Hot showers and long drives are my “happy places”. There’s something about a nice hot shower that helps me clear my head and can inspire ideas. Long drives have a similar effect, as the world keeps going but there I am in my little car thinking about life. Lately I have stopped taking showers because there’s something funny about the water here, so driving has become my great escape. Thanksgiving just passed, and on the nice drive back from California where we spent the day with family, I began thinking about all the good things in my own life. Now, don’t get me wrong—if you ever feel like there’s no one around grumpy enough for your liking, call me up. You’ll never have to worry about me being in a “good mood” because I don’t do those. Being a general stick-in-the-mud is my thing, and I do it well. But still, there are times when even the wicked witch of the west takes a look around and thinks, “Wow, I’ve got it good.” And now my time has come.
Before I begin my list, a general observation of thanks is to be able to live freely in this country. I’m no flag-waver, in fact most of my adult life has been spent trying to leave this place with its dubious moral code and bizarre prejudices; but at least I have that option, lots of people don’t. (That was a pseudo-gratitudo, I couldn’t quite make it through without a little negativity.)
Bare with me as I express sincerity for the following 'good things' (as Martha Stewart would say):
Montoya family gatherings start with a flutter of excitement as more and more Montoyas walk through the door. Then, we sit around and congratulate ourselves on being Montoyas . It's a real treat and this past Thanksgiving was no different. It's really great to spend time with the whole family and watch each year as it grows.
The immediate family is good for the soul as well. What you don't see in this picture is the typical family moment that followed, when Grant threw me off his back and a wrestling match ensued.
I am especially grateful that Kevin made it home from college for a long weekend. He makes me laugh like crazy, and has been known to head-butt our unsuspecting mother. Ah family!
My sweet Joe:
Nobody will ever be able to comprehend just how much he puts up with, for I am not an easy person to take on. But somehow we make it work and with his fine example I'm learning how not to be such a jerk. He is the kindest person I have ever known, he's also strong, handsome, smart, and so so patient. I truly hit the jackpot with him; $1,000,000 nothing, I'd rather have my sweet Joe.
It's great to have Whole Foods and CSAs that provide local and seasonal produce for people who want them. Not long ago those varieties weren't available, but now we can experiment with new recipes all the time as we make our way through the seasons.
My beautiful beautiful friend who offers the best advice and keeps me sane. Good grief, what would I possibly do without her (and her adorable little boy)?
Having a steady paycheck is certainly something to be grateful for. Thank you to the tax payers who fund my salary, and to the 4 federal agencies that thought it necessary to create my position. Thanks also to the College of Southern Nevada who took a chance on a fresh college graduate and gave me my own english class to teach. I look forward to each new course, and with it all the new students from whom I learn a tremendous amount.
Finally, for all the other things that I am grateful for but didn't include, this quote should sum it all up:
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. -Thornton Wilder