Posted in Being Grateful

Thank You — Gratitude – 19 — July 4th American Style

Black and White Flags!

I’m grateful for July 4th in America! We are a free, United States of America!

I’m a Buckeye (Ohioan) born and raised, but I’m an American, first!

I’m growing older, but I’m still the child who was loved by her parents and taught to respect others and do right, rather than wrong, because the difference impacts all those around me — first!

I’m a farmer’s daughter, a believer in conservation, because this Earth is all we have in the universe — first!

What can you share, or write about, on the subject of July 4th in America?

Please use the comments section to share your thoughts!

(BONUS Trivia: Manish Mamtani, who grew up in central India, was inspired to photograph American national parks at night when he came to the United States to live and found that most Americans can’t get a view of the Milky Way. TRUE, or FALSE?
ANSWER: True!)

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Posted in Being Grateful, Thank You

Thank You — Gratitude-18 — Passionate Letter Writers


Letters to the Editor may seem of no real importance at first mention, but when one stops to consider these efforts are born of the right of free speech, reevaluation may be in order.

Passionate men of letters, for whom I am forever thankful, helped form our United States of America.

+ The Articles of Confederation
+ The Declaration of Independence
+ The American Constitution
+ The Bill of Rights

Without the continuation of knowledge on, and support for, these documents of freedom, American freedom cannot stand.

These are also passionate reminders that freedom is not free. Freedom is a continuous work in progress, which we must be willing to protect. It must be nurtured throughout every generation of Americans to ensure its success.

Is your writing passionate? Can you get to the core of freedom through your pen?

Please share your thoughts on this post’s opinions with your own in the comments section!

(BONUS Trivia: Who said the National Park System “is one of the first great American inventions”?
ANSWER: QT Luong, who has photographed all 60 national parks over 25 years!)

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Posted in Saying Thank You

Thank You — Gratitude-17 — My Computer

Steady computer operator companions

I’m so grateful for my computer when I haven’t slept a wink, or three, and, of course, for my computer companions — coffee, tea, or an instruction book!

Thank you wee-hour companions, for being there steady as a rock! Without you, I couldn’t get through those last five hours of the morning! Oh, yes, and I’m thankful for eye drops!

I intensely disliked the emergence of the computer era, being the type (no pun intended) that still enjoys a pen/pencil and paper under a maple tree.

And so, I went screaming to the new technology of word-processing, but now I can type-write proficiently. However, a step up to geek-ness is out of the question!

Are you a computer geek; a writing geek; a regular typing writer? What’s your writing preference?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

(BONUS Trivia: Becky Lomax, who wrote Moon USA National Parks set for release in October of 2018, said of which national park, “…I knew it had wildlife, but it has lots of wildlife.”
ANSWER: Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota!)

Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Posted in Being Grateful

Thank You — Gratitude-16 — Ned Garver and Others

Who needs help today? What can you contribute?

Ned Garver, a Major League Baseball pitcher from the tiny town of Ney, Ohio, which is nestled between the Northwest Ohio farm cities of Bryan and Defiance, passed away Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Ned gave back to his community. And that’s what I’m grateful for today. I’m grateful for the successful who rededicate their lives to their home towns. After his baseball retirement, Ned served his little berg as mayor, council member, and park board associate.

For 14 years, after all the celebrity and hoop-la, he held a job at a company in his home area. He knew his farm community people.

Celebrities and sports figures regularly appear on the American landscape as integral parts of their hometowns.

Acts of kindness, community service, and giving go on year round in our country, not loudly and with fanfare, but with sincerity and dignity in serving humbly. These are the attributes and the acts that make it worthwhile for humans to know one another.

And I’m grateful for that.

Is there a miracle person in your life? Have you witnessed kind acts of a generous celebrity? Is there something in your pen, or keyboard, trying to burst out on this subject?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

(BONUS Trivia: Which two states have the most national parks within their borders?
ANSWER: Alaska and California both have eight different parks!)

Photo courtesy of

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Posted in Being Grateful

Expressing Personal Gratitudes


What are your personal gratitudes?

Use the comments section here to start a discussion on gratitudes. For what are you grateful today? What gratitudes of life would you most like to share?

I love writing, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do so. I love the feel of putting words on paper, of creating from lead and ink and paper made from wood.

It’s healthy to express gratitude for who you are and what you contribute to society, to understand that everyone has something to give the world.

Please feel free to express your own gratitude in the comments section!

(BONUS Trivia: Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park offers 105 miles of what is called its Skyline Drive. How many scenic overlooks does that distance include?
ANSWER: 70!)

Photo (of T-Shirt) from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Posted in Being Grateful

Thank You–Gratitude-15–When You’re Disappointed


What I’m grateful for today is the land — everywhere. The land is all. It grows our food. It supports our world with its wonder of gravity, and that allows us to perform work.

Our work supports our families. And the land promises pleasure in between our labors.

When disappointment paralyzes us, the land is our refuge.

Do you own any land? What are your opinions on the stewardship of the world’s lands?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

(BONUS Trivia: Death Valley exists in what two states?
ANSWER: California and Nevada!)

Photo courtesy of

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Posted in Being Grateful, Gratitude

Thank You–Gratitude-14–The Vote

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!


Today, especially, and always, I’m grateful for America’s freedom of The Vote. It’s about love of country, and it’s about love of life and liberty.

Get out and vote! The privilege of voting is part of what makes our United States of America, or any country, great!

So many have written about The Vote; so many struggled and persevered to obtain it. And The Vote established one of the most democratic nations on Earth – America.

What are your writerly thoughts on The Vote? Do you disagree with this post’s opinions? What does your pen want to say?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

(BONUS Trivia: While Death Valley exhibits much in fossils, which park offers such fare from 34 to 56 million years ago?
ANSWER: Badlands National Park in South Dakota!)

Photo courtesy of

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