It's been a difficult year, but I was reminded by a very dear friend the other night on the phone just how much I have to celebrate. Things that I sometimes take for granted, as I'm sure each and every one of us do.
I have family whom I love very dearly and for all my bizarre ways, I know in my heart they love me too. And as I shopped for Christmas gifts for them, a million dollars would not have been enough to give them everything I wanted to give them. As I wrapped said gifts...cursing all the while at the daunting task in front of me...I realized how fortunate I was that I could give them those gifts. There will be some of those dear to me who are missing this year; yet, they are still in our hearts and memories and those memories are the greatest treasures of all. Some people go through life not having the love of family, and friends who have become family over the years, so I consider myself very blessed indeed.
I have a roof over my head and a stockpile of food in the pantry. My home might not be a mansion, but there are touches of me all the way through and that's what makes it a home. The food in the pantry was grown in my own garden for the most part and through some very hot days in the kitchen, is sitting in Ball jars lining the shelves and that gives me great satisfaction. A lot of hard work, but rewarding work it was. The days toiling barefoot in the garden and feeling the warmth of the earth beneath me as I worked while the sun beat down and bought color to my skin. As I search the internet, I see photographs of people who line the sidewalks beneath overpasses, huddling beneath cardboard and blankets with nowhere else to go and it humbles me greatly.
I have a menagerie of animals. A ten-year-old dog named Oscar who allowed me to dress him in a Santa suit for the holidays and greets me every time I walk in the front door with his tail wagging so hard his whole body wiggles. When he looks at me, there is nothing but pure love in his eyes. A fourteen-year-0ld cat named Whiskey who is a grumpy old woman to say the least who sits on the vanity as I get ready for work every afternoon and still comes to lay on my shoulder despite the times I push her away because her claws are lethal. A fifteen pound cat named Halo who loves nothing more than to give hugs and leaving his white fur on every surface of my house. And even though he's not allowed on my bed, he sometimes finds his way in there leaving trails of himself behind. I have Pops, the miniature stallion who has a tendency to want to intimidate my sexy landlord every time he steps foot inside the fence and who absolutely loves stale Christmas cookies and apples. There is Smith and Wesson my pygmy goats who are the chubbiest and furriest little lovers who spent nights in the house last summer to keep them safe from the coyotes. I have Mo the rooster who doesn't crow but prances around with his vivid tail feathers and doesn't seem to mind the Rhode Island Red rooster that joined him in the fall and who IS able to crow, even though he is still pretty hoarse and hasn't figured out what time he's supposed to do it. And the hens who will eventually bring me eggs in the spring. I can't imagine people whose lives don't include the love of a few animals.
I have a full-time job that pays the bills. A career in human resources that has spanned almost thirty years at this point. Co-workers who are some of the best I could ask for and employees who have blessed me with a great number of memories and who usually have a kind word or a smile.
I have friends who are dear to me. Friends who push me at times, console me at times, and aren't afraid to remind me who I am and just how much I have to give. And when I forget, they remind me all over again.
And I have my writing. A talent of storytelling which I am able to share with the world. Through my writing, I've met a great number of wonderful people and learned a wealth of information and been able to travel to places that I may not have otherwise gone.
So, as Christmas day approaches, I want to give thanks for each and every wonderful blessing our Creator has bestowed upon me. That includes each and every one of you!
God bless and thank you for the part of my life and heart you have filled.