This past week I headed south to the Kansas City area to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  I left the Twin Cities with two inches of snow on the ground and a temperature of about 24 degrees.  After an hour or so the sun broke through the clouds and I found myself looking repeatedly at the landscape and trying to understand what I was seeing.  With the low angle of the sun and some of the distant dark clouds the trees seem to take on a white appearance.  I knew it wasn’t snow and yet it seemed that it was too late in the day for frost.  After about 30 minutes of craning my neck from side to side I pulled off the interstate to look more closely.  As I got out of my car I realized there was a thick layer of hoarfrost coating the trees and other plants.  It was beautiful the way the sun was glistening off the frost.  I was in the farmlands of southern Minnesota and the browns of the fields and the golden grasses all made a wonderful contrast to the sparkling frost.  Within about 30 minutes the sun disappeared, the winds picked up, and the beauty that I had stopped to appreciate was gone.  This was my start to a week of thankfulness:  for nature’s moments that are given if we only stop to notice, for health that we too often take for granted, for family and for friends, both near and far.