December 20, 2017
How’s your holiday season proceeding? Please don’t get upset with me, but this year I’m crunched for time as never before (a common holiday complaint!) and I’m not my usual jolly elfish self. I took a January 1 deadline. What was I thinking? Then on social media I saw someone mention she was writing down the things she was grateful for. I started that, and while I’m still inwardly screaming, “NO TIME,” I have regained my sense of proportion.
Things I’m thankful for this season (in no particular order):
I’m thankful for my family. I know, everyone says that, but my two adult daughters are lovely people and I’m proud of them. And my husband — yes, he builds cool things and he’s funny. He makes me laugh and you, too, when I tell you the stuff he says. He’s also the kindest, most generous and caring man I’ve ever met.
…Mind you, occasionally he’s a jackass. But we’ve been married since the earth’s crust cooled and I can think of a :cough: few occasions when I may have slightly donkey-like, too. So. What is a relationship but talking together, sharing experiences, and loving in spite of everything?
I’m thankful for my friends. Sure, everyone says that, too, but as the saying goes, you can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, and I’ve been lucky enough to happen upon great people who have gifted me with their friendship. Some of them are authors, some of them are real people (kidding! sort of!), and to a person, they’re witty, smart and supportive.
I have a job I enjoy. If you’ve read my bio, you know I started work as a drafter, designing roads, mines and sawmills. I could have done that my whole life and made a good living, but it would just have been a job. Writing is a vocation, an obsession, a joy.
…All right, sometimes writing wavers between awful and horrible, but my dears, writing is what I was born to do and I’m so lucky to have a husband who supported me, financially and with his encouragement, for ten years while I learned my craft (and didn’t make a dime.)
I’m thankful for the memory of my mother. When my mother was pregnant with me, my father died suddenly of a heart attack leaving her with my two sisters, eight and ten, me on the way and no visible means of support. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy for her, but she read to me, laughed at my bad jokes (as do you ), and made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. Is there is a greater gift to give a child?
I’m thankful God gave me legs to walk and arms to lift. So I work out. I hate exercise (with a fiery passion), but with a family history like mine, I figure it’s an hour a day five days a week or eternity wishing I had. When I was a kid, my mother would say, “When you have your health, you have everything.” At the time, I didn’t get it. I get it now, and I’m grateful to be strong and healthy.
I’m grateful for my money. I know, I’m shallow. Maybe so, but I’ve been poor, and during the holidays, The Husband and I adopt 8 children and buy gifts from their wish list. This year ages ranged from 6 months to 16 years, so we got to buy art supplies, makeup, bikes, helmets, a baby doll and books. I was that needy kid, and it’s a privilege to be able to pay it forward. An added blessing — it’s fun to buy gifts for children!
I’m grateful for you, dear reader. I tell you about the bad stuff, like the tree falling on my house, and you sympathize. I tell you the good news about my books, and you congratulate. I tell you about the stone circle, the treehouse and the zipline, and you chuckle. You write me letters or answer my website survey and share parts of your life with me, and we know each other. We’re a community of hundreds of thousands of readers joined together by adventures, romances, and stories we love, and isn’t that a wonderful thing to realize and rejoice in?
Thank you to all of you who give and who receive. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and I hope this year and every year you’re blessed with shelter, food, clothing and dreams that come true!
And books! And time to read!
“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmastime. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” — G.K. Chesterton