Anyway, I suppose that this puts us right in the middle of the holiday season today, whether we like it or not. I hope it's not too late to still be thankful for a few things, however small.
- I suppose I'm thankful that the pre-treatment estimate for Charlie's upcoming surgery pretty much equals the last deposit I made to my checking account. Anyone who wants to complain about it being a fairly lean Christmas from these here parts is more than welcome to unwrap a lump of you-know-what for the holidays, and I'm not talking about coal. (Clue: You can come to our backyard and scoop your own piece from the available selection.)
- I'm thankful to still have a job, but let's revisit that particular idea in a couple of months. It was nice of my employers to let us all sweat through the holidays before letting us know whether we'll ever be able to pay off the gifts we charged to our MasterCards. Priceless.
- Okay, I am genuinely thankful that we finished Dinah's AKC championship this year, and are teetering on the brink of finishing her in Canada. Details are on my other blog. The Thanksgiving Cluster usually marks our last show appearance of the calendar year, so it was particularly nice to be able to finish our 2009 season at the last shows of our year. I'm also grateful to be able to pick and choose our shows now that she's a special, instead of sending out $30 and a whole lot of hope to every show within a few hundred miles that stands a chance of amassing a major's worth of competition. I can roll that savings right into my 401(k) and watch it disappear anyway.
- I am grateful that my family seems to be hanging in there, despite some health scares that my father's had this year. One of my sisters recently got engaged, and I'm glad for her. I just pray every day that she and her intended run off to Las Vegas and get married by an Elvis impersonator so I don't have to deal with a 50-year-old Bridezilla. See "lean year for gifts" above.
Yeah, we still have our health, the roof is still over our heads, and our guy won in the last election. This is a season of hope, however guarded that hope might be. If I have a wish for this upcoming holiday season, it's that we will shortly be able to look back in it and say, "Remember how down and how scared we all were?" -- and be able to do so from a place that is genuinely happier and more hopeful. I wish everybody the best, and hope that there are better times to come.