Thanksgiving . . .

Today, in the USA, is the day we designate as Thanksgiving. It is a day to give thanks for all of the blessings that we have in our lives.

At the top of my list is, of course, my wife and the home we share. I can’t imagine who I would be without her in my life. After 23 years together, everything good about my life boils down to what she adds to it.

There are others that I’m also thankful for – most of all those who are part of my life because they choose to be. I’ve often heard it said that there are two kinds of family, those you are born to and those who choose to stand with you. The next three ladies I’m going to specifically mention have chosen to stand with me, even though they have often had reasons to step away. Because they are all special, I’m just going to list them in the order I met them.

Which means, the very first is Christie. She was the first childhood memory I have outside of my biological family. My parents bought the house next door to her family in 1967, and she was not only my neighbor but a classmate. When others picked on me or belittled my small stature, she was always kind and encouraging. Even after 55 years, she still stays in touch with me, and I know I’m not always the easiest person to talk to. So, thank you. If there is ever anything you need me for, you can count on me to do everything in my power to be there for you.

The next person is the first ex-Scientologist I made friends with after my wife and I chose to leave that organization. Despite the fact that she came from a very successful family and was a respected artist in her own right, she has always related to me like an equal. Eibhlin, even though we’ve never met face-to-face, you are as much a sister to me as any of my biological siblings. Thank you.

Finally, but by no means least, is Anita. The first time we met, your grace and poise impressed me. Nothing ever seemed to fluster you. For 3 weeks you shared your home with me while your husband Les helped me confirm something about myself we were all fairly certain was true. While I’m no where near the artist that Eibhlin is, you were grateful for a pencil sketch I did of the view I could see through your windows. Since then, you’ve always been a rock that I could share nearly any concern with. You are the older sister I never had, and I’m always going to be thankful that you’re part of my life.

So, for the 60th Thanksgiving of my life, what I’m most grateful for is family – mostly those who didn’t have to be my family but have made the choice to stand with me anyway. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


Thanksgiving . . .

Thanksgiving is – supposedly – a day set aside by the entire nation (here in the United States) to remember the reasons we have to give thanks.  Everything from veterans who have maintained our right to self-governance, to family and friends, and even our individually chosen faiths.

In that vein, I’d like to take a few moments to list some things I’m giving thanks for this year.

My wife, My friends, what remains of my health – those should be obvious, but I feel the need to list them anyhow.

I’m also thankful for something that happened literally yesterday.  I’d been sleeping, and when I awoke I tried to turn on my PS4 to check for activity in the communities I’m a member of.  The fact that 5 of those communities trust me to be a moderator makes this something I take seriously.

But, yesterday when I turned on the PS4, I could not get an image on the TV – no matter what I tried to do.  After several minutes of fighting with it – I told my wife that I thought we needed help.  I called our local electronics repair guru, only to find out from his wife/receptionist that he was out of town and they wouldn’t be able to help me before Monday.

So my wife called a local 2nd hand store to see if they had any PS4 units for sale.  They had one – a PS4 Pro with 1 Terabit hard drive – for $350.  We drove over there and bought it.  Then my wife dropped me off while she ran a few other errands before the holiday today.

Meanwhile, I began the process of installing the “new” PS4.  As I was removing the old unit – I noticed that the HDMI cable didn’t look right.  I checked the back of the old unit – and part of the HDMI cable was still stuck in the slot.  After pulling it out – I took the HDMI cable from the new unit and plugged it into the circuit  – and had a working PS4 again!  So, I called my wife and told her to stop and buy a new HDMI cable to replace the one I was using, and we returned the unit so someone who needed it can buy it.  The cost – aside from the driving and time – for the whole repair was about $10.

But, there is another thing about that which I am thankful for.  It hasn’t been so long ago that my wife and I had a very hard time with our finances, and even paying rent + utilities was a challenge.  Yet, in the years since, we’ve grown to where we can make a $350 purchase without sweating about it.  Even after spending over $10k on home and car maintenance during the 2017 calendar year.

THAT is a major victory for us.


Giving Thanks . . .

Today is the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, and most people will sit down at some time today to elaborate meals shared with someone they care about, in celebration of the holiday.

For me, today has special significance because I was recently reminded of someone that I considered a dear friend when I first moved to the St. Louis metro area.  It was December, 1994, when we met, and she was one of my superiors at the job I moved there for.  No, she was more of a mentor, because we both did the same type of work there.  Her name was Francine.

Last Saturday, my wife saw a Facebook post by one of Francine’s relatives, announcing that Francine is dying of cancer.  The relative used the phrase “has finally admitted that she is . . . ” which says to me that Francine has been sick for some time.  She was expected to die within days, but I’ve heard no update since.

Anyway, this got me to thinking of the many people I knew and liked at that job – and how many of them have died of cancer.  Not many have died, but to a person, ALL who have died did so of cancer.  What does that say about the place where we worked?  Most died while still working there.

So, today I’m giving thanks for the MANY wonderful people who have touched my life over the last 55 years.   Some had minor appearances in my story, some inspired whole chapters.  They were all special, and I’m forever grateful to have known them.  It will be a while, but eventually I will see them again.  The great video game of  LIFE always respawns with a new character.