Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On Giving Thanks

Those who know me know that I am a gifted complainer. I can find a cloud on the sunniest day, a fly in the purest of ointments. But since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a list of all of the things I am thankful for, without a single complaint. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1. My commute. Not only do I get forty-five uninterrupted minutes of alone time, I also get so see the very best of Maine - its wildlife. Last year I saw thirty-three moose, a coyote, several fox, crows, ravens, squirrels and chipmunks, a bald eagle, hawks, falcons, turkeys, and deer. This morning a large and beautiful owl flew across the road and landed on a tree branch as I drove by. He looked at me, and we shared a moment in the wilderness together.

2. My jobs. I am a teacher; it's my calling in life. I guide fifty human beings to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. My former students come back to tell me how much I helped them both in class and out of it. At Rite Aid, I competently and efficiently do the tasks required of me. I work with wonderful people and have made good friends. I also am content with the knowledge that I don't have to be perfect - I'm still learning, and am at the bottom of the responsibility pyramid. After a day of teaching, that is a great feeling.

3. My home life. When I get home, I am enveloped in warmth. My cats run to the door in welcome, crying for attention and showing me how much I was missed. I pick them up and walk around the house, noticing all the places they have been and things they have changed while I've been gone. If it's early, my husband will arrive home from work smelling of fresh cut lumber and cold. If it's late, he will be home when I get there and show me the chores he's done or the dinner he's cooked. Sometimes, if I'm very lucky, he will be asleep with the cats on the couch and they will all be snuggled and warm. They welcome me home, finding a place for me among them, my husband tucking my body along his, the cats resettling on top of me, too.


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