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 white, but I’m a non-racist, first!

I’m a Lutheran, but I’m a religious free thinker, 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!

I’m grateful for my life in the United States of America, first and last!

What can you write about freedom in America and American traditions?

(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

(Also check today’s July 4th-oriented post at my blog: )

Posted in Being Grateful

Thank You–Gratitude-12–Cleveland Ohio

What a night in Cleveland, Ohio! And a celebration of respect and gratitude was on the frontlines!


From a sports fan’s and Ohioan’s viewpoint, the city of Cleveland, Ohio, did itself proud last night in an amazing situation when the Cleveland Indians opened the World Series with a Game One 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field, while the Cleveland Cavaliers were next door at Quicken Loans Arena raising their 2015-’16 NBA Championship banner before dispatching the New York Knicks, 117-88, in the 2016-’17 NBA season opener.

The Indians have waited for another World Series championship since 1948. The Cavs’ NBA Championship, completed in June of this year, was the team’s first ever NBA title!  (Oh, right: the Cleveland Browns won their only NFL Championship in 1964!)

The King, LeBron James, recorded a triple double performance after he and his Cavs Court had received their championship rings in an emotional ceremony.

High emotions in the two heart-thumping sports moments didn’t translate to mayhem and destruction. Reactions were made up of gratitude, respect, and humbleness. (Even the Chicago Cubs, who last won the World Series in 1908, were respectful losers in their first game of the 2016 Series.)

Thank you, everyone who respected each other in Cleveland, Ohio, last night!

Anyone got a sports story to write?

(BONUS Trivia: What park is surprisingly rich in “…gorgeous wildflower meadows…”, according to the observations of park author Becky Lomax?
ANSWER: Glacier National Park in Montana!)

Photo courtesy of

Posted in Being Grateful, Saying Thank You

Thank You–Gratitude-4–Dad/Mother


We lost Dad, we eight, in 2011; our beloved Mother, in 2015. They were 87, and 90, respectively, at the time they left us.

The other day, I read yet another tragic story of family abuse, of a father who abused his wife in front of their children.

Today, I want to say a very special and specific thank you for having been raised by a loving Dad, who never failed to show respect and love to his wife, our Mother, in front of us. Their love was constant, sprinkled with wonderful humor, cemented in respect and faith.

Our Mother was singularly devoted to Dad, and we grew in strength and faith through her example when he passed.

Thank you, Dad; thank you, Mother. We all know you are together again. We miss you, here, on Earth.

50th Wedding Anniversary

(BONUS Trivia: Records reveal this park is home to the most diversified bird species of any of the national parks.
ANSWER: Big Bend National Park in Texas!)

Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg