A Week of Gratitude in the Time of Coronavirus

Sieglinde Gassman

I’m grateful for:



My middle daughter’s partner Mark who brought homemade chicken soup with noodles when he came to move a shepherd’s crook. Dropped it off in the garage to maintain social distancing; he’d heard I was feeling slightly under the weather.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Malcolm and all of those who present new information about the pandemic thrice weekly on public radio.

My daughter Gudrun who responded to a new chapter in my manuscript by recommending Ketchup instead of catsup. I replied that a fellow Detroiter in my writing group had affirmed that catsup is what we Detroiters call it. This daughter-who-amuses me then forwarded an on-line ad from a Detroit Walmart for Heinz Ketchup. Case closed.

The sun bursting out!



The breathtaking view of the stars and planets and moon that I see when I let my neighbor’s elderly lab out for a break at 10 p.m., leaning against the garage wall to keep from falling over as I bend back to look up.

Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s words and music.

Ease of getting tested for coronavirus at Park Nicollet’s Lakeville drive through site.

My Apple Watch that reminds me to breathe and to stand—at which time I walk around and do a few exercises.

Charlie the Dog for wanting to sleep close to me on sofa and bed.

My house and my car.



Peanut butter for when I don’t know what else to eat.

WoofDah – the place where Charlie the Dog can romp with his friends for half a day when weather’s too hot or cold or he’s just plain antsy!

My Peace Corps (1991-1993) friend Martha who gifted me a subscription to a favorite magazine—Dwell—wherein I find a satisfying intersection of architecture and hygge.

The birds who come to my feeder outside the kitchen window.

My two German clocks that ring the hours and half hours. One aged 200+. The second more than 60 years old. Worth the winding.

Being in touch by Facebook with Apikanya, one of my Peace Corps trainers, who messaged me the recipe for the 4-ingredient pecan sandies she’d baked.



Governor Walz who strives to protect us from coronavirus.

My sourdough starter that prompts me to produce bread, waffles, or pancakes, the making of which requires planning ahead.

The quiet in the time before dawn, watching for streaks of the golden light of the rising sun to reach the western sky.

My youngest college student grandchildren’s virtual xmas lists with a small number of gifts priced big and small, allowing me a peek into their lives.

The super-hot morning shower that washes away overnight aches, freshens my body, and clears my mind.



Nights like last night when I slept like a baby!

Greta Thunberg for waking us, shaking us, up!

For having something to do that I want to do.

The beautifully intricate patterns of the trees revealed now the leaves are gone.

The news coming to me by various means, providing a glimpse into the lives of people and places around the world.

My neighbor Lynae who just dropped off gifts for me and Charlie the Dog. A grand, new bed for Charlie with a note thanking him for taking care of me. A glorious poinsettia plant and lasagna ready-to-eat for me!



The wit, wisdom, and spunk of my three daughters, Heide, Gudrun, and Lindi.

Suthida, my former student in Thailand who shares her 5 and 10-year-old daughters’ creativity and diligence via Facebook.

FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook, the Internet, phone service, postal service—that keep me connected.

Eldest grandchild Theresa whose birthday/xmas wishes are donations to organizations that support caregivers and artists in this time of coronavirus.

For those who protest injustice.



My furnace.

The Sunday paper that lasts in the reading, at least until Tuesday.

The fresh snow!

The members of the St Paul JCC Writers’ Workshop and our host Barbie Levine for the encouragement and support they give me and my writing.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter who ever so quietly and peacefully work to improve the health, the right to fair elections, as well as the comforts of a  home, for people around the globe.

The Dakota County Library system that sanitizes and mails me the books I’ve reserved during the pandemic.

Being alive!


For all the above and more…


About Sieglinde Gassman
I’ve been writing since I could, afraid I might forget the people and places in the world around me if I didn’t. I write about growing up in Michigan, life in Germany, Greece, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Albania, Texas, Seattle, and Apple Valley, Minnesota. I’m an activist, striving to protect human rights, on behalf of my beloved family, and peoples around the world.


A Week of Gratitude in the Time of Coronavirus Copyright © 2021 by Sieglinde Gassman. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book