Thanksgiving and Chanukah
Posted November 28, 2013on:
First, and let’s get this over and done with: I will not use that cutesy advertising term for the coinciding of the two holidays. I don’t do cute, as a rule, and cute fueled by people trying to get me to spend money I don’t have is even more annoying.
That said, I have much to be grateful for this year. The thing that should have killed me decades ago didn’t, and – while my mobility has lessened a lot – at least we now know what is wrong, and are fumbling toward a solution. I have good friends who have kept me from eating my own tail over the situation, and who make themselves available when I *am* up to going out for a bit. Thirdly, my sister has been trying to be genuinely helpful, and I really do appreciate that. My roommate has kept a roof over my head when work has been scarce, and never said a word about how or when I will be able to pay her back. She has also run all sorts of errands for me when I cannot do them easily. My ex has been crazy helpful, schlepping me shopping when I have the energy, and either taking the roommate or picking up stuff for us when I don’t have it. I have good doctors, who I trust. They continue to exercise caution, even beyond what I would, given my druthers. I have yet to meet the surgeon that my cardiologist favors, but I do know that if it doesn’t feel right, I will tell him to find someone else, because I have learned what the consequences of not doing that can be.
I have had almost steady work since getting out of the hospital in February. Pretty much the only days I haven’t had work were the days I was not physically up to working. And I’ve ended up with some good new colleagues out of it. I also have my writing website almost ready. The last thing that remains to be done is to figure out how to get my grammar blog to appear on that website (and if any of you can help me with that, it would be much appreciated – please email me, call me, or Skype me).
I have, with the help of various friends who have either worked at Social Security, or who have gone through the process themselves, started the process of filing for disability, since it will take at least a year before I am capable of working to my normal capacity.
My roommate came to me last week, and asked how many people we should figure on for Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to do it this year, since it meant moving some bookcases so we can get to my big table, and that’s the kind of energy sink I don’t need right now. However, she helped me move two of them, and we need to put one more in its place, and temporarily relocate the wicker shelving unit I inherited from the ex’s mother. At any rate, we figured we could fit a couple of folks around the double gateleg table my grandfather had made, which resides in my kitchen. We invited my ex, two friends who are having severe Landlord problems, and my sister and my oldest friend (who both declined for various reasons involving mourning). So, we are currently five definite for dinner, with a possible sixth (depending on how mobile she is feeling today).
The thing is, until I started the cooking for the things I’m making, I didn’t realize just how much *I* needed to do this. There are damned few things I have control over right now, and being able to feed friends has always been one of those things, and – possibly – the one I enjoy most.
The food I’m making is the brisket and veggies I posted the recipe for the other day, a mince (fruit) and walnut pie, a lemon jello and mandarin orange tart, cranberry sauce, and a green bean casserole. The roomie is doing the turkey, matzo ball soup, dressing, and garlic mashed potatoes. One friend is bringing a homemade pumpkin pie, another is bringing a rice dish with craisins and cashews, the ex is bringing some yams (in case anyone wants them), and another friend is bringing cookies. I know we should have latkes, but none of us feel like scraping our fingers.
Anyway, I’m feeling tremendously accomplished this morning. The only things *I* have left to do are move the bookcases and make the cranberry sauce. The jello tart is setting properly; the mince/walnut pie has cooled enough to cover and put in the fridge, and the green bean casserole is cooking (that will get the French-fried onions when it gets reheated before serving).
Whatever seasonal holiday, or holidays, you celebrate around this time of year, I wish you a good one! If you think of it, express to your loved ones how much they mean to you – life is short enough, even if we are lucky enough to be long-lived, and it can go away in moments. Be grateful for being above the ground; no matter how big your problems are, there is always hope that you will find a way through while you are alive. If you still have your health guard it. I found out this year just how easily that can vanish, and I know that I had always taken it for granted.
Whether I’ve met you in person, or only on these pages, I hope you know that you have made a tremendous difference in the quality of my life. I can only hope that I have, in some small measure, given back in kind.