Monday, October 4, 2010


A kind woman working in the kitchen at the Woodshed Gathering Place located inside Zuber’s Homestead Hotel asked, “What would you like made for breakfast tomorrow?” As we chatted for a few minutes about the breakfast choices, I felt so grateful that she made breakfast. Last week, I experienced that type of gratitude many times during a trip to the Amana Colonies in Iowa. It was the kind of trip where saying thank you hardly seemed adequate enough in expressing my gratitude.

We share a treasured friendship with a couple who got married three weeks prior to us. It’s a relationship that began by two young girls who worked together and became friends, then grew into a supportive bond between two couples that have known each other over twenty five years. As our 25th wedding anniversaries approached, our husband’s decided to plan an anniversary trip for us, which would involve a surprise destination. The mystery location was finally disclosed en-route last Monday, including the fact that mini surprises would be embedded into each day.

From that moment on, each place we visited and every person we talked to, my friend and I shared our surprise anniversary celebration story with them. As we shopped and toured the sights, we got acquainted with some of the locals. It was apparent that a close knit relationship exists in this small community through valued partnerships. Our husbands became celebrities as people learned about their surprise anniversary vacation ideas and how happy they have made their wives.

A few things I'm grateful for:

~The comfort of a beautiful hotel
~Waking up to home-made breakfast
~The sights and sounds of my childhood
~The beauty of farms and majestic wineries
~A picnic lunch at 1:00 in the afternoon during the week
~Laughing from morning until night
~Friendships that last forever
~A marriage still full of surprises

During our vacation, I had another privileged opportunity to see exactly what Be the Change believes and it revealed an unplanned surprise. By sharing our anniversary story and some of our various experiences, new thoughts and ideas were sparked in the minds of those we talked with. Gratitude born out of acts of love were demonstrated, not just in words, but in action. It became its own unique form of influence, which impacted others, including us. By it we were all changed.

I am sincerely grateful and again reminded of the great value in sharing our stories, which allows our human experiences to Be the Change.

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