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friday, november 25, 2011

hope all five of you, my readers, had a wonderful thanksgiving yesterday. ours was really nice. it was quieter without the two older girls and the baby, but that was actually a good thing. one of the things that seems to get to me every year is the noise and added heat and chaos from extra people. one year with it easy and quiet was kinda cool. i am sure when we're settled somewhere, i'll be happy to have everyone back next year, but for now, this was a good one. fixing of dinner actually went better than usual. most years it's a controlled chaos. this year, i'd figured most of what to do when and we pretty much followed the timeline and got things done is nice order. first i made the sweet potato pie. while that cooled we for the orange-glazed ham into the oven. it had to bake for about 2 hours. saxy started on his kickin' collard green next. once they'd been going for a bit, youngest (who donated her last $5 for 2 bottles of sparkling cider) set up the biscuit and crescent pans and i got the corn on the stove. then i cut the apples for the dutch apple pie and prepped that to bake while we ate. cranberry sauce and cranberry bread had been made monday and tuesday. no carrots on the menu this year. or olives. but it was a good meal with plenty of leftovers for the weekend. with so few of us eating together, saxy and i even ate at the table with the kids. i know froggy liked it, and i think taz did too. he's just a little harder to judge sometimes.

this year started off with such promise and went to hell pretty quickly, but there are still things i am thankful for. life has rarely been easy for me: parents divorced when i was a baby, stepfather divorced mom when i was 13, mother lost her mind and moved us when i was 15, i've been in poverty most my life, my health hasn't been all that spectacular, the un- and under employment of recent years has been a bitch. if i went to my 20 year reunion next year (being planned on facebook even!), i'd have nothing to show for myself. course, i have so much nothing, there's no way i can afford to go out to the reunion anyway. and right now, as usual, the priority has to be survival. but all that not withstanding, there are things to be thankful for.

the obvious: family. my older kids and i have had our differences recently, and there's still a lot of anger, but...they're my kids. i love them. i always will. even when angry at them. and i'm thankful they're doing well. phoenix is keeping true to her nickname and coming out of the ashes of her marriage, building a new life, going to school and doing fairly well. jewel seems to be settling in with the love of her life and has a decent job that she's kept despite the nightmare of an economy. taz has taught me more than any of my children through his autism—how hard it is to be a kid, how much they have to learn. he's an amazing guy, and i am so thankful he's doing so well. tonight he helped froggy with doing dishes for the first time. as for froggy, i can see her starting to grow into a young woman. she has some challenges ahead of her to overcome, but she seems to finally be realizing that she needs to indeed overcome to be the person she wants to be. i expect that to go back and forth for a bit, but i can see her starting to move out of teenagerhood into that place they go just before they really blossom into young adulthood. and saxy. saxy is so much happier with what he's doing. has it been rough? yes. but it's been worth every second just to see him finally settle into something he LOVES doing. he's supported my dreams for a long time. now it's time for him to start reaching for his own.

having a home. yea, we may not have one for long, but we have one NOW. our landlord has worked with us and kept a roof over our heads long after most would have given up. granted, it's not the best roof, there are problems he should be taking care of, but it's a roof. we're not on the street, we're not sleeping in our car or at a shelter. for now, the lights are on, we're fed, and we're relatively safe.

friends. friends have believed in me, have supported me emotionally and in other ways, have sent us money and food even paid portions of our rent. to say i have been blessed in a time that's been so hard on everyone would be an understatement.

being able to do what i love to do and not feel (too) guilty about it. granted, i do feel some guilt, but the truth is there isn't much i could be doing right now because of transportation and child care issues. my son can't be home alone, saxy needs to car, the public system out here sucks dirt. i don't care. even if it's by default of circumstances, i get to write. and hopefully soon something will sell. writing is much like acting or being a musician in that regard. sometimes it takes 10 or 15 years before you "break onto the scene". hopefully my time will come soon. and i don't need to be a j.k. rowling. i just would like my stories to be on the shelves. for now, i'm thankful i have the stories and the time and ability to write them.

we've survived. like i said, this year started with such promise. then it fell apart, and pretty damn quickly. jobs we thought were good ended up not being as good as they looked. the blow up with the girls. the financial struggle turned into a financial nightmare as not only did our income go down but costs of everything but rent went up. yet, somehow, we're still here. i'd like to think we're all stronger for it. but the thing is, we didn't let it destroy us. we have a ways to go in recovery, once we get to the point where we can work on recovery, but we will recover. and i'm just thankful we made it through pretty much in one piece.

and sometimes, that's all there is, being thankful for surviving. i don't mean that in a bad way. i mean that in the best possible way, because at least you DID survive. so many don't. we made it. and really, that's a lot to be thankful for.


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