My thankful list

Today is damp and gray. But who cares? I have the memories of another wonderful Thanksgiving to keep me warm.

My mother continues to do relatively well and every year is another that I’m thankful to have her. We joined friends for Thanksgiving dinner, but I plan to cook Christmas dinner for her. It seems strange – not quite right – to eat in the College Walk dining room on special holidays.

The season has made me list the things I’m thankful, big and little. They include:

My mother, who is still sharp although she has some trouble walking.

My family as a whole. They support me and give me a lift when I need ne.

Friends – they are around even when family is not available.

The church, which makes me welcome and whole.

A computer that now works.

The completion of my house renovation/redecoration project.

The ability to write – and get paid a little for it.

\My health, which continues to be good. I am having a little pain from arthritis, but it’s not bad.

The holiday season, which makes me glad to be alive – even when I’m most tried and frazzled.

The near arrival of retirement and Social Security. I’ll probably continue to freelance, but I’ll be in the retirement generation.

Things I’m thankful for

Thanksgiving is around the corner – and what am I thankful for?

First of all, my house is getting back to normal after the renovation. Also, I love – really love – my cork floors, my new carpet and the kitchen and bathroom carpet. In addition, I have newly painted walls. My house feels new (even though there’s bunches of stuff to get in place).

Then I’m thankful to spend time with my mother, who is 96, over the Thanksgiving holidays. She lives in a retirement community but is pretty independent and very sharp.

I give t hanks for all my family – past and present. They have made me much of what I am today.

Retirement is something else I am thankful for. The six or seven months I’v e been retired have been wonderful.

I’m thankful for small amounts of freelancing work. I finished up a story for the weekly Greenville newspaper and sent in some photos.

And I’m grateful for the energy to do what I need to do and the money to make it all work. Right now, I need to buy some Christmas boxes, etc., to take to my mother. I also need to buy a few more gifts. Got sme photo postcards in the mail and picked up photo notecards at the store. So things are moving right along.

I’m unhappy about my camera breaking but am thankful it can be fixed. I’ve sent it off for repair. I miss it already.

Tonight I went to a writers’ group. I didn’t take anything to read, but two of the group were ready. The past week was so busy that I wrote nothing except for work and for a Christmas present. But I’m thankful for fellowship with friends and fellow writers.

That’s life

A week of enthusiasm and a week of frustration. I guess it’s like Kate Salley Palmer says, “That’s life.”

The flooring crew finished my floor at 9:30 last night (about four hours later than I expected). It looks beautiful. I love the cork flooring in the dining and living rooms and the hall. The carpet looks good in the bedrooms and office. And the kitchen and guest bathroom go along with the rest. This was a great job (and I picked the flooring better than I expected). Now I find I’m going to need to do the foyer. I liked the flooring already there, but it doesn’t look so hot next to the cork. So once i get the stuff cleaned up, I’ll start there.

But my computer started giving me trouble Wednesday evening and is s till down – after spending $350 on it. Most of that was not repairs – more memory, a video card, virus protection. But it’s still not working right. I knocked the battery container latch off my camera and that must be fixed before it can be used. My old camera, which I thought was so great, does not seem so good after the single-lens reflex.

I sent two stories in last week from the library because of computer programs. I may send one this weekend from my mother’s computer.

So Monday I’ll work on the camera and the computer and sit and look at my beautiful new floors. Overall, it’s been a good week.

Every day is veterans day

Flag at Veterans Day ceremony

Veterans Day is over. Even the official government holiday has passed.

Now, the question is – will we support our veterans on Tuesday and every other day of the  year? If not, what does it mean to say nice  things on one day? Will we help those with traumatic brain injuries recover and learn to live with what might be a permanent disability? Will we help veterans – who we’re not sure are safe to be around in civilized society – find jobs? Will we help them if they need help beating an addition that comes from coping with pain, both physical and mental? Will we ensure t hey have homes and don’t ed up living on the streets?

Will we help their children, their spouses, their parents and their siblings while they are absent and if they never return?

We expect these young men and women to protect us in foreign lands and here at home. Are we willing to protect them when they need help? Not every military person will need our help and support, but we must be ready to offer it.

Sure, we should say thank you. But we need to take action, too.

Lunching with a friend

Catching up with friends just makes my day. I had lunch today with Ron, a former colleague and editor and a friend. We talked about the newspaper and the changes. We talked about what we liked and disliked about the changes and what might be coming in t he future. But more than that, we just enjoyed each other’s company.

Ron is probably the best editorial wordsmith I have ever worked with. He made my writing better – crisper and (sometimes) more concise. He is a treasure I hope the Greenville News celebrates.

Same stories, another newspaper

I just finished a business story for a weekly newspaper I am now freelancing for – a couple of stories a week, generally. It was once again a jobs story. It seems that I’ve picked up where I left on at the Greenville News.

But it’s nice to know that I’ll be writing a couple of stories a week – most relatively short ones. Today I did the interviewing, wrote the story and got ready t o set up the photo assignment. I’ll confirm  that tomorrow morning.

I must admit that after 26 years it seems a little strange to be writing for another newspaper – even thought this is a weekly rather than a daily. And it seems even stranger to identify myself with another  newspaper. While I miss the people at the News and being part of major stories, I’m glad I took the early retirement. It has been wonderful for me and has made my status as my mother’s part-time caretaker easier by far.