Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Lemons from my tree!

This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for many people, places, and things. Family's my precious-s-s, and it's a given I appreciate each and every member. With one important exception, though, I'm not writing about family today.

I've cobbled together a list of ten people, places, or things I want to acknowledge. Sure, I've mentioned some of them before, but, hey, gratitude doesn't bubble up only once a year.

1. My cochlear implants. My hearing loss started sneakily and progressed slowly, but I hit profound deafness two years ago, and my coping skills gave out. I received my first implant on July of 2011 and the second in May of this year. Not only did I get hearing back, my confidence returned.

2. The backyard lemon tree. What a kick I'm getting out of this year's unexpected bounty! Today, in celebration of the harvest, I'll serve lemon mojitos.

3. This blog. Lark might be getting tired of me saying how glad I am she invited me to join her here, but I won't stop. You see, I'm a social media dud. I squeak by on Twitter, fail at Facebook, and can't remember my Goodreads ID. Yet I like blogging and reading blogs. 

4. Lucky the Cat. Lucky's the neighborhood stray we took in after he was mauled by another animal. Initially, my plan was to drive the cat to the vet, get him patched up, and release him to his wandering ways. After watching a wounded cat heal, how could I send him back outside? He's a Rosen now, and I'm the lucky one.

Lucky, resting up for his first Thanksgiving

5. The Women's Fiction chapter of Romance Writers of America. This online chapter has given me support, encouragement, and two new critique partners. 

6. The West Houston chapter of RWA.  This is the home of my in-person writer friends. I'm grateful for all of them but have to send an extra thankful shout-out to Lark, Pat Kay, Janice Martin, Jink Willis, Jerre Ferns, Sarah Andre, Kay Hudson, Jo Anne Banker, and Julie Pitzel. 

7. Luanne. I'm a parent, wife, sister, and friend, but the "tribe" I identify with most is the writer clan. That said, I recently met with a woman considering cochlear implants. We talked for hours, and it was energizing to be understood by someone else who's grappled with deafness. Writers get the angst of the blank page, but when the hearing impaired ask someone to repeat himself, we know the response might be a blank stare.

8. France. Oui, I'm grateful for a whole country. My trip to Paris and Uzes last April let me glimpse (and hear) the high school French teacher I was before my hearing went AWOL. My old love affair with France, the French, and the language recommenced, made poignant by the time we'd spent apart.
A street in Uzes. It's lovely, non?

9. Melanie, my sister-in-law. Four days after Hurricane Sandy struck, my parents took refuge at my brother's house. There, they had heat and light but worried they wouldn't be able to cast their November 6 votes at their designated polling place, an hour distant. My parents are Democrats. Melanie, my sister-in-law, is a Republican. Nevertheless, she's the one who promised she'd get them to the polling place. If we honor one another's views at the family level, surely we can accept and accommodate differences of opinion and work together in Congress. 

10. WANA. The acronym stands for We Are Not Alone, a book-turned-movement that focuses on blogging, social media and networking for authors. WANA is the brainchild of Kristen Lamb, and, while I've learned a lot from the book and the course, it's my fellow WANAs who have taught me the most. 

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful to you for reading this post.


Kay Hudson said...

Thanks for the shout, Pat. I feel the same way about writer friends--maybe even more so, since they've filled the empty family space in my life.

And tell Lucky that I had to displace my cat to sit down and type this. She thinks the computer chair is hers.

Louise Behiel said...

lovely list, Pat. thanks for sharing your journey to and from deafness. I learn something new every time you do.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

I'm totally with you on blogs! I fumble with Facebook, and just can't get into Twitter, but I love reading blogs like yours! And I'm definitely thankful for my WANA friends, among many other things!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks for including me. Pat. Without you I couldn't have kept this up and nothing would visit our little blog.

I get the France thing, too. This is where I find myself again. Steve and I spent the day wandering around the 5th and 6th, visiting art galleries and boutiques. I can't help but absorb the city's fashion Mecas--the Christian La Croix store was our great find of the day. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sheila Seabrook said...

What a great list, Pat. I'm still laughing over Lucky's "he's a Rosen now" part in the family. People, pets, friends, hearing, travel ... what more could a girl want? :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Kay,
Lucky thinks Nutmeg is nuts to focus on just one chair. Every chair in the house AND the couch are the property of cats, says Lucky.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Louise, I learn from every one of your blog posts. Thanks for them--and for stopping by.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Yes to blogs, Jennette! This Thanksgiving, I used two cans of evaporated milk, and both had pull tabs. As I opened them, I was reminded of your post about the Dayton inventor who came up with the pull tab. You've enriched my life.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Bonjour, Lark! I want to hear all about the trip, and I'm hoping you post another shop window shot Tuesday. I need my Paris fix.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Sheila! A Canadian came to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes! We talked about differences among the provinces, Canadian sports, foods, Canadian Thanksgiving, and many other things. I thought of you and Louise and Prudence, my Canadian friends.

Coleen Patrick said...

A lovely list Pat! I'm thankful to count you as one of my writer and blogging friends. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Same goes, Coleen! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have seen photographic proof you did, too!