What better day in the entire year that today to take advantage of doing an "Only the Good" post! Right? Shelly Tucker over at This Eclectic Life set this in motion quite some time ago now and initially, it was supposed to be a Friday post, as in "Only the Good Friday" but she recently changed that to something that could be done whenever anyone wanted to write about the good things that come into our lives.
Thanksgiving Day has to be the ultimate day for thinking about and acknowledging all the good things we have, don't you agree?
In no particular order, I'm gonna try to list the many, many things that are good in my life. Some things are even better than good -they're GREAT!
I was quite fortunate to have been blessed with three beautiful children. Mine aren't little kids anymore as they range in age from 33 to 42 -sorts of dates me right there, huh, but I have to say they are the best ever! Carrie is my favorite because she is the oldest. Clate, of course, is my favorite since he is my only son and Mandy -well, she's my favorite because she's the "end of the line" -my youngest, my baby! That's a family thing that began when my son was in the Army, stationed over in Hungary as part of the support troops during the Bosnia conflicts, and when he would write letters to us back home, he would put up in the return address "Favorite Son" instead of his name there and it just stuck then to refer to each of my kids and my "favorite" whatever that person's standing is in the family structure.
One of the good things -really one of the best -that has come from my children is that regardless of what we went through when they were growing up -some pretty hard times now and then, we've managed to grow even closer through the years. And somehow too, they managed to grow into some wonderful young adults along the way even though the potential was always really high for them to veer off and grow up to be in trouble in oh, so many ways. Being a single parent is no picnic but growing up in a home with only one parent isn't an easy thing at all for the children involved so I count the fact that mine are all productive citizens today, each in different ways, but they are caring, concerned adults now, empathetic and loving in the right ways.
That's a pretty darned good thing, I'd say.
And my daughters have also blessed me beyond my wildest dreams too with the three beautiful young people who are my grandchildren. Alex -who is 12, is one of the most handsome young men around, a very good student, working on his musical aptitude with his trumpet lessons (when he decides to obey his Mom and practice that trumpet! (Yes, Alex -it's important that you follow through with the practice and work your way up, acquiring more skill as you do that with that instrument!) The perseverance needed to practice learning any musical instrument actually will help you in ways you never could realize today in your years to come. He and I have a pact about gifts for him -birthday, Christmas -which really makes me very happy. I hate to buy him toys because he -being an only child -probably has received almost every known toy for kids in each and every age group over the years and I don't like to buy him clothes either because I never have a clue as to what size he wears, what styles, colors, etc., that he likes so to make my shopping easier, and because he LOVES to read, he sends me messages as to which type of books he likes or tells me specific authors and titles and then, I try to find him reading materials in those areas. I really LOVE having a grandchild who loves books and reading pretty much the same way I do! Reading is truly fundamental to learning just about anything that comes down the pike in life and it is also such an enjoyable thing too. As my ex-husband and I always told Alex's mother, if you like to read, you can take a trip around the world and do it all in the warmth and comfort of a cozy chair! She didn't believe us 30 plus years ago when we told her that, but she does now and Alex -well I think he figured out early-on that reading is enjoyable and satisfying in so many ways. That is really a very good think and yes, his pleasure in reading is something for which I am very thankful.
And then there are Kurtis and Maya -Mandy's two youngsters -who take Grammy on a ride down so many paths, not just daily but often hourly and even by the minute as they change their moods and likes/dislikes often at the drop of a hat. So they keep me active -physically and mentally, as I try to keep them on the straight and narrow by keeping one step ahead of them when I can.
Both Kurtis and Maya are autistic -as I have mentioned about them here many times before. Some people, upon learning this about my grandchildren, react with various emotions. Many offer sympathy to me, to my daughter -their mother -thinking this is such a terrible disorder and to have two children who are both affected, why how can one possibly manage to deal with them and not be overwhelmed by the problems they may have. But I see both of them in a completely different light as to me, they are the greatest! I am truly very, very blessed to have them in my life and they provide motivation for me to keep going -even when the going gets a bit rough. And yes, at times, it can be frustrating but most of the frustrations of dealing with these two aren't all that much different than what one deals with in trying to raise two small children who are considered to be "normal" -whatever the heck normal may be, ya know! They are the light of my life, my reason to keep pushing forward, doing what I can for them or to help their Mother wherever/whenever I can that way. With lots of therapy -behavior, occupational, speech and play -they have both come a long, long way and are continuing to do so too.
