Today is Thanksgiving. Although we should be thankful for them everyday, today is the day, in America, at least, that we are most likely to mention the things that we are grateful for. So I thought I’d mention some of mine.
I’m thankful for God. I believe He exists. I believe he is personal to me – He knows the very number of the hairs on my head.
I am thankful for my family. My sister hosted Thanksgiving yet again at her house. And cleaned up everything afterwards, with some help from her family. And I got to sit and visit with my son and his S.O., before leisurely going over to dad’s house to clean up the mess I had made in his kitchen. And I’m thankful that, unlike some parents, I know where my kids are, even if I can’t see all of them. And I’m very thankful that my youngest and his wife, both combat medics, are not currently prepping to go to the sandbox
I’m thankful for the food we had on the table. It was a feast, with leftovers. I’m still stuffed, and it is 6 hours later as I write this.
I’m thankful for sharing our food with friends and family. There were eleven of us. Family by blood, family by marriage, family by choice. Good people, good food, good drink. My dad is in uncertain health, and although we hope to have more holiday meals with him, I have to face the fact that each one might be the last one I will share with him. I’m thankful that his health allowed him to eat with us.
I’m thankful that, although by the world’s standards I do not have much, I am so wealthy – I have family, I have food, I have shelter. So many do not.
I am thankful that for today, at least, my shoulder is not hurting, my knee is not bothering me, and I am not flinching when my feet hit the ground as I walk. I am thankful that for three nights in a row, I have not had leg cramps. I have not had involuntary contractions of my hands in over 24 hours. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the Kava tea that I’ve been drinking for the last three days, that I think might have something to do with that. I’m thankful that I can still get up off the floor by myself when I have to.
Having spent the first two days this week doing my “Life in a Log Cabin” program at a Jr. High, I’m thankful for electricity and pans that are not as heavy as those cast iron dutch ovens. I love having the skills needed to cook over an open fire, and I’m thankful that I have those skills. I’m also very thankful that I don’t have to do it every day.
There is so much violence in the world right now. I’m thankful that I don’t have to go to sleep or wake up to gunfire. I’m thankful that I don’t have to worry about my house being shelled, or my workplace being bombed as an act of war.
I’m thankful for living in the country, for fresh air, for seeing the stars without light pollution. I’m thankful that pine trees and junipers smell so fresh – and so does peppermint. I’m thankful that although my house tends to be cold, I have heat when there is no power, and can, if necessary, drop a bucket down a well for water.
I’m thankful for the tea that I just drank – thirst quenching, astringent, just a hint of sweetness. And as my father often says, there is nothing like a good glass of cold water – and I’m thankful for that, too.
I’m thankful for the maxims and sayings my father has taught me. “This, too, shall pass.” “Into every life, a little rain must fall.” “Experience is a hard master, but a fool learns by no other.” I’ve learned that no matter how hard things get, sooner or later, things will change. Changes for the worst often happen first, but although “It is always darkest before the dawn” the dawn always comes. I’m thankful for that.
I’m thankful for the people I have loved, even when the relationship didn’t work out. I have always learned something from it, however painful those lessons might have been. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for memories – Court and renaissance dancing till the wee hours. Singing songs deep into the night. Holding hands and watching the sunrise at Pennsic. Meeting someone for the first time and realizing that was the person you had dreamed about two days ago. Camp outs and tournaments, diamond hunting, touring ships, sailing, traveling together, talking, snuggling… Touching someone’s face for the first time in years. First kisses – and last kisses. I’m thankful for those memories.
I’m thankful that I can still learn new things. There is so much to learn, to grow. Learning new things helps keep my brain young. Research says that learning new things helps your brain to grow new dendrites, which are the connections between neurons. The more dendrites you have, the less likely you are to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia. I love to learn new things, and I’m thankful for that opportunity.
There is so much more. Little things. Big things. Sad and happy things. So many blessings to be thankful for. I know that sometimes I’m not as grateful as I should be. But for at least today, I am thankful.