An Attitude Adjustment

The theme of gratitude seems to be popping up in my life with relative frequency lately.

If you believe in synchronicity like I do, these recurring messages shouldn’t be ignored.   It’s showing up in the books I’m reading, the movies I’m watching, and even a conversation with my husband.

When Mr Science – who equates everything with science, data, and graphs – suddenly starts talking about something abstract like gratitude, then I pay attention.

Apparently the Universe is trying to send me a message.

This summer I visited several pioneer-type villages – places where heritage buildings from our very early days have been relocated and preserved.

Door - MH Museum 3
A mix of old wood and new trying to preserve what remains of this blacksmith shop.  I particularly like the bungee cords holding the doors closed.  That would have been quite the technological advancement in the 1850s!

They’re humbling places to visit when you consider how little they had compared to our lives today.

MH Museum
When wealth was equated with a handful of pretty dishes for special occasions and a book, maybe two – usually the family bible.

We take electricity and indoor plumbing for granted, not to mention a wide variety of MUST-HAVE gadgets.

Door - MH Museum 2
State-of-the-art plumbing – Pioneer style

I get impatient with the 90 seconds it takes the microwave to heat up my lunch,

… or when traffic delays add 15 minutes onto a drive that would have otherwise taken several days with a horse and buggy a hundred years ago.

MH Museum 3… or with any number of petty 21st century irritations.

Yes, I think I need a lesson in gratitude.

Door - Sharon Temple
Your room is upstairs to the left …

I have 2 fridges and a freezer in my home.  Do you think I worry about whether there will be enough food to eat for the winter?

What’s a bit disturbing is that with some careful planning, we COULD survive the winter with what I currently have stored in the house …. and that’s without considering there is a 24 hour grocery store close by.

To be fair, I could however have a bit of a crisis with my current supply of adult beverages.  Just saying …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Corn Crib for storing and drying corn before winter.

I’m starting to appreciate that the more we have, the higher the likelihood that we will be unsatisfied.

I recently watched a movie called Maudie.  It is a true story about a woman from Nova Scotia (Canada), and Norm Frampton talked about her here last month on his blog.

I bring up Maudie because of a single line in the movie.  When asked what made her tick, she responded ‘I don’t know.  I don’t want for much’.

I haven’t yet decided whether she was happy and grateful for what she had because of her poverty, or in spite of it.  One thing that’s very clear is that she was rich in spirit.

Door - MH Museum
Watch that first step – it’s a bit loose ….

Yes, there is definitely a lesson in gratitude to be learned here.  Attitude is everything.

*************************************************************************************

This post is in response to the weekly photo feature “Thursday Doors” hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.  For all of you in the path of Hurricane Florence, my thoughts are with you.  I hope you and your’s are kept safe and secure through this monster storm.

The photos in this post were taken at the Markham Museum, Lost Villages Museum in Long Sault, and at the Sharon Temple.

 

 

 

 

95 comments

  1. I have some great stuff, and I don’t want for anything material in my life. While I am grateful for all of it and enjoy the use use of it, I could walk away from almost all of it without regret. What I have learned is that the people and relationships in my life, along with the luxury of time and having good health, are far more important than material wealth, and I am most grateful for them.

    Jude

    Like

  2. So glad I went back to see what I missed of yours during my blogging hiatus. Your humor throughout this post is so fun but also the way it comes together with the photo selections.

    Ah gratitude. Any time I feel frustrated or unhappy about stuff I try to focus on the gratitude category. It’s amazing. It works like a charm .

    I’ll have to check out that movie.

