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Elena Stevenson
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Thanks Living

Thanksgiving is my husband Jeremy's favorite holiday, and I like it a lot too. Every Thanksgiving's been a little different for me, what with moving, a changing family and life. No matter where I'm at, it's a day to reflect on family and what I've been blessed with.

This morning, I was watching Good Morning America and a report brought tears to my eyes.....a fortunate few American troops have made it home for the holiday. They showed two dads surprising their young daughters at school....these precious little ones were just beside themselves with excitement. I've known families in this situation, and I can sympathize, but I can't say I really know how they feel. The closest I come is when Jeremy teaches piano lessons until nine at night--this is after working an office job from 8 to 5--and John throws a fit, yelling, "Daa-DEEE!" It has to be so hard to be separated by so many miles.

I just got off the phone with my mom. She's a restaurant manager in Florida's tourism industry, leaving for another 11-hour day. I told her how sad I am that she has to work holidays. Fortunately, she's looking to transfer. I can't afford a plane ticket to Florida at that most expensive time anyway, but I look forward to the day I can spend Thanksgiving with her again.

In college, I majored in music, and one of our classes was Sightsinging. It's exactly what it sounds like--develop your ear and music reading skills by singing a song you've never seen. The day before Thanksgiving, we did this hymn called "Thanks-Living." I know it sounds really corny, but there's tremendous value in being thankful for what we have. If we lived this way every day, we'd all be better off.

I graduated from college nine years ago, and like a lot of people in their thirties, life has not always met my high expectations. There are many things in my life that are what I'd call "less than ideal."  It's hard to look at a messy, disorganized house and long for the time and energy to clean it. It's hard to put your child in daycare to work a low-paying clerical job, knowing that every hour takes you away from your family and your creative goals. It's hard to continue your writing career in stolen spare moments--so rare that I sometimes pray for John to take a longer nap. And still I wonder--will my artistic dreams, and those of my husband, be realized? Life holds few guarantees.

But I still feel like I have a lot. First of all, I have a husband who loves me, which is more than a lot of people can say. He's not in Iraq--he's sleeping in our bed, enjoying a rare day off. We'll soon have two wonderful sons. What a privilege, to play a part in givng the world two more movers and shakers. We and our beautiful, healthy toddler have a choice of where to go for Thanksgiving dinner. We'll be at Jeremy's parents here in town, but we could have gone down to my dad and stepmom's farm in Kentucky (we go there on alternating years). We're having a huge spread, and I get to eat for two! Our cars are old, but they still run. Our house is small, but the mortgage is current.

And I thank God for all this. And I thank America, for being a place where we have the power to improve our fortunes. And I promise to think about all these things the next time I get up at six for a short shower (owing to our tiny hot water tank). Thanks. For being alive.

over 12 years ago 0 likes  6 comments  0 shares
Photo 16256
I'm thankful that I have a loving hubby (who sometimes goes overkill on the loving...to the point of being overbearing and controlling, haha), a home with no mortgage, some nice kids, in-laws that like me, a mom who's still kicking it, a sis who can bear to take me with her on biz trips, a brother that's still my bro even though I can do w/o his wife, all 4 limbs, perfect vision (thx to Lasek), good health for all mentioned, and food in the fridge.
over 12 years ago
Photo 23799
how heartwarming. amen to that! =) happy thanksgiving!
over 12 years ago
Photo 35751
how's it my Cincinnati sister I really respect the way you keep so postive and appreciate all the great things in your life, even though things are not as you would like. I'm thankful for living somewhere peaceful and beautiful and being able to raise my girl here (I'm thankful for every moment I have with her). I'm thankful to live in a country that allows me to be a mum on my own. I work because I choose too and I'm thankful that I have a family that cares for and supports me. I am thankful for all the great people I have met on the internet!!
about 12 years ago
Jrs 8c 1405439596528
It's true that sometimes life has different directions for us...we have to be strong and meet those challenges put in front of us. Enjoy the time with your family because, as the voice of experience, it's over in a heartbeat...they go off to school, then college, and then you wonder, "What the heck just happened? Yesterday I was changing diapers and now they're in college!!!" I hope you and Jeremy and John had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Eating for two...this is the best time of year for that! ;P
about 12 years ago
Photo 34078
Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Elena! You make some good points here. It can be so easy to take the simple fact of just being able to be with loved ones for granted. I really feel for those who are far away from their families esp. around the holidays. While I'm not fully satisfied with where I'm at in my life workwise, I'm grateful for my husband and my family and our lifestyle. After what I've been through recently, I also understand and value the importance of good health. It's really something you can't buy.
about 12 years ago
Photo 41934
Beautifully expressed. Thank you.
about 12 years ago

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51% Marlene Dietrich. 49% Olive Oyl. http://bigworldsmall.wordpress.com

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August 8, 2007