I was just reading over some of my old posts, something I like to do to see if they sound any different to me than when I wrote them. I was also trying to imagine what kind of image a stranger might get of me and my life from the little bits I choose to describe. (This partly thanks to Alix, who has so graciously linked to my blog from hers--*blush*).
Somehow, what emerged from my self-perusal is a realization of how much I have to be thankful for. Not the obvious things, but the things that I've started to take for granted, and might make someone from the outside say, "Gee, it must be nice...".
For example, I mentioned in an earlier post the possibility of refinancing my mortgage. It sure is nice to have a mortgage! I'm in my first house, finishing up our second year, and it's truly been dreamy. Oh, well, yeah, keeping the lawn mowed is a 9-month-out-of-the-year headache, and every single door seems to need repair, BUT...no shared walls, no fighting for a parking space, no trips to the communal mailbox, no wondering if we should call the police about the argument next door... I recently helped a friend move out of an apartment, and it was a wonderful, glorious feeling to know that I've left that all behind--fingers crossed--forever.
It sure is nice to be able to pay the mortgage, on time, every month.
It sure is nice to have such a nice, quiet, friendly, safe and well-maintained neighborhood. Ours is a classic "modest neighborhood" of pretty small houses on 1/4 acre lots. But there is not a single overgrown yard or junk car, and I haven't heard of any break-ins. Yes, we have an HOA, but they don't really do very much--believe me, if they were patrolling grass length or weed control, we would know!
It sure is nice to have the time, the equipment, space and know-how to bake Christmas cookies. How many people are so busy working two jobs they don't have an hour to themselves? Or are so tired at the end of a 14-hour day they can do nothing more strenuous than crack open a beer? How many young people are raised without ever learning how to cook a single thing for themselves? It's truly a sad, sad society we live in when it's so easy to get by without even knowing how to do the most basic thing of all: feed yourself. This is not a judgment on these people; it's recognition of how hard it is to be poor, uneducated and/or excluded from mainstream society.
It sure is nice to have a partner. I spent 5 years living entirely alone in various apartments, and let me tell you...it sucked. Miss Chef doesn't realize it, but every day I come home and prowl around the house, trying to find clues to what she did before she left for work. Cup and book on the coffee table--she read all morning. Papers on the desk--she paid bills. Dog is sleepy--she did something in the backyard; let's go check it out! It's just nice to have that little bit of animation in the house; the movements of another life. Even though we only get a couple evenings a week together, living with at least one other person is the way we were meant to be.
It sure is nice to have a dog. And such a great dog! Rosie is so obedient (most of the time), eager and attentive. She's the perfect size to fit our wee little ranch house, but still big enough to give bear hugs to. She's not nervous or aggressive in any way. When I had her tested for Therapy Dogs International, she had to do a down and stay while I walked away and back to her. As I approached her, she rolled over on her back, and I think that's when she passed! The tester was really happy to see her so relaxed and submissive.
It sure is nice to have internet access. We went for a brief while without the internet while living in Mobile, and it was surprising how hamstrung I felt. It still irritates me to this day when I hear news broadcasters say "For more information, log onto our website." Are they not serving the poor? No, I guess not. Even the companies trying to get your business as your internet provider would only advertise a website, not a phone number! Um....duh?? Today, I see lots of CSAs about the need for digital converter boxes for folks who still use rabbit ears. Again, "...visit www...." C'mon, what are the chances that someone without access to cable or satellite is gonna have an internet connection? (Ok, we do, but we're crazy suburban hippies.)
I sure could go on...it sure is nice to be able to read, to have a job, to have all my own teeth, to have an education and be aware of the world around me, to have two living and still-married parents, to have a sister-in-law I love...but right now I'm thinking, it sure would be nice to get into bed and read my book for a while.
Yup. Sure is nice around here today.