Why Taking Things For Granted Is A Sad, Sad Thing


There was no water coming out of the already opened spout. I twisted the knobs back and forth for a good two minutes before I realized it was shut off.

To be fair, we did see it coming. We were aware that the water would be off for maintenance and would open sometime soon. Mom had gotten huge buckets full of hot water for the dishes, but it still was a bit of a shock.  Like how on earth was I supposed to wash the dishes without running water?

I tried dunking the dishes into a bucket full of water, squinting as the water hit my glasses. Could I survive for just a day without running, clean water? Uh, no.

We in North America have it pretty good. Food, homes, internet, there are so many things that are basic necessities that we know we can get anywhere. Water? Fountain. Internet? Library. Food? A dollar for a McMeal (or was it a coke..) So it’s hard to believe that in other countries, what we take for granted are luxuries. In many places, my plight of no running water to wash dishes would have been completely normal. And that’s gotta make you stop and think.

But usually, we don’t stop to appreciate what we have til we don’t have it anymore. And not just basic stuff, either. There are so many blessings we have but never acknowledge: grandparents, until they’ve passed on, friends, til they move away, hey, even washi tape, until it runs out!

I think it’s time we stopped taking things for granted. Because one day you’ll wake up and it’ll be gone. It took no running water to make me re-realize, but it’s taken a lot more for others. And to be honest, being grateful for the little things makes everything meaningful. (Plus, it’s Thanksgiving for you Americans so no better time to re-realize than now! Unless you’ve done it already. Good for you!) And trust me, we’ve all got things to be grateful for that are taken for granted instead. For me, it’s..

-my brother Joab, who somehow knows where every single thing I ask him for is. Usually all he gets is a muffled thank you, and I know he deserves more than that.

-the fact that I’m biking distance of two libraries, one that’s small and snug, and the other that’s giant and spectacular. I could get lost in either. And that I’ve got access to online books. Not every kid can.

-we’ve never missed a meal. Ever. From as far back as I can remember, there was never a night I had to sleep hungry, or woke up with literally nothing to eat. But a block or two away there’s a charity trying to help families who have to do that.

-that I’ve got a Bible I can read whenever I want. This is so importantly, and yet, as I’m typing this, it doesn’t seem like much. Which is bad because I know it’s the most important Book and the most important thing given to me. People have died and risked their lives to get Bibles, but all I had to do was pick mine out from a bookstore.

I’m not saying we’re bad for having these privileges. No, that we can forget they’re even privileges. That’s pretty bad. But if it takes me a water shut down, well, then, it’s for good.

Cause waiting to be thankful for something you don’t have anymore is one of the saddest things ever.

Now, I better go check if the water’s working again.


Give Thanks



Cacophony. That’s all I could think about. This huge big blur of noise, people talking and eating and drinking so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.

It was Thanksgiving at a friend’s house, and I didn’t feel the least bit thankful. It was foggy and grey, the beautiful colors that were supposed to be the landscape failed to show, and tensions between people just added to my not thankful list.


You see, where I come from, we celebrate Thanksgiving a month early, for probably the same reason we have bagged milk: we’re Canadians. Yet for many of us, its’ just another day to rest, sleep in, and eat. Sadly, and not rightly, myself included. It’s easy to be jaded by everything, it’s easy to not give thanks.

But that’s just plain wrong. There is so much to give thanks for, even when it doesn’t seem like it. So. Here goes.


1. for the grace of God to make it through each and every day.

2. for music which keeps me tapping my feet and putting a smile on my face.

3. for family, though as broken as it is, is still together and held by God.

4. for people who truly, genuinely, despite all common sense, care. The ones who sit by you on the curb, text you at midnight because they thought of you, and aren’t scared of calling you out on something. It means more then they’ll ever know.

5. for cameras, for devices that can capture memories for life.


6. for the Bible, because thriving without God’s word simply is not possible.

7. for prayer, that we can talk to the Creator of all life.

8. for coffee, because coffee is awesome.

9. for the amazing invention that is writing, for books- I MEAN BOOKS YEET.

10. For fandoms and whole franchises and worlds you can spend hours in.


11. Speaking of franchises for Adventures In Odyssey, because it’s helped me through so many tough times and has just been awesome nuff said.

12. for my violin, for just being there and stringing along.

13. for early mornings that are just havens of silence and thought and leftover chicken.

14. for air conditioning and heating because man it can get reaaally hot.

15. for the blessed blessed gift of sleep.


16. for the end of a long hard week when you can crash and burn.

17. for epic soundtrack music (i.e. Wonder Woman/Avengers) when you absolutely must get back up on your feet.

