Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankful for Wide Open Spaces

trail near our home

Yesterday I went to the supermarket and bought our normal groceries for the week, plus most of our Thanksgiving dinner groceries. My daughters also presented me with their Christmas lists, and I began calculating the cost of mailing out holiday cards and shipping cartons of presents to far-away family.

the countryside surrounding my town

Holy Hannah, nothing makes me think, OMG I really need to go back to (paid) work ASAP, and I don't mean writing books or freelancing, neither of which pays enough to buy the cat's food, let alone helps support a growing family like the grocery receipt at the end of shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. Let me tell you, being a writer does not pay a living wage. Or even half a living wage. Not even with a "Ph.D." behind your name. Which is why I am thinking about when to re-open a small therapy practice in town. It may be approaching that time.

Christmas will be small this year. That is fine. Remember this article I wrote for BlogHer a couple of Christmases ago? I stand by those values. It's just that you have to think consciously about it, and plan for it in advance, if you need to keep the holiday small. Otherwise it's all too easy to go out and get all excited about presents and treats and travel and whatever-else, and rack up even more credit card debt. No, thank you.

our big backyard

This is not a complaint, it is merely reality, and our reality is far more fortunate than many others' right now. There are families without roofs over their heads or enough food to eat. Which is why my daughters and I are so excited about baking holiday treats for a family in need next week. We are already planning what to make, what will ship well, what they can freeze. It brings all three of us such joy to know that this small act will bring happiness to a family far away.

Which brings me, of course, to what I am thankful for today. I have already stated the obvious, in previous posts--electricity, heat, my family, my friends, the ability to help another. So today I will add that I am thankful for the place I live. I love it so. Both the town--and the places and people in it--and my particular place in it. We live on the edge of the countryside, with a pretty rural view outside our back windows. I love living out here, so close to the prairies, fields, and woods. It brings me happiness every single day.

a view of the wide-open sky, a block away from our house

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

1 comment:

Rita said...

Wow Shan! Minnesota is BEAUTIFUL!!