Years ago when my kids were in grade school, the annual vocal-music concerts used to have pretty much the same songs every year.Â And one of them was “Happiness” from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”Â (trivia fact o’ the day: F’zer and I saw that in its initial run in New York, with Gary Burghoff as Charlie Brown)
One year, the music director took pictures of various kids for a slideshow to accompany that song.Â Vengeant was pictured with “two kinds of ice cream.”Â I don’t remember if we were given a copy of that picture.Â If we were, I can’t find it.Â But it doesn’t matter because I remember it quite clearly.
My grandmother the medicine woman always used to ask people to count their blessings every day–especially people who were feeling blue and unloved.Â Do you have a place to live?Â Do you have food? Do you have enough clothes?Â Do you have family and friends?Â Are you healthy?Â Did you learn new things this year?
Blessings don’t have to be tangible, and too often we forget how good life really is, in the face of Bad Things Happening.
Well, this year, a few Bad Things did happen.Â My mom died.Â But the blessing was that she never knew how sick she was.Â And the outpouring of love and good memories at her memorial service was amazing.Â People with only the most distant connection to the family took the time to show up and pay their respects.
Beyond that, though, I feel like I really do have “two kinds of ice cream” this year.Â I’m healthier than I have been in years.Â My blood pressure is normal for the first time in 20+ years, and my diabetes is finally under control.Â F’zer and I celebrated our 36th anniversary in September.Â My kids are happy and healthy and everyone in the family has a job.Â We have our house and enough money to live on.Â I got to spend time with all my brothers and their families this year for the first time in ages.Â I went to my 40th high school reunion and had a great time with people with whom I’ve been friends for over 40 years.Â Several of them asked me to move back to town.
F’zer and I are getting to spend more time together for the first time since I can’t remember when.Â He can take days off and we can go do things, and as time goes by we’re finding more of those “things” to do.Â I have a flexible schedule, so we don’t have to look too hard to find a time when we can be out and about together.Â If you’ve ever lived in a situation where there was absolutely no flexibility about work, you know what a blessing this is.
I took some college classes and learned a lot of new skills that I had been interested in learning for a long time.Â I have read an average of five books a week all year long, both fiction and nonfiction.Â F’zer and I have gone places locally that I had never gone before, even after close to 25 years in the LA Megalopolis.
I recently got rid of the very last remnants of the last bad times in my life.Â I burned some sage, as my grandmother had me do, to clear the last of the evil from the house.
From now I can only say, with joy, onward and upward!Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.