Today was the first day I worked from my shop - warm fire burning, view of the yard/woods, birds, and just far enough away from the house that it feels like "going to work". It's been great, although I do need to add a phone line soon.
I had a successful day of work, have things set for a solid day tomorrow and then will be headed home to WI for my favorite holiday of all - Thanksgiving. While I sat here working on things, talking on the phone, typing away, etc, I got to thinking about just how thankful I should be. Many folks know, I love to gamble (not problematic of course). I often think/talk about luck or a lack thereof. I'm now convinced there's no such thing.
Ten days ago I had an accident with a chainsaw. Nearly cut my right leg off...but I was careful, paying good attention, and avoided a very serious injury. Three days prior, one of my best friends' family visited us. My two God sons were here, we played, laughed, ate, drank and enjoyed the time together. The same day as my accident, I learned that another friend was struggling with personal issues and having a tough time. In ten days I really began to see how fortunate many of us are to have friends, family, and loved ones that we can count on when we really need it. Seeing the support system for someone going through something really tough makes one look at themselves more (I think & I hope at least). I did...and with the upcoming holiday (did I mention it was my favorite?), I am evermore thankful for all those around me that have supported me, cared for me, and tolerated me :).
The picture above is of my in-laws. We're all different, we've all been challenged in life in varying ways, and yet, we all can typically come together over a basic (but amazing) meal where we all contribute to the end result. I thought the picture was appropriate because if we were in CA this year, we'd find a way to be around that grill, laughing, smacking each other, and being louder than necessary. Sadly, we will not be with these folks for Turkey this year, but I am sure they'll enjoy it and our thoughts will be with them.
Instead, we are headed to see my family in WI. The four of us haven't all been back to Sconny together in nearly 18 months. The recent events that one would consider lucky/otherwise, made me all the more thankful to be able to fly home, visit with friends/family, and enjoy the holiday. It's so cliche' right? Thanksgiving? I'm embarrassed that I rarely think about how thankful I should be until this time of year. My two amazing kids, my beautiful wife, my family on both sides of the country, my circle of friends (especially those I can call on when I nearly sever a limb, have a messed up tooth, or a sore knee)...I mean really? Maybe I am lucky?
I used to love Thanksgiving for the food my grandmother would make, the football games, and the playing catch outside at halftime. While I still love all of those things, it's even better now that the food is made just like my grandmother would have (and somehow she's there with us), another great family I love eats there's on my grandmother's table, the playing of catch is with my son, and while the football is great, the time spent with family is savored more, almost as much as the pie!
Even now, as Andrew gets back from school and is sitting next to me complaining that I am not playing cards with him, I am thankful for where I am at this time in life, this new place we moved to, and all that goes with it. No matter what's thrown at you, if you really look around, you have it good. Someone loves you, someone will help you, someone will tell you when to STFU (In my case the latter is just as crucial as the former at times). Seriously, look around. Think about all the folks that helped pave your way, those that are still there, and those that will be there as things progress in life. Every time you are challenged, rewarded, or knocked down, someone was there to help. Take challenges head on...keep getting up, accept the reality of your choices, and laugh as much as you can at all that is funny and yourself - I am getting good at this...not because I am funny, more so because I do/say dumb shit all too often.
So...to wrap the cliche' around me to keep warm (as the fire is starting to go out down here), I'm thankful for my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my work, my home, the challenges I have faced and concurred, those that will align themselves in time, turkey, dentists, PT's, doctors, teachers, mentors, sarcastic bosses, pie, stuffing, taters (laugh here, this is funny dammit)...PIE...and so much more!
Maybe I am lucky after all :) - I'll let you know if I beat Andrew in cards, or if NIU covers 2.5 tonight!!!
Be well everyone, laugh often, make great decisions, have an amazing holiday, hug those you care about and for God's sake (and mine), eat an extra piece of pie next week each and every time the opportunity present itself!