So, I’m sitting here with WWSW playing Christmas Carols on my computer (IHeart is awesome… it has been a favorite radio station for years… especially this time of year), candles dancing, dog and cat happily chewing on each other. Thanksgiving again. It’s really hard to believe it’s our second in Ohio. It seems like just yesterday I was here for my interview, throwing up all over everywhere.
Pies are in progress (Frozen ones… but I’m baking them, so the house smells yummy). Turkey is in the sink finishing its final thaw. I’m considering making coffee. It would probably be a really good idea.
I really miss making pies from scratch. I really don’t have time to do that any more (I’m hoping to for Christmas) and I’m never really sure the timing of feeling good enough to really put my hands to making pie, so for a few years after the RA fairy visited my stuff on me, we bought made pies from the local constabularies. That always met with mixed results. And it never had the same smell in the house, they just appeared and were gobbled up. Buying frozen ones (our local grocery store always has really good deals around the holidays) and baking them myself is kind of a good in between way to get the smell and the feeling that I’m not actually completely useless in the kitchen while making my hands not take a pounding if they aren’t in the mood.
I’m incredibly grateful that this is an option.
Given that it is Thanksgiving, and as hokey as it really is, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for a lot of things right now… over and above frozen pies. Over and above the food and family (my family of birth, as well as my family of choice and my furry members) and friends. This morning I’m thinking how thankful I am for lots of other things too.
I’m thankful for the window next to my monitor. This morning the moon wasn’t so stunning… so many clouds while it was above the treeline in the back yard… but it has been a beautiful morning. The birds are visiting the feeders (despite the fact that it’s unseasonably toasty warm today), the leaves are blowing in the sunshine, and there are people out walking and enjoying the sunshine. From my window I can watch the birds and the deer, and the cars drive by looking at the Christmas decorations in the yard.
I’m thankful that my hands are working okay and I can crochet still. It is very calming, and I can make some very interesting things to keep me thinking. Also, what I make frequently end up being conversation starters. It doesn’t hurt to pet the cat or the dog. It didn’t even hurt enough to prevent me from decking the halls.
Ironically, this year I have come to realize that I’m thankful for my RA. I’m thankful that it taught me what I needed to know to help my daughter when she was diagnosed with Epilepsy and she had to realize that she has a forever thing. I’m thankful that it taught me to pay attention to what my body is telling me and to listen when it has had enough. I am thankful that it put me in a place where I could help people who needed just a little bit of sanity in a completely insane situation when they were diagnosed and it made me able to help still the fears that I knew they were going through.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always appreciate the gifts that RA brings with it. The hurt kind of sucks big time. The stiffness and swelling… the absolute exhaustion… I’m not thankful for everything that comes along with it. I am thankful that it means that I make the time that I need to make to be present in the moment with the people I need to be present with… and it has helped me connect in entirely different ways with my kids than I would have been able to otherwise.
And now, in the quiet of the evening (because the writing has taken forever today) I wear my shiny new candy cane striped glovies that Squirrel and I went to buy at Penny’s after supper. The coffee that my son made is welcome in the quiet. The music still plays. The lights all dance in the yard. And the connection of Thanksgiving with my own little herd was really nice. It wasn’t the Thanksgiving I grew up with, but it was all good.
Author: April Wells
Updated November 26, 2015