sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 27, 2008

late start, heirloom, and traditions
posted by soe 11:20 pm

Three beautiful things from this Thanksgiving Thursday:

1. We got off to a later start than planned Wednesday for our 8-hour drive north. We missed all traffic jams and, because of our timing on 95, managed to bail onto an alternate route to avoid heavy delays in Maryland and Delaware.

2. John set up his Christmas tree for Sunday’s watching of the Steven Colbert Christmas special. The tree is a Charlie Brown affair, but was his parents’ first tree after they got married way back when.

3. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. “Alice’s Restaurant.” The Macy’s Day Parade, ending with the arrival of Santa Claus. The Dunkin’ Donuts run with Dad. Cooking as a family. I love them all, year after year.

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ten thanks
posted by soe 9:39 pm

The blog I’m writing at work is keeping me very busy these days (it’s hard when you have to learn some scientific thing before you can write a post), so I’m stealing blog fodder from Carole.

Ten Things I Am Thankful for This Year:

  1. Rudi. I’m lucky to have found someone (generally) whose strengths balance out my weaknesses. He loves his bikes and his skis, but he loves me and the cats more (on most days). He has good taste in music, a commanding touch at the stove, and a keen sense of humor. Oh, and he’s willing to deal with bugs in various states of liveliness.
  2. Family. Rudi and I are lucky. We both have our parents in good health and general good spirits. Rudi’s mom is a dear — giving of both time and resources. My grandmother remains feisty, if a bit slower than she once was. She has given up driving recently, but because she lives with my folks, I don’t have to worry about her ability to get out and about. We’re up in Connecticut this weekend and I look forward to spending time with everyone.
  3. Good friends. I have two great friends from my high school years, both of whom I treasure dearly. This has been a tremendous year for Karen and Danny, both of whom have added husbands this year, and I’m so happy for them. My college friends remain true, even as we spread out and add spouses and children to the mix. I love hearing from them — regardless of what they’ve been up to or how long it’s been. My friends from Wesleyan are doing interesting things — grad school and internships and the like. Shelley and I chat most days on IM, and I value the perspectives she brings to my life. And my D.C. friends… Life would be so hard without you. Whether it’s the folks I’ve met through work, with whom I share knitting or books, or the Dean friends who have become my family away from my family, I don’t know what Rudi and I would do if you weren’t part of our lives. And then I have the online friends I’ve met through blogs and through Ravelry. My fingers may never drip with jewels and my income will certainly never be large, but in friendships I am rich and that’s enough for me.
  4. Three funny cats. Della, Jeremiah, and Posey make my life richer every day. A cat curled up in my lap or behind my head while I’m knitting or reading is about as good as it gets. They’re soft and healthy and are fine hunters. Plus, they know to wake Rudi up in the early hours of the morning, not me.
  5. Good health. A little crazy. A little sad. A little overweight. But generally good. And I’ll work on the rest.
  6. A good job with great coworkers. What I do for a living isn’t my dream occupation. But it has a mission I believe in, a remarkably competent manager, and colleagues who are dedicated to the success of the project. I’d say that’s a highly desirable, if rare, combination.
  7. A nice neighborhood. I complain sometimes about the periodic flooding and the lack of space in the Burrow, but we’ve stayed here for five years because we adore the neighborhood. Bookstores, fancy restaurants, regular restaurants, coffee shops, museums, a tea house, fountains, parks, bike lanes, a hardware store, all-night drug stores, a library, trees, a community garden… Okay, so we no longer have a movie theater, but there isn’t much else I can complain about…
  8. Fun vacations. France was a terrific place to visit and I really enjoyed my time there. A coworker asked if I thought she ought to go visit a family member living abroad even if the tickets were a bit pricier than she could afford. I told her that travel — particularly to another country — was always a good investment and to go for it. I also got to go camping at the folk festival with Shelley and her family again this year. It may have ended with a tornado, hail, and tremendous rain, but it also included good music, late night talks with Shelley, and time with the kiddos.
  9. Enjoyable hobbies. I may have stockpiled enough yarn and books for a significant snowstorm… And reading and knitting make me very happy. I have a camera that takes great shots. I have a blog where I can share my thoughts. Rudi and I have more music than some low-frequency radio stations.
  10. A positive outlook. Sometimes I forget that I have a pretty upbeat feeling about life and what to expect from it. And, yes, sometimes that means I end up getting hurt when it doesn’t live up to my hopes or expectations. But I like looking forward to things. I like believing people are generally good and want to be good to each other. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I think it’s a good belief to tend toward. And I think that the 2008 election results suggest I’m not in the minority of people who are looking for a positive future.

What are you thankful for this year?

Beautiful things in a few hours…

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