By now, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you will remember that often the title of a post and the inner workings of it may seem to be totally unconnected -this may very well be one of those posts as I'm not quite sure if things will play out the way I'm actually thinking. (There's a strange thought, in and of itself -me, thinking.)
But anyway, here's what started this post today. There's a blogger up in Minneapolis, who I follow faithfully -thanks to my lovely reader. I love her post, lots of fun things there, great family stories and drama too from time to time. Earlier this week or over last weekend, she mentioned about yet another blogger who was doing a special thing on being thankful and I thought I might not manage the requirements for the entire contest but it seemed like a good thing to write about from time to time - the little and the big things we have in life to be thankful for.
Well, obviously for openers, I am so thankful -so very thankful -for my family -three great kids, three stepgrandkids and three grandchildren. (Two of those grandchildren, you've read lots about here and seen a goodly number of photos of them too.
Two of those grandchildren are autistic -Maya and Kurtis -the two who live here with me, along with their parents and their oldest sister -the 16-year-old. And I won't lie to you and say there aren't days when I do wish they hadn't been bestowed with the autism blossom as without it, I'm sure their lives would be much easier now -and in the future too. But, when people tell me how sorry they are that these two beautiful little beings are autistic, how tragic it is, what a shame that they have that wrong with them, I bite my tongue to keep from responding especially to the word "Wrong" used there. Why? Because you see, there is absolutely nothing in the world WRONG with these children! They have a thinking disorder, yes, but that just means that we -their parents, me, the rest of the family in close contact with them, often have to reorder OUR thinking processes to find ways to explain our selves, our actions to them but that by no way means there is any thing WRONG with them! They are the sweetest -sometimes not so sweet too though -best, with a lot of imp aspects thrown into the mix, bringers of patience ever to come into my life and you know what, for that alone -the patience thing -I have been truly blessed to have both of them. I am not by nature a very patient person and living with, adapting to, these two children has indeed forced me to try to bring patience into my life more and more every day.
I'm thankful that my grandparents built this house we live in 105 years ago and that I was lucky enough, along with my mother, to live here as a child and for it to eventually be my home. It has its problems, certainly. What old house doesn't? For that matter, even new homes have their own issues pertaining to upkeep and breakdowns and all those factors. But I wouldn't trade this house in for another even if I were bequeathed all of Donald Trump and Rockefeller's wealth combined because no amount of money can buy the memories this house holds for me. The voices that once spoke here that I hear now only in memory, the pictures too of days long gone by that pop up in my mind's eye, knowing that there is some small part of my grandparents, my mother, all my aunts and uncles as well as my cousins, now my children and their children that have all left indelible marks on me and in this old house that make it absolutely priceless to me. Warts and all -and this house has many, it's true -the house is a blessing for me and I will forever be thankful to have it.
I'm ever so thankful for having had the opportunity to the education I recieved from the little grade school that used to exist here and from the loving teachers I had those first six years of my educational process. They were more than teachers - they were more like an extra branch on my family tree in that I always felt they cared as much about my well-being as did my family. That school building still stands atop the hill here in the village but it now belongs to the local Catholic Church and they use it as their educational building so the use factor remains there still. I'm thankful too for the continuing education I received from the small high school I attended -which building no longer exists, having been sold and torn down years ago to a local church which then built a new and beautiful church on that spot. But that school, small as it may have been, poor as the community at large was back then, I firmly believe I got every bit as good an education in that era as many kids today receive from some of the bigger, fancier, loaded-with-everything type schools that often exist today. It was a good enough education that 32 years after I graduated from high school, I still remembered enough of what I'd been taught to pass the entrance exams for acceptance at a certain Big Ten university you've all heard me mention from time to time too and I managed to met their criteria too and received a degree in four years from said institution that I can now call myself A Nittany Lioness! A little ego there, yes -but I am proud of that accomplishment done in the later years of my life and also, I am quite thankful that I was able to do that too!
I could go on and on -yes, I know you know that. But not going to list all the things I am thankful for in one post, not today. However, I am going to conclude this one today by telling you we had 100 gallons of oil -fuel oil for the furnace -delivered to the house today.
That delivery -100 gallons, not even half a tankful -set us back $450 big buckaroonies! And, thinking forward to the coming months -fall, winter, etc., that's only going to be a drop in the bucket to what amount of oil we will have to purchase to warm our bodies, to have hot water for bathing, for washing dishes, to do laundry with, etc. And, trust me, I worry -as does Mandy -and a lot too -about how we will manage to keep getting at least 100 gallons, the minimum amount you can have delivered, at the current prices, much less what the costs probably are going to rise to over the coming year.
But why then, if I am so worried about those prices, would I list this delivery in a topic of things for which I am thankful then?
Because the gentleman delivering the fuel today was a new driver to our route -one I'd never met before.
As I handed him the checks for payment of our oil delivery, he commented to me on an autism car magnet Mandy had removed from the car she used to have -one of those ribbon things ya know, with the writing on it simply "Autism" and he asked about the significance of that symbol, telling me he has "one of those at home too" but not meaning the magnet but rather a child.
I asked how old his was and he said "Eleven, with Aspergers." The conversation picked up from there as we talked about these people in our lives and the love we shared each for our own came through, loud and strong.
As he left, his parting words to me were "These kids take a lot of love and prayer but they are so well worth it in the end." How true, how true!
And that my friends is why I was thankful for having received my economic stimulus check this week that enabled us to purchase that 100 gallons of fuel today and that today, the fuel company saw fit to send this man to deliver it to us.
I was really happy to see the Oilman Come and very happy to hear the words he exchanged with me today too.
And for that, I was and will remain, truly blessed and very thankful.