Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is coming, and it’s never too early to make a gratitude list. Here are a few of the many things for which I’m grateful:

(Whoops! I started to type “Things I’m grateful for,” but my brain and fingers rebelled. Why? Number ten on my list explains the temporary paralysis.)

10.) The teachers who taught me grammar. (All mistakes are my fault, not theirs.) I’m especially grateful for Sister Grace Anthony and Sister Frances Johannes of the now-defunct East Orange Catholic High School.) For fun, try Colin Falconer’s Grammar Quiz.

9.) Animal friends and would be/could be animal friends. If you haven’t seen Twenty-Two Words' gone-viral photos of a little boy napping with his puppy, here they are. (Oh, go ahead and click. You won’t be sorry.) 

8.) The Texas Hill Country is the place I go to catch my breath. Often, in the morning and evening, a purple haze rings the hills.

7.) Lemons from my tree. For the second year in a row, my little Meyer lemon tree has borne fruit, and Thanksgiving will be zestier for it.

6.) My hearing. I will never be matter-of-fact about it. Two+ years after my first cochlear implant, I’m gushingly grateful for every sound.

5.) Rain. The drought in Texas continues, but parts of the state, including Houston, have moved from severe-drought status to near normalcy. That said, it will be a long time, if ever, before I take rain for granted.

4.) Blogging friends and supporters. I’m thankful for you every day of the week, month, and year. Your posts enrich my life. Your comments on my posts make me laugh and think.

3.) Writing friends. Not all my friends are writers, but the ones who write understand there’s a time for the writing cave, and a time to come out and mingle. Two of my critique partners live in another part of the country, and we’ve never met in person. Nevertheless, because we share our first drafts, we share ourselves. My two in-town critique partners are my best pals.

2.) The joy of cooking. I do housework grudgingly and leave clothes in the dryer for days, but interesting recipes make me swoon. I’ll prepare Thanksgiving dinner without complaint. Yes, the rush-rush of multiple tasks will leave me panting, but chopping and stirring will bring moments of zen. I put dinner on the table night after night and take plenty of shortcuts, but cooking’s my therapy, and holiday cooking is therapy on steroids.

1.)  Family. I lucked out in the parents-and-siblings department and chose well husband-wise, but I don’t discount luck there, either. How much do any of us know when we say, “I do?” I, for one, didn’t anticipate the upheavals caused by relocations, job changes, and children. I’ve learned a lot. Today, my adult children are fun and interesting to be around. I’m not, however, one of those moms-of-grown-kids who swears she’d do it all over again. There’s no way I’d relive my children’s teenage years.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and thanks for stopping by and reading. I'm grateful to and for you. 


Liz Flaherty said...

Great list, and happy Thanksgiving!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Happy Thanksgiving back to you, Liz. (I'm jealous you're named Liz and I'm not, but I try to be a big person about it.)

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

That is a wonderful list of things for which to be grateful for. (I'll probably still keep saying that one wrong, I mean incorrectly.)

I'm thankful each day when I wake up, simply because I've made it through another night. And I'm thankful each night because I've made it through another day. Life is hard. Writing is harder. I'm trying to do both at the same time.

Have a wonderful holiday Pat.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia,
For almost two weeks now, I'm been thinking about your post about your mother. I didn't comment because I didn't know what to say. I hope you sensed warm thoughts from Texas.

Lark Howard said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Pat! That's a great list. I have to say #1 on my gratitude list is my good health and my husband's. It makes all things, no matter how difficult, seem possible.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

You made me think, Lark. You're right that good health makes all things seem possible.Here i stand, guilty of taking good health for granted. Guess that makes me the Thanksgiving turkey.

Have a happy one!

Coleen Patrick said...

I'm so with you on the zen moments of cooking!
I can't remember if we talked about this before, but my dad grew up in Bloomfield, NJ. I'm blanking on the all boys Catholic school he went to, though. But his family lived for decades on Broughton avenue.
I hope you and yours have a happy, happy Thanksgiving! :)

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Whoa, Coleen, the world IS a small place. I grew up on a street off of Broughton. Essex Catholic and Seton Hall Prep were/are the big all-boys schools in the area. My memory's rusty, but I believe Essex Catholic relocated from Newark to East Orange to take over the building that used to house East Orange Catholic.

