November 21, 2011

3 Little Blessings

Last Thanksgiving my neighbor told me she and her husband have a family tradition of gifting someone who had done something extra special for them over the past year. Her husband had had a severe injury and my husband did something for them in their time of need that went beyond the average neighborly help. They selected him to be that year's recipient. My husband's reaction was, 'Why? I didn't do anything special.' But to them, what he did was huge.

How often do we take the little things in life for granted, thinking they're no big deal. And yet, to someone else they're huge. And so, here are 3 of what I considered to be huge personal blessings from 2011:

1. Author, cat lover and best buddy Linda Rettstatt has given her time and infinite patience to me, not only in 2011, but since 2006. We started out as writer buddies, but for me Linda turned out to be so much more: The foot in my back when I allow Life to stand in the way of my writing. Plot thread unraveler when my love for complex layers tangles to the point where I need someone with creative vision to cut through the BS and get to the meat of the story. And warm-hearted cat lover, who assures me my brats will be taken care of if I'm called out of town. She's my conference buddy, my navigator when GPS and MapQuest lets me down. And she has a wicked sense of humor that appeals to my skewed take on life.

I am so blessed to have found her shortly after I moved to the Mid-South. I'm certain a Divine Hand had a lot to do with us being friends.

2. I'm blessed to have a great family. Not just immediate, but also extended through my husband's family. In fact, I had to marry Ray in order to get Carolyn for a sister.

Car, along with my blood sisters, Julie and Janice and Sandy, are with me daily through emails and texts. What we share to someone else might seem mundane, but to me those messages are Home, and make me part of their lives despite being so far away.

I'm very blessed to have those women in my life, not only as sisters, but as friends...something I never would have believed growing up with them!

3. My 3rd blessing comes in the form of the man who said "I do" to me back when I was a child bride and had no idea what true love or even marriage really meant.

We left Michigan shortly after marrying and moved to Florida to open our own business. We never thought we'd be gone as long as we have, but circumstances led us down paths that didn't lead back home. We had to learn how to be independent from family, and rely on each other for everything.

Many holidays were spent just the two of us. I tell you it's character building when you leave home and are so broke you can't afford a Christmas tree, so you decorate your planted yucca with lights and tinsel.

The road we traveled has had more than a few bumps, and some pretty deep pot holes, yet through it all we knew we could face anything as long as we had each other. When I say Ray is wonderful, I'm not just throwing any word out. He has always been driven to give us a better life, and sacrificed endlessly so that I can now pursue my writing career.

He has given generously not only to me, but also to the wayward strays that always seem to find me. I know he dreams of a life with maybe one cat. Just this morning he said to Opie, 'You are the last one.' And I'm thinking, yeah, but what about Peaches and Jack and Chauncie and Gidget and Jesse and Yum Yum and...

My greatest blessing is finding Ray as a teenager and knowing right then I'd found Mr. Right. We've evolved over the years, from clueless, dreamy-eyed youths in quest of adventure in the land of Mickey Mouse, to adults who understand the key to happiness is to never forget to laugh. Or say I'm sorry. Or let the other see you roll your eyes.

Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe in your travels, and don't forget to put the Alka Seltzer and Beano in your pockets!

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