    Peta

    Like

    • I have a sheepish smile when I say that 2nd fridge is an extravagance. Mostly it’s where I keep the beer and bubbly … but it comes in handy especially at Christmas when the house seems to be overflowing with food 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. excellent post, J – and nice old doors to be found –
    also re:

    recurring messages shouldn’t be ignored

    I agree!
    also,
    the Maude movie looks good (and fit right in here) – and my husband’s Grandma T was like that – did not want for much – when asked if she wanted a new white shirt she said, “NO thanks, I already have three”
    ha –
    and Pioneer toilet stirred up some gratitude here – and side note -my husband came back from visiting a friend in PA (last summer) and that guy inspired him to not use a microwave anymore – so my spouse reheats coffee and food stove top and noted – “am I really in that much of a hurry?” – and you are right tho – because 60 seconds feels long to me – I guess we are spoiled and posts like this are good for all of us…

    Like

  4. You are right! About attitude. And patience. Lovely outhouse!! Maudie is a good film. I enjoyed it too. Maude Lewis’ iconic Black Cats are everywhere around here. They serve to remind us of just your point exactly.

    Like

  5. Your post reminded me of Murdoch Mysteries. When I watch it, I like to think about what life was really like at that time!
    I try to have my food larder down to almost zilch twice a year – but that’s because we shut down one house and move to the other and we can’t move the food! We have some really interesting meals for the last week or so before we pack and head out.
    I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to live part time in two different countries, and avoid most of the worst part of an Alberta winter!

    Like

    • I love those time-piece shows too and Murdock Mysteries is one of the really good shows. I love his introduction of ‘cutting-edge’ detective work 🙂 Can you imagine in another 100 years how people will marvel at what little we knew today?

      Like

  6. Gratitude is where I am to live. It’s a serious antidote to anxiety. That being said, I’ve made a lot of changes to my life since 2010 and even more since moving here in 2013. On bad days, I am thankful for electricity, but every day I am grateful for my bathtub and my climate control 🙂 I am most grateful I live here, in this house and in a location the landscape suits me. I am grateful to live in the city. I have found most gratitude is residual of things I used to take for granted. Like trees and birds. I had no idea.
    I used to seriously stock up on groceries because we had 1 car and 4 kids for 7 years. Then I got a car, and now I can go to stores ALONE every day and buy fresh things and while I hate shopping, I am so grateful.
    I used to have an enormous house and spent way too much time cleaning and decorating it, but now I have a bungalow and it’s easy to keep clean and it’s not wasted space and it eliminates the option to fill it up with more stuff. And I just love it, bungalow life.
    It’s been quite an evolution, carefully evaluating how I spend my time and money. Asking myself what I really want as opposed to what I ‘should’. Stuff. It’s in the way of experiences.
    I do pretty well with roughing it, but at my leisure. Not the same as HAVING to. Having a choice is entirely different, about which I am grateful.
    Also, these are great doors — inside the barn is beautiful, but I think my heart’s with the stairwell door.
    WONDERFUL post, Joanne!

    Like

    • What a thoughtful comment, Joey. You summed it up so perfectly – “Having a choice is entirely different, about which I am grateful”. We have the luxury of choice which so many people in the world don’t have. That alone is worth a lifetime of gratitude!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely collection of wooden doors from times past, and lovely sentiments to match! My favourite is the simple red door, opening onto a staircase with rather uneven walls.
    Would just like to add that I, for one, am grateful every day for indoor plumbing – even more than I am for electricity. Apart from the sanitation situation, I probably wouldn’t mind living in those simpler times…

    Like

    • That staircase photo is one of my favourites. I would have loved to climb upstairs but the area was closed to visitors because of the steep and narrow stairs.

      I agree about indoor plumbing. Losing electricity is something that happens occasionally and we can manage. It’s surprising how well we can make due … but indoor plumbing? Please no – don’t take that away from me!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think we do get more reflective as we get older, and that includes perhaps being more in touch with not only our feelings but those of others too. At the same time, our current political environment is red-hot full of emotions and acrimony, and I suppose many of us are looking for healthier diversions.

    I enjoyed your pictures to match up with your ideas in this post, Joanne. Oh, and Maudie is a great movie for those who haven’t seen it. My only concern after watching was seeing my wife inspired to paint figures and flowers on the walls of our living room! – Marty

    Like

  9. Truly enjoyed your post Joanne. The doors, the gratitude to which your refer, and especially your reference to Maudie all jumped off the screen and spoke to me. I watched this too because Norm referenced it in his prior post. A BEAUTIFUL movie on so many levels and it fits in perfectly with your theme here. Brava, your door photos soothe my mood today as I am thinking of the damage already done by hurricane Florence along the east coast here in the US.

