for which I am thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving and despite the fact that we sometimes feel things are not 'going our way', we (our family) has quite a bit to be grateful for this year. In fact, I may have ignored this entirely but for two things:
1. Auntie Sharon sent an email today. It was a very simple email, perhaps a forward, and if so, one you may have seen many times. I have never received this particular message, but found it compelling it its simplicity. The gist: are we upset because we have a long walk to work, have high fuel bills, or those never-ending piles of laundry? Well, at least we have/can afford those things. They are not necessarily things we (our family) stresses about but general complaints often heard today.
2. Kelsey's new motto: "Did I fill your bucket?" (to be explained in a later post, I promise!)
I thought I would try a touch of humor with a Top 10. Don't worry, explanation will also follow if deemed necessary.
10. Despite an auspicious and expensive beginning, a rental car fiasco, lost items, mixed-up furniture, a crazy Home Leave, freak-outs at the price of housing, freak-outs at the lack of housing, and in general, way too much stress for just one move: we made it.
Did things go as smoothly as we hoped and turn out exactly the way we planned? No.
Did we get here safely (even the cat) and have many people as far away as Iceland help us so much more than we could have hoped for? Yes, many times over.
In fact, the night before we moved, I was telling friends how my only prayer was that we (yes, including the evil one that makes Pete sneeze) all made it safely to the U.S. We did, and for that, I am thankful.
9. The fact that while we are not in our dream home, it keeps us safe from intruders (o.k., so does my personal security attache), cool during the summer, warm in the winter, and dry during the rain (though we are likely to be dancing outside in said rain as we are so thankful it finally appeared).
8. We don't drive fancy cars, but they run and even have a few optional features. They get us where we need to go, and we can afford to have them fixed if they break down or buy a new one if necessary.
7. While not always glamourous (to some, I think it's pretty cool), Peter has a great job with a stable company. As one friend reminded me, it was not luck that got him the job (try his hard work and keen intellect), but I do feel lucky in this economy to know that his job is not dependent on how much people buy (or don't). Moreover, it has also given (and will continue to give) us a few pretty good travel opportunities.
6. We are lucky enough to wonder if we are saving enough for our children's college funds.
5. One word: pension. It won't be everything, but it will darn well help. This is also thanks to #7.
4. Health. Other than Cait's frequenting of Landspitali
last year, and Kelsey's cranio-facial reconstruction (minor in the scheme of things), we are rarely in the hospital, and almost never need to see a doctor. And, yes, I would welcome socialised health care in this country for the many who are not so fortunate.
3. Education: I hear so many gripes about schools in this country, and frankly, I find most to be unfounded. People have the right to choose between public and private, and education is mandatory. Despite my worries about the differences in educational systems country to country, our kids are doing just fine. A big thank you to everyone, past and present, who has instructed my children and helped to shape their open minds and encourage their loving hearts.
2. Friends and family, old, new, near, & far: you are not always next door physically, but you are there when we need you. You have helped with our kids, pets, crazy moves, and listen when we just need to talk. The bonus? You have a random new location to visit every 2-3 years! We were especially thankful to receive more than one Thanksgiving dinner invitation. We were able to spend the day with new friends, and had a sumptuous and relaxing meal.
1. Beaker, Little C, Nugget, & the Little Guy (LBJ, II for those in the know) who make my life complete with their love, friendship, hugs, sweet kisses, special messages whispered in my ear nightly (Mommy, I love what you made for dinner, it is my favorite dinner. Can you make it again soon?), and notes that will forever plaster the cover of the refrigerator (wherever we are).
Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night.