By Linda Grupp Boutin
Last week I had to go to the dentist again. Something I have taken for granted since I was 8 years old. It all goes back to the day I first met the power of the Santa Ana winds; also known as the "devil winds." I was a novice Californian, having only left the very different weather of Indiana a few short months before. I ran the half block up the hill from Rinaldi Street School to our brand new ranch home. Each front yard dropped down a terrace from the street level. The snapping of the US flag flying above our school meant nothing as I headed home for lunch with Mom and my sister, Pam.
I kept pushing my skirt down as the wind tried to flip it up over my head. By the time I reached the top of our terrace, the 7 stairs that led down into our yard looked like nothing. But anyone who has experienced these winds know that the occasional gust may be over 60 m.p.h. I saw my sister's smiling face watching for me from the family room window, headed down the stairs and found myself flat at the bottom. Before I could stand back up, Mom and Pam were by my side helping me. I didn't realize I was bleeding. As they checked me over for injuries, pretty soon I learned that the devil winds had just destroyed my brand-new, 2 front teeth.
Lunch and returning to school that day were out of the question. After settling me down on my bed to rest, Mom went to work calling all the neighbors for recommendations for a dentist. I will always be thankful for Mrs. Gates telling Mom about Dr, Sherman. He made room in that afternoon's schedule and he reassured me that he could fix those broken teeth before I ever left his office that day! What a savior of my dignity and hero in my eyes. And good to his word, I left the office with my broken teeth covered in temporary caps measured just to fit me. I would not have to return to school with a broken smile, my biggest concern.
And mostly ever since Dr. Sherman fixed my smile, I never even give those capped front teeth a second thought. Until I awoke from a medical procedure and found one of those two caps floating around in my mouth. So easy to forget how important this small cosmetic fix is until it falls out of place! Over half a century after that day, Dr. Sherman's smiles and reassurances tumbled back into my memory.
A different hero came to my rescue this time in the form of my tall, dark and handsome husband who stopped in a local pharmacy and brought me some temporary dental glue to adhere my unbroken cap back into place. I still had to consult with my current dentist for a more permanent fix after the Labor Day holiday passed, but that tube of glue made such a difference for several days. And once she replaced the wobbly temporary fix with permanent dental glue, I quickly forgot about the caps all over again. Took for granted my ability to bite into whatever I was eating several times per day. And all this reminded me how easily we humans take for granted so many things, important things that make a difference in our lives, things that we should think a bit longer and more appreciatively about. You know, grateful for our blessings, counting our blessings, being grateful for our blessings.
So now I want to ask you, are you grateful for all the many blessings you have in your life?
Do you tell the important people in your life how much you appreciate them? Have you given thought to thanking God for the provision provided to you each and every day, your very breath, the wonders of the world surrounding you, for sending His Son, Jesus, to save you and me on the cross? Oh yeah, we humans also forget about all the Lord does for us in this life. So wherever you are in your life, whether good times or challenging times, remember that you have so very many blessings in your life that it would be hard for you even to think of them all. So take a moment and celebrate all the little things that make your life worthwhile! Allowing gratitude to take hold in your life will help you weather every storm and make the most of every day!