18. for the Marvel universe, because sometimes you need a hero. Then for the unshakeable fact that God is the ultimate Hero, and nothing can ever bring Him down.

19. for boots, especially cowboy boots. 😛

20. for glasses, because I would go blind without them.


21. for the Internet, because it has just been so helpful, and things would be so different without it.

22. for hugs, cause hugs are hugs.

23. for my sister, because I know I would not be who I am now without her. I love ya!

24. for my amazing Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’ve been real friends. I’m so grateful for them.

25. for little kiddos who just make your day brighter.


26. Also falling in the make your day brighter category are puppies. Puppies are adorable.

27. for training and exercise, and that you can make yourself stronger from what you are now.

28. for learning new skills, such as changing a tire or painting a wall or deactivating a bomb. You know the kind.

29. for imagination, very strong and well used ones such as mine.

30. and for creativity, which uses imagination and makes interesting things, like washi tape, and books, and avocado lattes.


40. for characters, which are basically imaginary friends, both your own, and both not.

41. for laughter, the kind that’ll make your sides ache but have you feeling better in no time flat.

42. for late night talks under the stars, just enjoying the evening and enjoying the discussion.

43. for that space of time just before your plane leaves the ground.

44. for seeing relatives you haven’t seen in 4 years, and for meeting new friends.

45. for this blog, for blogging in general, for you awesome people who actually read this stuff.


46. for earphones, so you can blast that lovely music to yourself.

47. for late night wordsprinting, racing to finish a deadline.

48. for finishing that deadline, duh.

49. for seeing God throughout your life, even if you don’t notice Him at the time.

50. for the little blessings that make life better.


Well, I guess maybe I do have things to be thankful for. Because God gives good gifts to His children. 🙂 Have a great week, people.

And if you’re wondering where on earth The Ugly Duckling went.. 😉 Wait and see!


Everyday Thanks

This post is dedicated to my mom, who has taught me that every day is a day to give thanks. I love you Mom!

Greeting and Salutations! Happy Wednesday, y’all.

Y’know, Thanksgiving is a day we give thanks to God for all our blessings. But should it really be on just one day of the year that we give thanks? Why can’t we give thanks everyday, like on really random days like today?

So today, I’m launching off on a list of things I’m thankful for. Maybe you’ll find that you’re thankful for them too!


What I’m Thankful For Today!

Air Conditioning!

I’m really thankful this wonder of AC! A few days ago, our unit broke down, and we had to bake in the heat until today. It’s only when things are taken from us that we realize how we depend on them.

Adventures In Odyssey!


I’ve already said probably a few times that I’m a big fan of Adventures In Odyssey, or AIO for short! For those of you who don’t know what this show is, it’s a Christian radio program that touches on life in this little town of Odyssey. I am really thankful for this because it’s clean and wholesome entertainment, it’s something to listen to when doing chores, and how could you not love this show?

Automatic Bubble Dispensers!

Bubbles! Bubbles! I’m grateful for these because boom, fast and easy entertainment for kids, and also seeing the bubbles automatically come out and just wander into the sky is really enjoyable. And just plain fun to pop!



Blogging is a fairly new hobby that I’m grateful for. I’ve always wanted a place to say what I think, to share my photos, and showing you all how I see life through my lens. But that’s not just why I’m grateful for blogging. It’s the people. It’s the community. And I’m so glad to be able to talk to other kids out there!



Alrighty, you all know by now that I am a bookworm of the acutest kind! I’m thankful for books that spark my imagination, challenge my brain, and help me with homework. (Textbooks definitely count! We should be grateful for textbooks, right?)



While nobody should be on their laptop all the time (*cough cough*) I am grateful that I can use one, not just for blogging, but to finish papers for school, designing, writing, sending emails. Laptops are a useful tool, that if used correctly, can help a lot!



Y’all should’ve seen this coming. My blog is named The Lens & The Hard Drive, after all.

I’m thankful for cameras. For the person who invented the camera, and the person who made the digital camera, and I’m thankful for my camera. It has taken so many pictures, so many memories, and I’m glad God gave me a knack for photography.


D: The Sunshine Vitamin!

This may sound weird to you, but I am thankful for Vitamin D. It (the vitamin) can be gotten when the sun is up and shining, but in Canada, where the sun shows up less than in other places, kids don’t get as much. Which causes them to get soft bones.

All that to say, I’m glad the sun’s up and shining, and I’m grateful for Vitamin D. I would’ve said doughnuts, but that’s probably not as healthy.



“Eggses! Grandmother taught us to suck them!” Gollum cried. 

