Grateful for a Landing Place

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It’s complete with good food and good bad food (meaning, some is nutritious, some is downright bad for us, but I love it). It’s without the pressures that we’ve come to know around celebrating Christmas. I twinge a bit when I hear myself pronounce that Thanksgiving wins over Christmas. Under my breath I give Jesus a quick apology, and pray he understands where I’m coming from. In the same breath I can say that Jesus’ birth is my favorite birthday, so I hope that makes up for my sentiments about Christmas.

Our family has had a tradition of not listening to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. Many of you would agree with us that commercialism introduces Christmas sooner than we’d like. Christmas begins in some stores in October, before we’ve gotten to experience Halloween. But yesterday, each of us confessed that this year we couldn’t help but listen to Christmas music before our traditional hold out of the day after Thanksgiving. Each year I buy one Christmas CD. This year it’s Idina Menzel.  I was obsessed with her voice as Elphaba in Wicked.  Today I’m going to break tradition again, and open up her CD.  I’ll let you know what we think, but I anticipate walking around all season long pretending I’m Idina Menzel.  I’ve also been known to impersonate Kristin Chenowith who played Gahlenda.

If you know me well, you might know that my list of frustrations is probably as long as my list of things for which I’m grateful.  But today, I am grateful to forget my frustrations and focus on the gifts that I know come from our heavenly father.  The list is long, and you’d be annoyed, so I will only share a few short things.  Among them is that Bridgette is home. We all went to a late lunch yesterday. It’s a new restaurant in our neighborhood that doesn’t feel like a suburb restaurant but like we might be downtown or on vacation, which for me might as well be the same thing!  It’s called Bethany Public House.   The kids made fun of the way I ordered a beer (which was comical, since they’ve probably never seen me order a beer… it’s not typically my drink of choice).  Bradley met us there, which in itself is a change in our life.  He commented the other day how it felt so weird to hear me say, “Then you pulled up.”  I guess that until one drives, one attaches those phrases only to people who drive, and unless you’re at least sixteen, that’s not you.  So, for that phrase to be applied to him made him feel kind of like he had arrived (pun intended).

The three of us together just felt different and good.  Something is happening to Bridgette at school. She’s not just learning about math and science. It makes me wonder if we shouldn’t all start backwards. Send them to college first, bring them home, and see how things pan out over the years. Experiencing the world on our own opens our eyes to the gifts we receive from others.  It’s nice being on the receiving end of that.

I am grateful for the hopeful spirit I have regarding a permanent job. I continue to be intrigued at my sense of hope, when the right job hasn’t produced itself. I believe that hope comes from God; the peace that surpasses all understanding. I also believe that when we are in motion, we produce an energy that encourages us and stimulates us to another step. I’ve submitted numerous resumes, I’ve talked and met with several people, I continue to sub at the school district and am working on my rental property. Each of those things involves interacting with people who know people who know people, and the percentage of success increases with every opportunity in which I participate.

I received a rejection email from a journalism company last week. I read the email briefly, had a moment of disappointment, later revisited it for a moment to determine how I wanted to proceed, and ultimately decided to move on without any follow up with them, or even the essay I had submitted. Time is precious and one thing I’ve discovered is that there are many opportunities to explore. There’s no point in lingering over that one and missing out on others.

I’m grateful for two pairs of pants that I had tailored. They are probably about eight years old. They were bell bottomed but I decided to take them to the tailor, and for $25 each, they’re a new trendy pair of cords, and I love them.

Reinventing this pair of pants to work with bootie shoes.

Reinventing this pair of pants to work with bootie shoes.

I’m feeling more and more satisfied and just plain happy that our house is becoming a home.

Thanksgiving today, this will be Christmas tomorrow (well, maybe not tomorrow).

Thanksgiving today, Christmas tomorrow (well, maybe not tomorrow).

I got Bridgette’s room looking pretty for her arrival home yesterday. What says “Welcome Home” more than clean sheets and candles?

I got my room in better position to look more like a bedroom than a storage unit, and all of this allowed me to enjoy cooking in my kitchen yesterday and watching Les Miserables with kids on our big TV last night. That is satisfaction for me.

Possibly one of the most meaningful things to me this Thanksgiving is our relatives who disguise themselves as friends and who have welcomed us again into their home to share this holiday.  They are a piece of foundation under our feet that gives us a solid place to land on this day.  I understand what it must be like for those who don’t have that place to land. Holidays are kind of that day when everyone is expected to land, but for many, their ground has crumbled below them.  The other day I heard my reply to a cashier when she asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving. “Oh, just going to spend it with family.”  F-A-M-I-L-Y.  Music to my ears.  After a divorce, family is divided. There may not be that family for which you took for granted all those years.  If that is the case, and that ground has crumbled, the absence of that foundation leaves you continually navigating to a safe place.  I am incredibly grateful and in love with this arm of the family who has continued to love us.  Because I’m no longer married to Alex, their sense of obligation is absent, and it is by choice that they embrace us. Grateful today for a landing place.  May our children always know that place.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

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