I wish you many zen moments as you prepare for Hanukkah AND Thanksgiving. (That's a lot of cooking!)

Coleen Patrick said...

Both those schools sounds familiar. My mom grew up in Kearny (where I lived until I was 5) and went to St. Cecilias (I think), but between the two of them they mentioned a lot of the Catholic schools. :) I have a lot of good memories of that area of NJ. Small world, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,

I recently went to Bloomfield but didn't intend to. I boarded a wrong train at New York's Penn Station and when I heard the conductor announce we were in Bloomfield I naturally assumed that it was not me who made a mistake - it was obviously the train's fault - it was stopping at the wrong stations. I did think of you when I heard Bloomfield though.

That's all.

To make a long story short I disembarked at a station called Bay Street (no, it wasn't in San Francisco) - I learned that I was in Montclair.

You once wrote an article about EOCHS and although I'm not too familiar with the Catholic schools in Essex County at that time (ca.1968), I think they were all quite elite (for both Boys and Girls), especially Lacordaire in Montclair which I think still exists. I never would have passed the test for a Catholic High School.

You must admit that as a graduate of a Catholic High school you did know how to read and write.

BTW, there's a short essay in the WSJ today about how cursive writing has now gone the way of Latin and Sanskrit. Some kid had to write something in cursive script for his PSAT test and apparently there was mass hysteria (o.k., not quite hysteria).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Like yourself, I'm grateful for every sound I hear - some good days, some bad days, but I try to take them in stride.

- Patrick

P.S., I still dabble in Latin

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I, too, have good memories of that part of the world + the Jersey Shore.

The only odd thing about growing up in that part of NJ is that I thought it normal for one town to melt into another and create a single mass. In most of Texas, if we drive out of a town, there's nothingness for miles until we drive into another one.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Patrick, Patrick, Patrick, you would have aced the entrance exams, and you know it.

Your train decided to take the scenic route, did it? How did you get to where you were supposed to go?

Ahem, I noticed your use of the past tense in this sentence: "You must admit that as a graduate of a Catholic High school you did know how to read and write." Are you trying to tell me something?

I miss cursive, too, and even wrote a blog post about it a long time ago. I'll try to find it.

I wish I could read the Latin on family crests and over the entryways to historic sites, but my interest collapsed my freshman year of high school when I learned no one really spoke it. That's right, until then, I didn't know Latin wasn't a living language. So much for elite.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Patrick, here's a link to my post on cursive:

You know what's freaky? That post has been read or at least opened almost 1,300 times. Cursive seems to be of interest to a lot of people.

Karen McFarland said...

Hi Pat!

From the sound of things, you really do have a lot to be grateful for. If memory serves me correctly, and that isn't always the case, I think you've shared quite a few of the things that you mention in previous posts. Your gratitude is what encourages us to drop by. I like to sprinkle a little bit of gratitude throughout the year. I think it makes the affect last longer. But I like your top ten Pat! {{Hugs!}}

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I've already turned into one of those people who repeats the stories and anecdotes, huh? Admittedly, I squeezed three blog posts out of my lemon tree last year, but I'm going to limit myself to one all-lemon post this year. I'll let you know when it runs.

Hearing is still a rush for me. I may never stop writing about it.

Karen, you sprinkle friendship and warmth wherever you go. Thanks for stopping here. Hugs to you, too. Pat

Alarna Rose Gray said...

It's a busy time for those of you in the US - what with Halloween, Thanksgiving AND Christmas. But I love that there is a moment in the middle there to give thanks...And a solid list there, too (especially the lemon tree which must be a big deal given the lack of rain?).

Our Spring has been unusually cold and dull. So I'm thankful for every moment of sun and a chance to revitalise my herbs!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Alarna,
It's the moment in the middle, the giving-thanks-for-the-harvest part, I enjoy the most. Do Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania have a harvest celebration in or around May?

I probably make a big deal about my lemon tree because it's my only crop. I think it was a severe drought two years ago that shocked it into bearing fruit the following year. It took the now-or-never message to heart.

Sorry about your cold and dull spring. I wish you sunshine.