    Like

  10. I’ve seen that movie as well Joanne. Just recently I said to Dave I was so thankful to have born in this era. How i felt I wouldn’t have done well in harder times. Gratitude is something I try to focus on. I have found it easier to be patient as our lives have become less rushed. Something ot be said for that retirement thing. 🙂

    Like

  11. Beautiful photos, and I 100% agree with your thought that “… the more we have, the higher the likelihood that we will be unsatisfied.” This is true in large and small ways.

    Like

  12. Wonderful post, Joanne. We do take so much for granted it’s good to have a kind reminder that we should be grateful for what we have, and not only on Thanksgiving… Oh, and thanks for mentioning Maudie. I meant to see it but missed it in the theaters and forgot all about it. I shall watch it now!

    Like

  13. Your one shot of that stairway had me thinking of our visit to “Not Laurier’s House” and reminded me of how that place had me feeling grateful for all of our modern conveniences 🙂
    I try to be grateful every day for all of the wonderful things in my life. Some days it’s easier to do than others but I think we humans have a natural tendency to look ahead and not back. Looking ahead makes us see where we want to be and we get frustrated/impatient that we’re not there yet. Stopping once in a while to look back at where we came from really helps on the gratitude front – for me at least.

    Like

    • It’s funny you should mention “Not Laurier’s House” because I have a similar shot from that visit. This shot however gave me a door 🙂

      You would know more than others that feeling of great gratitude. Catastrophic events have a way of doing that.

      I do relate to your comment about looking forward vs past. For those of us who don’t tend to let our minds linger in the past, the feeling of impatience can often take over. I am definitely guilty as charged!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a wonderful response to the Thursday Doors challenge. You raise some very good points. Looking back 150-200 years is startling, but looking back even 50 years is a wake-up call. When I was growing up, we got by with much less of everything and it seemed we were very satisfied. Great doors too!

    Like

  15. We do have too much and we are often ungrateful for our fortunate lives. I love the idea of opening a door and looking inside ourselves, like Maudie, and learning to not want for much. Lovely, lovely post.

    Like

    • There was another line in the movie I really loved. I’m paraphrasing here, but she said she loved windows. It was like life was already framed and the scene changes every day.
      To feel absolute contentment with the view from a window is amazing to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post! I love how you wove in your thoughtful contemplations with your images of old doors. It’s amazing how little many people had (and, thanks for the reminder to see Maudie) yet how satisfied they were. Now, many of us have way too much and we want to get rid of it. I think we can all incorporate more gratitude into our daily lives.

    Like

    • Lately I seem to be in this major acquisitive stage and I need to snap out of it. Part of it is the feeling that winter is coming and the cocooning instinct kicks in with its desire to feather the nest.

      It’s humbling to be reminded of how little our ancestors actually had.

      Like

  17. Goosebumps. Love the doors, all of them, really like the theme, and I truly enjoyed Maudie. I think you have to be a certain age group to really see the depth of Maudie and her life, and you and I are apparently in that group. She was strong and grateful for what she had. I have to admit I’ve been more satisfied since I downsized about sixteen years ago. I got rid of all the extras, haven’t missed any of it for a minute, and don’t want for it anymore. After your point about the bungee cords, I was compelled to look it up. It seems that they were developed right before WWI and the word has been in the dictionary since 1938. Thanks not only for a great post and a smile, but also a learning opportunity. 🙂

    Like

    • I would never have guessed about the bungee cords!! Wow – thanks for sharing that little bit of trivia. I would have thought 50s or 60s.