Um, I know Gollum, that poor, really starved once- a- Hobbit said something like that. It may not be verbatim, though.  I’m just as happy for eggs- I just don’t suck them. (Ugh.)  Eggs are my favorite breakfast food and when paired with pancakes? *sighs happily* Yes, I’m thankful for eggs.



I’d be dead of heat if it wasn’t for fans! They’re really helpful, and two days ago, they were the only way of cooling down that we got! Actually, in many other neighborhoods around the world, people really rely on fans to cool them down. Hm, they’re more useful then we realize.


“You’re the apple of my eye, ooh darlin’!” (written by Will Ryan, Let’s Put On A Show!)

My family is the apple (or is it a barrel of apples?) of my eyes, although without the “darlin'” part. Something that I am grateful for fiercely is family. Even if I get into fights with my cousins over Dutch Blitz (no, I did NOT look at your hand, or pile of cards, or whatever you call it!) or my uncles burst into songs from a bygone era (i.e. yesterday) those are little things that make my family who we are. I’m so grateful to God for giving me my family, because they have helped make me who I am today.


I’m thankful for flowers that make the scenery much more beautiful, and for the lovely portraits they make!




I may have listed this before, but I am really grateful that I can actually grow things!


Seeing Green!

I love snow, but after that long winter, I was really glad to see so much green pop up! This is definitely something I’m grateful for.






I’ll admit: there was a time when I wished I wasn’t homeschooled. I wanted what I thought (and what I heard) was a “normal life”: riding a bus, having friends your own age, going on field trips, and eating sandwiches for lunch. At least, that’s what I thought everybody else did; that’s what  should be doing too, right?

Oh, I was a fickle, silly child back then. Still am now!

I’ve learned to be grateful for being taught, not just at home, but wherever! And I thank God that I am homeschooled; it’s given me lots of opportunities to learn and explore, and hey! Even blog!

Ice cubes! And ice cream! And anything iced!


*sighs happily* Ice cubes! I’m really thankful for ice cubes. What would we put into lemonade and iced tea if not ice? (Disclaimer: I am not a fan of Chikfila sweet tea. Ooh! More like sugar water flavored with tea. But that’s just me.)  

Anyhoo, I’m glad we can have big huge freezers to make ice, chill ice cream, and make all sorts of frozen treats!

Jam Sessions!

No, not making jam sessions. Making music sessions! My brothers and I all play instruments of some kind. So when we all get together, we pretty much play songs from memory, since none of us can read music. It’s a great time that I’m thankful for!

Kites, Kids, and Kittens!

Yep! I loved flying kites as an eager, small 5 year old. And now, I help take care of 5 year olds at church. I’m thankful for both, plus for kittens! I met a really cute small white one a while back.

 Little Acts Of Love!

This are things that  my family does that I’m thankful for. Like.. unexpected hugs, or help with homework, or doing a chore that I hate. And it’s been fun to give back, like getting a pack of pens I know my brother wants, or just being there to listen. I’m grateful for these small things that mean a lot.


I’m not going to give you all a list of what I’m thankful for and not put this important person! I’m thankful for my mom. She’s always cared for me since day 1 of my life, taught me about God growing up, and encouraged me to start writing and taking pictures. I’m so grateful to God for my mom.

Night Lights!

I’m grateful for these city lights when we have to do night driving. Without the lights, we’d crash! And I’m grateful for night driving, too. It’s a fascinating experience!


Oreos, Ovens, and Omelettes!

You may be laughing at these things I’m thankful for that begin with O, but, nonetheless, I am thankful for them. Why? Oreos. No explanation! Ovens. Without them we can’t cook! And omelettes? They’re really tasty.


Yes, I won’t deny that I am very thankful for pizza. ‘Nuff said.

Questions Solved!

I am no Einstein, and thus the simplest of questions I can not answer in the blink of eye. The important questions, like “what is a squared + b squared, and, do you want cookie dough or cookies and cream”?

Thus, I’m thankful for when I finally finish a homework question!



   Road Trips!

I’m thankful for road trips. 1) That’s family time, and 2) you can see the world!! Well, the highway, but still! Seeing all the mountains and lakes and everything God made, it’s something worth seeing.



And with R, we must end this nice long list of things I’m thankful for, because.. it’s kinda long! I hope you enjoyed seeing all this! And if you didn’t, well, thanks for being so patient!

Oh, and by the way, this thanksgiving list was for Starling’s Happy and Random Posts Contest, so… the points!


Points Calculator!

  1.  (3 points per post related to the HARPs Contest) – 3 points
  2. (2 points per photo)- 38(2)-  76 points
  3. (2 points per LC)-  4(2) – 8 points
  4. Total: 87 points!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day! Oh, and American Ninja Warrior is premiering in 45 minutes!!