Thursday, November 26, 2009

A cornucopia of thanks

A cornucopia is a horn-shaped basket filled with food such as fresh corn and wild ucopias. -- fakeAPstylebook

Inspired by an old (in terms of decades known -- we're not really OLD, yet, Suz, right??) friend, herewith, my list of things to be thankful for in 2009.

In no particular order, I am thankful that:

  • Very soon, I am going to get to hug my beautiful, wonderful, 20-something boy for the first time since he was 5 days old, and that he was raised lovingly and brilliantly well, as I wish I could have done for him.
  • The wonders of technology have helped me to reconnect with old friends -- even if they live on the other side of the world now -- and make new ones. I had a chance to go home this summer and do some catching up, and it's the first time in years that I actually felt like it was "home" again and I had some roots there. Even if some of my favorite people were Indian Creeps. (NALLWOOD KNIGHTS, BABY!)
  • I have a roof over my head and utilities that aren't constantly in danger of getting shut off, and that as much as we can annoy each other, Vic comes through for me every time. And that Rich puts up with me, although I know he'd rather not.
  • The cat-in-law tolerates the occasional hug and smooch without complaining too much that I'm ruffling her Supreme Feline Dignity. In return, I let her wake me up meowing at obscene hours. I think it's fair.
  • The kitties at the shelter are much more snuggly than the cat-in-law and love the hugs and smooches and petting. Happiness is a warm fur-baby, of whatever species.
  • I once again am getting a chance, if only part-time, to do what I love best, and that the person paying me to do so (in both money and compliments) has gone from total stranger to friend in the space of a month. You rock, Ry.
  • You too, John, but I've had a lot more years to tell you that. Doesn't make it any less true, though. Thank you for giving me a chance when no one else believed in me, for always offering to bail me out when it seems like I could use it, for understanding the days when I am nonfunctional, and for your infinite patience with same. If you gotta be crazy, it's nice to have a shrink for a boss. ;-) Thanks for getting it.
  • You too, Gregory. It is a rare thing in life to meet someone and know the second your eyes meet that you are not only going to get along famously well, but end up as very good friends for a very long time to come. You have done my heart, soul and brain so much good over the years, whether by making me laugh, snarking with me over ANTM, or being tenderhearted enough to cry with me and not worry what it looked like. As humanoids go, you are one of the finest.
  • As much as I complain about it, I have a reason to leave the house and something to do with most of my days for at least a few hours a day. You have no idea how depressing it gets to face endless days of nothingness.
  • The Viqueens are the ones having to put up with Benedict Brett's ego. (Yeah, I don't CARE that you're 9-1 and he's on fire. We'll see how you all feel once the annual retirement drama begins in the offseason.)
  • Even though my first bunch of students at Marquette, who were mostly 18 then, are mostly turning 30 in 2010, I'm still around to hear from them (and students from later years) reasonably often. I'm especially grateful that many of them have written *me* recommendation letters for jobs -- it's a good feeling to know you've made a difference. It's an even better feeling when I think back to 4 years ago around this time and how close to the edge my continued survival was.
  • Which makes me thankful for Dr. Hake and Dr. Fenske and everyone who did what they had to do to pull me through a critical illness -- including not telling me what my actual odds of survival were. (I found that by reading my chart, like an idiot.) Scary stuff. And although I still have my share of "why bother" days, all in all, I'm glad to be around still.
  • I've gotten to travel some, and live in different places, and be exposed to different cultures and ways of doing things, whether those different cultures were as far as Germany or as near as northwest Wisconsin. (Trust me -- it's a lifestyle all its own there.)
  • I have not only gotten to meet Jake and Peg Leinenkugel, who are lovely people and very committed to their community, but that I still regularly get to drink their tremendously tasty brewskis on a regular basis.
  • Even though it cost me a fortune and has done me absolutely no good in the well-paid job arena, I have two diplomas that I'm really damn proud of, from two really good schools that I worked really hard at. (Well, sorta, at the 2nd. I'm thankful that I was Dr. Thorn's golden child and could get away with whatever I wanted, including doing very little to actually earn my RAship. ;-)
  • The friends I made there (hi, Nic and Marie and Mike, especially!) have been with me ever since. And the friends I made in greater Milwaukee, my adopted hometown, know me better than almost anyone and still like me, even if I met them at work (deadlines make me cranky).
  • Even though it's freakin' cold and we haven't seen the sun in a million or two years, when you open the door leading out onto the deck, you can get lungsful of that yummy wood fire scent.
  • I have had the opportunity to fulfill my dreams and meet my heroes. Not many folks can say one or the other, much less both.
There's undoubtedly more, but it's a start. Happy Thanksgiving!

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