Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thoughts on Thanksgiving Day

Some of you know me on Facebook and also know that I spend the month of November harping on gratitude. That's after I spend the month of October harping on mammograms -- and how you need to get them done!

And after I spend the entire year harping on not using the 'R' word.

I do my best to entertain, after all.

Although I spend an extraordinary amount of time harping ... I also spend every day feeling grateful, thankful, appreciative -- call it what you will -- for the every day funnies, the on-line friendships, the real-time friendships, my family, my work, your work (because some of you had been unemployed and some of you still may be), good health, helpful people, prayers from others and prayers for others. I am forever whispering "Thank-you God" in appreciation of answered prayers and sometimes the ones I think go unanswered. Because, as we all know, God answers them all, but occasionally the answer is a decided, "NO" [insert thunder booming and a lightning strike here]. It may take a while to recognize that.

I am grateful to our military personnel who week in and week out, work to keep our freedom alive and well and living in America. I am thankful for police, fire, EMTs, for without them, mayhem might ensue. Okay, sometimes it does in spite of best efforts.

I am appreciative of a good vodka, a great cup of coffee, a waiter or waitress who serves me. It is without a doubt a most thankless job, so if you are one, know that I appreciate your long hours, your tired, swollen legs and feet and how miserable some people can be. I applaud you and I appreciate you. And I tip well!

I hate doctors, but am thankful for them. I love nurses ... you are the best. Lab techs, x-rays techs, support staff ... sometimes just the smile you bring in to a room with you is all it takes to make a day, no a life, better. So, just when you're feeling no one notices or cares or appreciates you, remember, I do.

I think fall leaves on trees are beautiful, not so much on the ground all brown and crispy. But I love hearing them beneath my feet when I take a walk. Those old dead leaves add a little something to the footfall. The pond down the road, the one with the view ... how I love to snap a photo each season ... to mark the years I've enjoyed driving by on my way into work.

Ocean waves crashing to shore, churning shells, pebbles and sand into a symphony of sound. Birds all a twitter and crows, (yeah, even those noisy buggers) black as night, a glimpse of them flying over head against the bright cloudless, blue sky.

There's much to be grateful for every day of my life, although I'm not sure about traffic but I do like my wheels. Travel is great, returning home is better. How thankful I am to lay my head on that feather ... pillow, so soft and scrunched and just right. A roof over my head to keep me warm in the winter and cool in the summer and windows that open in spring and in fall.

I'm grateful and thankful for family -- good and bad, happy and sad, joyous and proud. We really are one crazy, loud crowd. We're getting together today at my house, just one more thing to add to my list.

Thanksgiving is just that extra special day of the year to remember our friends and those we hold dear. It's a day to give a little more than we get. So I'll say, "Thank you!" right now and Happy Thanksgiving too! From my house to your house -- I do mean it all year though.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grape Arbor & Love

Here they are -- the happily engaged couple at their 'Engagement Photo Shoot'. With the help of many friends and family on Facebook, E and S were awarded the win of a free session with a local photographer. We trekked about Maudsley State Park in Newburyport (not a difficult trek, mind you) and found some lovely locations for shots. Christen of Reflections by Christen did a wonderful job and when she was done, she sent two CDs and two sets of prints for the happy couple as well as the rights to use them when and how we'd like. She's a really nice person and her work is beautiful. Each time I look at the photos, I'm thankful for the opportunity for E and S as well as people like Christen. Those people that make a big difference in the lives of others, without ever realizing just what good they have done.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

For Mary And Anyone Who's Listening

Had I known you were showing up once in a while at your own blog, I would have visited you sooner. I've missed your energetic, enthusiastic, sometimes caustic and very entertaining views and opinions of the world around you.

I am one of those folks who needs, no -- wants, to be connected to others; life-long, fleeting, joyful, painful, contented, quiet. If you are my friend, you are my friend until you prove otherwise.

I prefer the quiet kind of friendship the best. I may not hear from you and you may not hear from me (you being you -- or any other person I hold dear) but it really does not matter because when I do hear from you or vice versa, we just start up where we left off. Chatting is fine. Sitting quietly is fine. Adventures are, are, are ... awesome! when they are with someone you want to be with.

As much as I'd like to say there is nothing going on here in Brrrr, New England that just isn't true. We are building a garage. Ho-hum. The dog has been groomed. No dog smell. I still like my job. If only I could retire. I have connected with a best friend from high school. It is so much FUN! to know her again.

Big news is that Miss E is happily engaged to S and before you ask, let me just say, this will be one long engagement. He popped the question back in the spring, shortly after he went through some serious surgery and during his parents divorce. It has not been an easy year for him and I was hesitant about timing and yet, I didn't attempt to stall the process. They so love and care for each other and the joy and happiness they feel is contagious and spreads quickly. We, her family and her friends want nothing more than for her to be happy, healthy and live her life the way she wants to.

Ah, but the caveat. I have told her for years she can marry when she is twenty-five. Uh, yeah, it's creeping up on me faster than I can keep up and I am simply not ready. (nor is she, but lots of people would argue the point with me) So the focus for me, consequently her, is commitment in a relationship and learning how to live independently or with another. Life changes when you move in with someone you don't know. They have a lot of time apart so their time together can be rocky because they don't understand or know how to work through the little difficulties. Their commitment is not just their commitment -- it belongs to all of us: parents, siblings, friends. That's a lot of commitment.

If I am honest and practical I don't see marriage or living together happening terribly soon, but I dream that it will for her. I dream that all those things she wants will come to her. Somehow. Some day.

For her part, she is a wedding planner. Gowns, cakes, flowers. Honeymoon trip. Food, maid of honor, bridesmaids. What church and where will the reception be? Eavesdropping when they are together is fun. S says, 'we'll get married in the yard' E says, 'okay honey bun'. They look at wedding cakes on line. They look at gowns on line. They agree, disagree and agree again. It's really very sweet, enlightening, and worrisome.

You might wonder, did he give her a ring? Oh, yes. It's a beautiful ring. She polishes it up every day and she puts it on her finger and she holds her hand out at arms length, fingers splayed, turning it this way and that. It cracks me up and pleases me to see her so enjoy that ring.

That ring that sparkles so much. So much like her.