line on the way to assist.
My niece bivouacked to our home to see if we had been OK. My daughters got here from Wyoming and Missouri armed with a sequence noticed, laborious hats, meals, water, tarps, ice and even a camp range to prepare dinner on. My highschool mates spent the day slicing and transferring branches. An enormous one took a bunch effort to stop it from breaking via our lounge image window. A neighbor’s son helped clear the driveway.
I couldn’t be extra grateful this yr for my great household and mates.
Roommates as soon as extra
Coral Dye, 83, Cedar Rapids
Some of the constructive blessings from the pandemic is that my twin sister, Carol Finest, moved in with me to Cedar Rapids from Texas on March 20. We have now completely loved residing collectively these previous eight months. Each our husbands are in heaven, and our households didn’t need us every residing alone.
We’re each grateful for our good well being, loving households, a caring church and neighbors who’re pleasant and sort. Regardless that we will’t meet collectively in particular person, we be in contact with household and mates by cellphone and texting.
Nearly each day we take two lengthy walks across the path at Wright Faculty (a complete of three miles a day) assisted by walkers that got to us. Though we’re of retirement age, we inform everybody that that is the one time we use them (the walkers), then we put them away till the subsequent stroll.
Our one indulgence is to get our every day espresso and bagels at Panera Bread shut by — and we now deliver it dwelling to take pleasure in. Our prayer is that quickly the vaccine will likely be out there and all of us can go on with our lives.
Pet, folks energy
Jill Jamieson, 68, Cedar Rapids
I’m grateful for my canine Murphy and Ozzie for his or her love and companionship. With out energy after the derecho, we camped out within the yard for a change of tempo and to flee the warmth. Ozzie is all the time the primary to leap in for a tenting journey.
Additionally, my mates Mic Herrity and Mike O’Brien are the explanations for my gratitude and thankfulness — not simply throughout this Thanksgiving season however each day. They got here to my rescue in the course of the derecho aftermath with meals; a Thermos of espresso, simply the best way I prefer it; and emotional help. Like Dolly Parton sings, “You possibly can’t make previous mates.”
Stella Siver, 79, Cedar Rapids
I’ve mentioned prayers of thanksgiving every day since Aug. 10. My elementary aged grandson and I survived the derecho, with no accidents to us, or injury to my van.
I used to be on the northeast aspect of city, and I used to be driving my grandson to Fairfax to spend the afternoon together with his cousin. I couldn’t consider how briskly the storm approached. It appeared just like the sunny skies immediately turned lethal, and the storm started.
The rain was pouring so laborious that I felt like I used to be sitting in a automotive wash. The wind was so fierce that timber had been toppling into the streets, and branches had been hitting the windshield. My van was generally rocking forwards and backwards.
I managed to make it right into a residential space, however I didn’t get very far. Each avenue had fallen timber and particles. I used to be touring round in circles.
I lastly discovered a big parking zone, close to an enormous constructing, the place we had been capable of finding a little bit of shelter. We waited out the final 15 minutes of the storm from there.
Because the weeks have handed, I’ve pushed in all elements of the town on quite a few events. I’ve seen the destruction of the horrific storm, with mammoth timber uprooted, buildings toppled and roofs now not there. I really feel that it was a miracle that we survived unscathed. For this I will likely be endlessly grateful.
Richard Jacobson, 66, North Liberty
I met a particular somebody this yr, named Pam. We met on-line and as a result of COVID restrictions, needed to confine ourselves to cellphone calls and emails into the center of Could.
So there might be gratitude even within the midst of a pandemic.
Geri and Walt Mollman, 92 and 94, Cedar Rapids
We’re grateful for The Gazette’s common arrival, bringing unity and cheerfulness every day to all.
We had been blessed with a stunning autumn day on Oct. 31, plus a go to from our six great-grandchildren and their mother and father. What a joyful pre-winter occasion.
Voting, for the win
Carole Gauger, 83, Cedar Rapids
I’m so pleased with Cedar Rapids for creating these Early Voting websites. As an aged girl with respiration issues, I appreciated going to the Public Service Heart on the southwest aspect to vote on the second day it was open. The 4 paid staff made it really easy for me. There was no line. They canceled the absentee poll I had ordered and positioned my accomplished poll into the locked field.
I used to be so impressed. Thanks, Cedar Rapids officers.
Robert and Jo Ann McNiel, 77 and 68, Cedar Rapids
We’re grateful for the numerous neighbors, and their households, who got here to our and one another’s rescue on Aug. 10, and the numerous days and weeks thereafter, to revive our houses and neighborhood to some semblance of normalcy.
Further gratitude to the skilled and volunteer crews from across the nation, with their kindness and compassion.
Jen Neumann, 48, Cedar Rapids
I’m grateful for a neighborhood that’s so beneficiant with time, expertise and treasure and has a bootstrap mentality in relation to pulling collectively to beat hardship. 2008 and 2020 are the 2 most vivid examples of this, however this spirit lives inside and amongst us always and is the supply of our resiliency.
Perspective of gratitude
Rita (Svoboda) Tomanek, 78, Iowa Metropolis
Deeper appreciation of household, mates and of those that come to the help of others, although risking hazard to themselves.
Considerate discernment of our earlier priorities.
Extra time to take pleasure in and participate in the great thing about nature, e.g. cleaner air, starlit night time skies, much less outside noise.
A better respect for all times, it’s fragility, preciousness and uncertainty.
A humbler angle earlier than God and the facility of nature.
A better hope for America’s future.
Energy of affection
Jim and Percy Caviness, 84 and 82, Fairfax
We’re grateful on a regular basis that God loves us, and we’re grateful that we nonetheless love one another (after being married 64 years) and stay collectively in our dwelling.
Rick Martin, 75, Parcrest Neighborhood, Block 1 Captain, Cedar Rapids
I’m grateful I stay in such a caring and giving Parcrest Neighborhood.
The Cedar Rapids Northeast Parcrest Neighborhood continues its annual needy Veterans’ Households Thanksgiving Meals Basket Drive. This yr would be the sixth yr the Parcrest Neighborhood will likely be offering Thanksgiving baskets to 25 or extra needy veteran households.
This annual occasion was began by Parcrest Neighborhood chief Cynthia McFarland who approached me, a 20-year Navy veteran and Parcrest neighbor, and requested if there was one thing the neighborhood might do to assist Cedar Rapids veterans.
I’m concerned with the Cedar Rapids Veterans of Overseas Wars Put up 788 annual Christmas meals baskets for needy veteran households and these similar needy households is not going to have a Thanksgiving dinner. I approached the Linn County Veterans Affairs workplace and requested for needy veterans’ names and addresses who might use Thanksgiving baskets.
The primary yr, Parcrest purchased meals, assembled bins and delivered six Thanksgiving bins to veteran households. The subsequent 4 years, Parcrest, in coordination with Kenwood Park Neighborhood Affiliation President and Parcrest neighbor Erica Yoder, teamed with Kenwood Park Methodist Church SHARE Program and offered Thanksgiving Baskets to 20 veteran households every year.
Final yr, with the SHARE program going away, the Parcrest Neighborhood deliberate the meals, bought the meals from the Fareway retailer on First Avenue NE, who assembled the meals bins, and the Parcrest Neighborhood personally delivered the hampers to 20 veteran households.
The Parcrest Neighborhood kicked off its sixth yr annual Thanksgiving Veteran Meals Basket Drive Nov. three with a objective of 25 meals baskets for 25 veteran households and have met this objective. Thanks Parcrest Neighborhood.
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