      It’s interesting that this woman (Maudie) who was treated as an imbecile turned out to be so resilient and wise in self-determination. There is surely a message there for all of us 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Excellent post and images Joanne 🙂 it’s unbelievable how people lived years ago and they probably had less stress also. Less electronics and modern conveniences equals less things to worry about breaking 🙂

    PS I love that stylish crapper 🤣🤣🤣

    Like

    • … and we know those stupid electronic devices are constantly breaking down. Right now I’m dealing with a fridge – do we repair or replace. Sigh.

      I too thought it was an outhouse until I opened the door. It actually houses a water pump. Then I noticed how high the door was off the ground 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wonderful photos Jo. Doors and all. I always have a well stocked cupboard and freezer – I blame my mother who always had a well-stocked pantry and she blamed the war and rationing for her hoarding habit! I remember coming across a tin of dried eggs in 1965 at the back of the pantry and asking her if we would ever use them! I think we ended up baking a cake. I am very grateful that I no longer have to chop wood outdoors for the coal fire we had then and especially grateful for duvets 🙂 No more scratchy blankets…

    Like

    • I think you’re right about learning those ‘hoarding’ tendencies from our parents. The Depression followed by the war would leave significant scars of wanting and needing.

      … and I haven’t thought of those scratchy wool blankets in forever. As kids I remember we had old army blankets on our beds. Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I remember when my grandmother first got a dryer. She didn’t use it that often for a long time. You’ve got some lovely shots there – you obviously fell under the spell of those places.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Jan.

      My mom got her first clothes dryer before I was born. My father had a small grocery store with a butcher shop and everyone wore a clean apron every day. At the end of the week, my mom had a lot of aprons to clean. That was all I ever remember going into the dryer although I’m sure in the winter it was used much more than I remember.
      In the summer, everything was air dried outdoors – quite frankly a habit I still prefer today.

      Like

    • I’m sure it wouldn’t take us long to come up with a long list of things we never give a 2nd thought to a normal day, yet is a marvel of our modern age!

      The ice maker on my fridge stopped working a few days ago. Now I have to make ice the ‘old’ way in trays. THE HORROR! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Gratitude is a feeling towards our inner core itself with a depth of understanding and realization that makes us see better view of life itself and help us appreciate the smallest detail happen in our life. In our individual walks in life whether we are full or in lacking we must understand that the requirements of living life full is not based whether we live life perfectly or incomplete. Contentment and appreciation and inner peace and thanking the high and lows of life is a way that you will feel satisfy and appreciate the life God had given us. Still life is beautiful when you see the ugliness of the world.. godbless you

    Like

  22. Gratitude is such a rare commodity, it’s nice that you’re discovering so much lately. And by the way, thanks for the movie trailer. I’ll make a mental note to watch it when I get a chance.

    Like

  23. An attitude of gratitude is good for us! Life seems sunnier in an instant when I acknowledge a few of the “clouds” that are nowhere in sight.

    Aah . . . that’s better!

    “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” ~ Colette

    Like

  24. Perfect timing for this post as I am just getting ready for a 6 month trip in my RV and needed the reminder to go with the flow and take one day at a time. I found that just reading this this morning helped to calm me down and not get so overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. As usual, your posts inspire me more than you could imagine. Thanks Joanne

    Like

    • Thank you Jacquie for your very kind words. My hiking partner has often said we never know who we are inspiring or in what way 🙂

      A 6 month trip? Wow. That’s a grand adventure!! My very best wishes for ‘going with the flow’ – may it always be smooth or at least a really great story 🙂 Looking forward to your photos on Instagram!

      Like

  25. I have been doing ancestry research. I was able to pinpoint the location in Europe where my grandparents were born and raised. In reading about the times, I was astounded at how much they did with so little. They didn’t have running water or electricity (or a lot of other things we take for granted) and had to grow and preserve their own food. It makes me very grateful for what I have. I wonder what they would think of the world today. Now go out and stock up on adult beverages. You just never know…

    Like

    • I’m grateful that I don’t have to rely on my gardening ability to eat. It would be dire. On the other hand, I would – at the very least – be very thin 😏

      I’m slowly starting to stock a small liquor store in my basement. shhhh – don’t tell anyone 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Wonderful post, Joanne! Thanks for reminding me to watch “Maudie”. I had forgotten about it. I’ll have to look for it, at the library or online. I think we are all in need of attitude adjustments from time to time, here in the first world. I know I am.

