What I’m Most Thankful For This Year

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What am I thankful for this year? Pepper Spray!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day in the U.S., and Mr. PoP and I (perhaps along with Kitty PoP) will be traipsing over to a family member’s home with a few other family members and very good friends. While spending the day (and a very good meal) with them, we will be sure to point out to each of them how thankful we are for their unique contributions to our lives.

But the truth is, there are several other communities to which we belong that don’t always get the regular thanks, either. For instance…

My Early Morning Exercisers

This year I switched up my exercise routine, and have been welcomed into a someone hardcore club of reliable early morning exercisers in our town. Some of us run, others ride bikes or walk, and one dude even has an ElliptoGO. (If you’ve never seen one, it looks insanely fun!) But these are people that I run past usually four or five times each week – and they always have a smile, a wave, and a few friendly words.

At first glance, it might look really superficial, but the community ties within our little pre-dawn group are stronger than you think. After not seeing an older gentleman who usually walks for a week or so, you start to wonder. “Is he on vacation? I hope nothing has happened to him!” And then when he gets back you tell him it’s good to see him again and he smiles and says the same.

Another of my “old walking men” who I pass almost all of the time recently held something out to me as I was sprinting by doing an interval. “A gift for you!” he yelled, “Because I worry when I don’t pass you in the morning!” It was pepper spray – but pepper spray in an adorable pink container perfectly suited to run with. I was so touched. It was then that I realized just how strong our little early morning exercise community is – even if we don’t even know each others’ names.

In a similar vein, I’m also very thankful to all of the service providers that I don’t thank enough on a regular basis, like…

 

The Staff At Our Grocery Store

Again this is a group of people that because we frequent the same neighborhood shop, we know them all by face, but few by name. But they consistently seem to go out of their ways to make sure service is wonderful. They learn our preferences:

  • the butcher knows I only ever buy one piece of meat at a time
  • the bag boys know that I like my gum in the bag with the rest of the groceries, not in my purse and that my milk never needs a bag
  • and the check-out girl has even honored a coupon for a discount off a $50 purchase when my purchase was only $49.

Maybe it’s silly – these are their jobs, after all. But in an era that seems so long departed from the “Cheers” ideal (ya know, “where everybody knows your name”), I think it’s worth stopping for a moment and realizing how thankful I am for it.

But there’s a third community that we’ve joined recently that we’re pretty thankful to have, as well.

 

Personal Finance Blog Community

It’s been almost six months since we started Planting Our Pennies, and Mr. PoP and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how diverse and supportive the personal finance blogging community has been.

  • Daisy over at Add-Vodka will forever hold a special place in my heart for posting the first comment to our blog.
  • Crystal at Budgeting In The Fun Stuff answered some of our early questions and hosted the first guest post I ever wrote.
  • Sam at Financial Samurai and the Yakezie Challenge have provided us with some goal benchmarks that we are continuing to work towards.
  • Jeremy over at Modest Money seems to answer emails about (what we think are) technical questions in the blink of an eye.
  • Lots of different bloggers (from relatively new blogs like The Frugal Path to established ones like The Simple Dollar) have included our posts in their weekly round-ups, sharing our posts with their audiences.
  • And just this past weekend Get Rich Slowly hosted a guest post that we wrote – Making Friends in God’s Waiting Room. (If you haven’t read it yet – give it a read. We were very proud!)

But perhaps the biggest thanks of all go to the readers and commenters of our little piece of internet real estate here – from bloggers like Funny About Money to non-bloggers like Ivy, Jonathan, Swimmy44 and others that have commented. When we started this site, we wanted to start a dialogue, and we’re so thankful to everyone who has been joining in on the conversations.

 

So I’m sorry if today’s post is a little gushy. But once a year, we get reminded to be thankful – and the PoPs have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving. =)

 

What are you all thankful for this year?

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