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Commentary: As fall nears, appreciation for simple pleasures grows

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Jodi Rall, Columnist

Jodi Rall is a Brentwood resident and writer. 

I woke up on Sunday morning listening to the sound of rain. My first thought was to thank the Lord above. It’s been hot and dry, and the rain falling was peaceful and much needed. 

While I continued to lie in bed listening and having a quiet time of prayer, a thought hit me hard. 

Never will I ever take for granted many of the things I used to enjoy in my life. Like hugging a friend or sitting at the YMCA after yoga having a cup of tea. The list is endless, to be honest. And while I won’t go on and on, remembering life pre-pandemic brought tears to my eyes. 

Normally on Sunday mornings, I’m rushing to church. At my core, I’m a social person. Welcoming people, especially visitors and longtime friends, to church was something I loved. 

We, like a lot of other people, had major plans disrupted this year. We were to renew our vows in Paris while celebrating 30 years of marriage. Our son was to play his senior season of football this fall. 

Mentally, I’ve tried to remain positive, and because of work and my full house, I have stayed busy keeping my mind off disappointments. Because all of us have had to adjust and experienced loss, I remind myself daily of how blessed we are. 

When our sons moved back to their respective cities, the house became much quieter. I think that’s why I now have more time to think about missing friends and loved ones. 

What do you miss? What are the things you are thankful for? 

When my mind starts to focus on the things I’m missing, what I try to do is refocus on the things in life to be thankful for. Like taking long walks and enjoying nature. Every day, rain or shine, since I can’t go to the gym, I walk, mostly with my husband, sometimes alone. I see wildlife, listen to the creek gurgle and have watched the seasons change. 

My favorite season, fall, is coming soon, and although I’m not sure what this season will bring, my hope for all of us is that we take time to give thanks. The harvest, the changing colors and cooler temperatures make me happy and filled with peace. 

My wish for all of you is that during this season you all experience this, too.  

Jodi Rall is a Brentwood resident and writer. She can be reached at

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