25 November, 2005

Thanksgiving Extension

Too ill to drive myself the five hours to see family, I spent Thanksgiving day in bed, recovering from pushing myself nearly to the point of full-blown bronchitis.

But I felt not a bit disappointed, deprived, or neglected. For I had plenty of time to think of all the things I'm thankful for...

My family: Today my mother asked me if I thought she walked to the beat of a different drummer. I told her I had no idea. My loving, quirky, independent-minded relatives seem perfectly normal to me. But they are certainly different from most of the people I know. So, I'm thankful for their unique gifts, generous spirits, and open minds. And of course... their love.

The Internet: Thanks to this marvelous creation, my friends are never far away. Last Thanksgiving, I knew only one person from the online world. When I moved five months ago, I left some dear friends 3.5 hours' drive away. But via the Internet, so many more of my dear friends are still right here with me in this overgrown small town in the desert that I now call home. They have enriched my life, expanded my mind, and taught me more than I would ever have learned by myself. I am honored by their trust and friendship. I wish I could tell you how much some of them have changed my life, but I think they already know who they are.

And then there's Valour-IT... It would have taken far, far longer to get it up and running without the viritual metropolis of the milblogosphere and the generous and brilliant people who inhabit it. Without blogs, it might not even have happened, as CPT Z wouldn't have been blogging, and no one would've known how much impact a voice-activated laptop could have on a wounded soldier, and thus been inspired to help him help others.

And on a more modest scale, I appreciated it yesterday as I lay in bed, for I spent the day (between naps and taking my meds) playing online games such as Spades and Literati on Yahoo, chatting as I played, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

My job: My close friends know how miserable I was in my last position. It nearly killed my teaching spirit. But that spirit is now alive and well in an environment in which I am supported, encouraged, given the tools I need to work effectively, and nurtured as I grow in my craft. It's my dream job.

My home:
It's small and unassuming by most standards, but it's the nicest place I've ever lived in. From the relative roominess and the light and airy style, to the lake/sunset view out back and the galaxy-studded night sky above, I can be moved to tears when I stop and consider how blessed I am. And soon, my family heirloom of a grand piano will be arriving to live with me for the first time since 1996. I will soon be able to sit at my piano and play as I look out the big windows at the lake. Ecstasy!

My country: With all it's flaws and moonbats of both extremes that sometimes make me want to tear my clothes and cry, I still think I love it more everyday. For each day the sacrifices that have made it possible, and the constrasts between the United States and other countries less blessed become clearer and clearer to me. So I am grateful for the warriors who keep us safe, the leaders and thinkers who inspire us, the creative minds who have invented the devices that enrich our lives, the cultures and artists who educate and entertain us, and the quiet dignity of the everyday workers who keep our country running.

May you all be as blessed as I feel today.