    Deb

    Like

    • I haven’t quite finished the movie yet. I’m watching it on the ‘instalment plan’ when I spin indoors on my bike. Then of course I have to rewind a bit from the previous time I was watching it to get back into the storyline where I left it. Sigh – I always seem to do things the hard way 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. It is so true, I have put a ban on grocery shopping other than fresh fruits and veg, as required, for a while as my pantry and freezers are too full! We do need to stop and “smell the roses:.

    Like

  28. Joanne, with your post on gratitude you have given us a lot of food for thought. Gratitude appears to be buried deep inside us like the forgotten food at the bottom of the chest freezer. The abundance of material things on which we appear to depend more and more has caused us to ignore the human qualities not the least of which is gratitude. A well written post with great photos!

    Like

    • Thanks Peter. I like your analogy of forgotten food at the bottom of the freezer. Sadly, it often takes a crisis for us to feel gratitude, so a careful nudge every once in a while doesn’t hurt to recognize what should be obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Maudie was one of my favorite movies last year. I was upset when none of the actors, as expected didn’t get an Oscar nomination. I am glad you watched it now.

    I often think back and remember how life has been when I was a child. Who we canned and preserved food, so there was enough for the wintertime. Like in your house, our freezer is full and so is the pantry and while we would run out of beer and wine, we could manage without bending backward.

    I loved this post!

    Like

    • Thanks Bridget. You were the one who first introduced me to the movie Maudie and then Norm’s post from August nudged my memory.

      My mom too did a lot of preserving and I have done my own fair share of it over the years. Then I realized I’m not that fond of the kitchen 😉

      Like

  30. Very humbling indeed. Sometimes when we are out hiking, I try to imagine the Pilgrims tackling these mountains in long skirts, wagons, horses, etc. We sometimes need to take a step back and realize how far we’ve come. But sometimes, I think we’ve advanced too much? I don’t know, great post. If you can make us think about it, you’ve accomplished something today. So, thanks.

    Like

    • As I’m speeding down a highway I often think the same thing – how challenging it would have been to make a similar trip with horses and wagons. Even cars in the 1920s and 30s would have been an adventure!

      Yes, I think these occasional reminders of how far we’ve come are necessary to jolt us back to what’s really important.

      Like

  31. Joanne, I love this. You always manage to provide just the right message, tinged with your own special brand of humor. And, great photos, of course! I could certainly do with less, but not quite ready to give up my ample supply of adult beverages or indoor plumbing.

    Like

    • Amen to that! Adult beverages and indoor plumbing go very well together 😉

      Seriously though, we have an embarrassment of riches compared to the early pioneers. It’s ironic however that they were likely more content than the average person is today.

      Like

  32. Joanne, it sounds like your sense of gratitude is alive and thriving.
    It’s a debate that we can’t complete (gratitude because of, or in spite of poverty) since we can’t see into the minds, to know the full struggles of others. There have been times when I’ve tried to *explain* an issue to “friends” only to have them tell me to be grateful for what I’ve got — when they have all the circumstances I lack. We can’t know the cause of gratitude. However, you’ve shown (by example here) a great perspective and spirit of the ability to recognize and appreciate gratitude.
    The photos are wonderful. Hugs!

    Like

    • You make a good point, Teagan. I can’t begin to tell you how annoying I find the expression “First World problem”. I think it’s being used now to demean people. You’re right that we don’t know what struggles other people have in their lives. Sometimes the issues are big – really big – but often it is a collection of ‘small’ issues. Each one would be manageable on its own, irritating at best, but when several ‘small’ problems start overlaying on each other, it can become overwhelming. Sometimes having a kind ear to unload on is the perfect medicine. Having it brushed off as insignificant doesn’t help.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s