It rained the other night. When I woke up, I could still hear the gentle patter of the rain on the tin roof. There is nothing quite like that sound to ease one into the day.

I lie still, savoring the stillness and the calming rhythm of the raindrops as the gray light of the new day slowly spread across the cabin. I could not imagine being any more thankful for our creek valley world.

I went downstairs and put the kettle on the stove as I imagined that first sip of morning coffee. I let out the dogs and then puttered about the kitchen getting breakfast ready, my green parrot sitting on my shoulder. I am the only person in the whole wide world that this bird likes; but without a doubt, he loves me. He bites at Greg given even the slightest chance, and I cannot let him out when visitors stop by. But he sits ever so happily on my shoulder, rubbing his feathered green cheek up against mine in a parrot kiss. If he is sitting on top of his cage and I walk into another room, he flies to find me. If he is exploring on the floor, he follows my every footstep.

Everyone should be so lucky to know the absolute love of a green bird. I am thankful for his undying adoration.

The dogs knocked on the back door, asking to return inside. They somehow seem to know when breakfast is ready and very politely lie on the floor besides Greg’s chair, waiting for a treat at the end of the meal. I obliged, and let them in.

One dog is quite tidy and always stands on the mud rug by the door for a drink of water, quenching her thirst and drying off her feet as she drinks. I am thankful for this dog’s propensity for neatness.

The other dog is not so proper. She bounded right on inside, past the mud rug and made several laps of the downstairs, leaving muddy footprints in her wake. Then, she gave a jolly shake, just before she leaned heavily into my legs for a good-morning hug. She looked up at me with adoring big brown eyes.

I felt thankful for the absolute love of this four-footed creature. I placed my green bird back in his cage and got out the light mop. With just a weak bit of vinegar water, the wood floor looked good as new. I was thankful for our foresight in laying a wooden floor in our log house.

It was a leisurely day, and then in the early afternoon we headed into the city. We stopped to pick up Greg’s mother on our way, and then headed over to his brother’s home. We walked through the front door, and right away we could tell that the house was filled the wonderful aroma of turkey and all the fixings.

There was even a table, laden to the brim, with homemade pies and cookies, but most important of all, the home was filled to overflowing with family. The happy chatter of four generations filled the air, hugs and smiles abounding between bites of delightfully delicious food.

I was truly thankful to be exactly where I was, a part of this ever-so special family, this ever-so special world.

Every now and then, Greg’s mother would inquire as to whose wee child had just toddled across the floor in front of her. It was such a joy to see the expression of love and wonderment on her face as she took in all of her progeny. Her seven offspring had been prolific indeed, and as we sat around the table, it occurred to us to make a family tree. I smiled with thanks for being a part of all that I knew as this dear lady’s world.

In time, bellies and hearts full, we put on our jackets and headed back out the front door. We dropped Greg’s mother back off at her home, and after seeing her safely inside, we headed for the creek. Greg turned on the radio on the drive home. Holiday music was playing. As he often does, Greg asked what I was thinking.

In the dark, I smiled ear to ear, “How very thankful I am … for everything!”

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in Ohio. Visit them at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.