Counting blessings

Early this evening, after the sun had gone down and the air had turned cold for the day, I scurried inside my house for the last time before bed. The kitchen smelled like a mixture of clean laundry and a s’mores plug-in air freshener my mom bought for Kalista. The entire place was warm.

I have gloated about my old mill house with wood floors and two fireplaces before. A brick slice of textile industry history, its brawny stature that can make its inhabitants oblivious to hurricane winds is the kind of home I’ve always wanted. My favorite part is going inside: it can be a cold, rainy, thunderous or blistering hot day, yet the old mill house – cozy or refreshing, depending on the time of year – sounds unaware. Kalista and I are safe enveloped by its physique.

I was inspired, this day before Thanksgiving, to once again feel blessed to have this home. Here are some other things I am thankful for:

Thank God I have a job. Not just any job, either – one that’s compatible with my unique family dynamics, has room for growth and provides more than enough money, health insurance and general perks. I am one of those lucky persons who does not worry about layoffs or even cutbacks.

Speaking of my family, I am thankful for it. Life at my age is not what I pictured in high school or college; I do not have enough stuff or professional accolades for it to be. However, because of my family dynamics I did not foresee back then, I have more joy than stuff or accolades can bring.

Speaking of joy, no one brings me more of it than my daughter, who didn’t exist in my wildest of dreams until I had them. Each Thanksgiving, I am more thankful despite feeling less like I know what I’m doing as a parent than the Thanksgiving before. Despite my uncertainty, I am positive she grows happier, more curious and thirsty for life, by the year. I am lucky to bear witness.

Truly I would be childish if I were childless. I should actually say “morechildish” since I do have a tendency to act like a child – and not in some appealing “Everybody Loves Raymond” sort of way. I have committed social crimes and escape acts that warrant friendlessness, yet I still have a few hangers-on who claim me at least privately. I am thankful for them.

Finally, thank God for God. I have done nothing to deserve any of this.

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