By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tigger And Pooh
Mommy Musings 11-24-21

It’s time to talk about gratitude.

Many choose to use the month of November to publicly, as well as personally share feelings of gratefulness for all that they have gratitude toward. It’s always nice to see recognition of blessing and gratitude.

If being honest, I had planned to pen a piece for this issue on Pete Simoncini. As a parent and community member, I am grateful for Pete. The idea for the piece, however, was to acknowledge a bit of Oakdale Mustang football history, as Pete “called” (commentated) on his final Oakdale Mustang football game last Friday night.

As the voice of the Mustangs, it’s a time which has many of us feeling a bit “bittersweet” by way of emotion. Pete will be retiring at the end of this school year and in so doing, he will hang up his microphone.

I love Pete, as well as his wonderful wife Becky and I’m just not ready to pen that piece. I do well with change, sometimes. In the case of Pete (aka Simoncini) and the pending end of “the Voice,” I’m going to need to take some time to really wrap my mind around this and get those thoughts and feelings, just right.

Fortunately for many of us, while Friday may have been his final football game we have future sports to look forward to with Pete on the PA.

So yes, I’m grateful for a number of people, Pete included.

Gratitude is such a simple thing, yet I recognize for some it comes easier than others. Recently I read a summary of some scripture which stated:

“A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations.”

Perhaps that’s not a summary which suits everyone. I’m a faith filled person, so for me, most especially given the past season of my life, it fits. Meaning, it suits not only me, but my mindset as well.

Life can and will send us some tough blows.

For some those can lead to times of doom and gloom; pity parties if you will. I’ve never been a pity party kind of girl. It’s a space which can be so lonely.

Think back to Winnie the Pooh. Good ‘ol Eeyore, always long in the face, sad and full of doom and gloom. Winnie was such a good friend to him, regardless. Then there’s Tigger. Oh the bountiful, enthusiastic, happy to be happy Tigger. I do love Tigger.

Each and every day we have a choice. We can choose to let the ups and downs of life channel our inner Eeyore or wake up our sleeping Tigger. It always seems easier for me to find the bright side, the place of gratitude to walk me through the darkness.

I give my mom the credit for that. I’m grateful for her, for sure.

Growing up (especially in my teen years), no matter the circumstance my mom would always remind me – things could be worse. When I say, “no matter the circumstance,” that’s exactly it.

When diagnosed with Epilepsy at 13, my mom shared stories of others living in helmets and hospital beds due to the severity of their seizures. In other words, I was lucky and so I was grateful.

Here’s where I’m going with this, don’t simply channel your inner Tigger; teach it to others. Be the bright spot in the dark times – people are watching.

In the end it’s not about being brave, strong or tough, it’s simply about being grateful.

This day last year I was celebrating the return of “bedhead,” as my bald head once again gained hair, as well as returning to work full time. Those are blessings and I remain grateful.

As you go forward this Thanksgiving, as well as holiday season and into the New Year give thanks for all the things; good and bad.

As for me, I’m abundantly grateful for our readers, our community and our good fortune to call this place home. On the personal side, I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge my partner, our children, our families and unbelievable friends for all they have done and continue to do as we navigate this path casually referred to as “life.” It is a good one indeed and regardless of the blows, I remain grateful. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.