Earlier tonight, as I was trying to fix some of the special dishes associated with a Thanksgiving feast -baking bread, pies, making the dressing for the turkey and getting that into the oven to begin cooking, the two little ones were on a roll, each I think trying to find a way to drive me as close to insane as possible. While I worked in the kitchen, they raced and chased around the house, messing up many things by leaving a trail of toys scattered about and both of them decided tonight would be a good night for them to showcase their own musical abilities too by singing their own versions of "Jingle Bells" over and over and over again for about two hours solid. Yeah, I was about ready to tear my hair out and am hoping I don't have to listen to that Christmas song again at least not during this Christmas season. But then I think and remember that just a year ago, this would not have been something happening with them, here. A year ago, Kurt had no words -absolutely no vocabulary whatsoever and a year ago, Maya couldn't be bothered trying to even think about playing with her little brother.
Yep, as that saying goes -"You've come a long way, Baby" sure is the truth for them -and for me -and it is awesome to watch them as they continue to learn more and more each and every day. A darned good thing for sure and definitely one of the biggest blessings in my life today.
It certainly was a good thing too that I was blessed with some of the best, nicest, funniest too at times, people a person could want with the family and friends I had growing up, as a young adult and I am so fortunate that I still have many of those people in my life to this day.
I'm thankful for the closeness of friends I've had since childhood -seeing some of those who are still walking around on the planet after so many years and knowing the ties of having grown up together along this little street in this tiny village are still there and are doing their job of binding us still today, again and again. I hope that is the kind of thing my grandchildren will know now and in the future too, long after I am gone, that they will have not just family but many, many great friends to have shared their lives with along the way.
I'm thankful that well over a hundred years ago, two couples from two different lands, made the decision to move their families from what was known and familiar and comfortable to them, leaving their own family and friends behind in Sweden and Scotland to come to this vast and beautiful land of opportunity. From them, through DNA, I am here now, a compilation of those couples of their good traits and yes, a few that maybe I'd be better off without too -like the stubborn streak I just had to pull from all four trees and which daughter Mandy also apparently picked up that trait too. Yeah, there are other things I inherited from my ancestors too I suppose but that stubborn streak -boy, it's the one that often has put me in a good bit of hot water over the years but since I'm still here, still kicking, I'd say then that must be a pretty good thing after all.
I'm thankful too because I live in this country that I have so many freedoms that so many around the world don't have now and perhaps they never will experience the joy of being able to vote, to have freedom of speech, free will in many, many aspects. That's not simply a good thing, it's a wonderful gift each of us here has and one that often we forget how fortunate we are.
I'm thankful that regardless of how rough the economic scene may be today, I have a home -a roof over my head -with heat, running water, stove, microwave, washer, dryer, indoor plumbing in the form of that room called the bathroom, a television to watch programs I enjoy, programs that show me other cultures, countries and such too and teach me then a little more of how much there is in my life for which I should be more than just a little bit thankful.
I should give thanks much more often than I do for the people who worked to teach me the basic skills of "reading, writing and arithmetic" many years ago. I am thankful for the schools and teachers I had then, but sure didn't do much to acknowledge how important those folks were to me for what they tried their best to impart to me. All things considered, for a small community, little schools, tight (very tight budgets back then) I think I came away from their hands knowing and understanding most of what they taught me then.
I'm thankful too that although for the past six years I found myself unable to work any longer that we have this system here called Social Security and I was able to be at least semi-independent then through a check I receive each and every month now. Our system may have its flaws here and there, but overall, it does what it was intended to do for people old enough to retire or those, like myself, no longer physically able to go out and put in those hours towards a means of support.
Although I have had some health concerns over the past six, almost seven years now, I am very, very thankful for every day that dawns and finds me still able to pull myself up out of bed each day. The joints may be stiff, achy as all get out; I may have issues during the day that are unpleasant, sometimes very painful, but you know what, I'm thankful I can still move at all. I'm thankful for those aches and pains too because that means I'm still functioning, here, able to enjoy my family and friends, food that is more than enough, my freedoms that allow me to have this life in this place, on this day and hopefully, for a goodly number of days -and years -more too!
So many, many good things do exist in my life -too many to even begin to think of all of them and acknowledge each and everyone one, but I know they are with me and for all of those things, those good things (and even those not always so great) I am now, always will be, eternally thankful.
And now, here's hoping I can convince Kurtis that it would really be a very good thing and one I will give lots and lots of thanks for too -if he will please go back to bed, back to sleep so old Grammy J here can go get a little bit of shut-eye too!
And finally, I am so thankful for this piece of equipment that my fingers are clicking away on, putting some of my little thoughts into a big thank you for this computer, for being able to have this little blog and the folks I have come to know and appreciate for the past three years now. Thank you for coming by, for reading what I ramble about, for commenting and giving me encouragement, laughter and love for those I know vicariously though it may be through the good old internet!
You rank right up there with my family and friends near me for giving me the incentive to keep going too!
Now, let's all enjoy the day - great food, football or whatever things are of interest to all of us -and be very, very thankful that we have the opportunity to have a Happy Thanksgiving!