Saturday, December 27, 2014

Report From Long Island, Good News Edition

I’m in too good a mood to produce one of my usual tirades, so allow me to ramble a bit.

The sun is out today. We haven’t had a lot of sunshine lately, and it tends to get less frequent as the winter intensifies, so I’m grateful for that.

I managed to finish the first draft of Polymath, which I’d struggled with far longer than I expected when I began the project, so I’m grateful for that. A dozen persons have volunteered to read and comment on the draft, and given my propensity to make errors I can’t see even when revising, I’m just as grateful for that.

My new Yamaha digital piano, which was marked down about 60% at Amazon, has proved to be everything I’d hoped it would be, so I’m grateful for that. Unfortunately, all my piano chops have vanished over the twenty-five years or so since I last played. However, I’ve acquired several helpful books and teach-yourself courses by which to work on regaining those skills, and I’m grateful for them as well.

I recently became a member of a Massage Envy spa near my home – if there’s one near you, check it out; they’re not that expensive and very good for you – and Corie, my masseuse, has helped to alleviate several of my chronic aches and pains, so I’m grateful for that.

My most recent blood tests indicate that my type 2 diabetes is firmly under control and my cholesterol and PSA levels have returned to the healthy band. I’m really grateful for that.

I’ll retire from my day job on or about 5/1/2015, with absolutely no debts whether long-term or short-term. Between my company pension and my savings, I shan’t need one penny of valuta from Uncle Sam, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

My novels have reached over 100,000 readers. About 1% of them have written to express their appreciation for my books. The words required to express how grateful I am for that haven’t yet been added to the English language.

Despite my age and various physical troubles, I’ve retained my alertness, my acuity, the sharpness of my perceptions, and my overall joie de vivre. I remain married, much to the astonishment of my wife’s friends. My neighbors are pleasant and helpful. My neighborhood is as safe as any in America. Grateful? You bet.

My animals are healthy. All my machines work. The prices of oil and gas are down. The fridge, freezer, and pantry are stuffed to capacity. There’s plenty of ammo for all the guns. And I managed to score an inexpensive used copy of Dead Space for PlayStation 3, with a strategy guide! Die, necromorphs, die!

With all the complaining going on out there, I figured you might enjoy hearing that for at least one person, life is currently okay and better than okay. So what if I can’t...nahh, you wouldn’t want to hear about that.

If you’re wondering what brought this on, it was an email from a friend who’s not doing so well. He has my prayers and my sympathies, of course. He’s also done me a great service, by reminding me about my own good fortune. I’d love for everyone to be able to say the same, but as I know full well that that will never be the case, at least I can appreciate my own blessings properly.

And how have you been doing, Gentle Reader?

3 comments:

  1. We have had our ups and downs here. Still, there are many things to be thankful for. My brother seems to be rebounding strongly in his battle with AIDS. If you had seen what he looked like a year or so ago, vice what he looks like now (along with the mental clarity returning and his personality coming back to the fore, you wouldn't recognize him as being the same person. My cousin is winning her battle against various cancers. Mom at 86 is as spry as ever...having her children and grand children around her at Christmas was a joy for her (and us). Perhaps the one family tradition which has stood the test of time.

    Passed the five year anniversary with the same employer...and things are looking up there. We are going to be building a new hardware store in town (Major franchise, but owned and operated by the same group which owns the grocery store I am at.) There are also plans in the works for a new grocery store...we are doing too well for the size of the building we are in...we have to get bigger!

    We are all in reasonably good health.. There are annoying aches and pains...and a few issues requiring medication...but no one is at death's door.

    Money could be better, but you would never know it had you seen the Thanksgiving and Christmas (eve) feasts over here. No one would be put out by missing a meal now and again.

    In short, we are also well and truly blessed.

    Sounds like you had a very Merry Christmas....and here is hoping you have the Happiest of New Years! (And if I am reading your date correctly, you are retiring just 4 days before my 60th trip around the sun. Hopefully the "CSO" will not take that as a sigh to radically increase your "honey-do" list, leaving you enough time to produce one epic novel after another!)

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  2. I could whine and snivel, and complain about the pain due to the fact that my lumbar spine is so damaged that it will require two separate surgeries to repair, the first scheduled for a month from now.

    But that would be ass-inine, when I have so much to be grateful for: a loving wife for 20+years; a small home in the beautiful mountains of SW Montana; my three closest neighbors (we're out in the boonies, so they aren't exactly "next door" ;-) are not only terrific, they have become good friends; a very healthy prep status; enough income to remain at least a little ways into the black each month.

    I realize I am doing much better than a lot of folks out there, but each and every one of us, no matter our status, need to count our blessings, and be grateful for what we have, rather than envious or remorseful for what we don't.

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  3. Refreshing it is, brother Francis (if I may...) to read and thoughtfully consider - by way of your reminder - the richness of the blessings God has given me... Christmas eve was grandma and I celebrating our 25th anniversary... each on our 2nd and apparently final marriage... and surrounded by all 4 kids and all 6 grandkids... and having fun. Both of us diabetic, she a type 2 and I am type 1 - but both of us in good but 'creaking' health. The kids and their kids are healthy, those who can and should work have jobs, the truck isn't running yet but the car is, the pantry/fridge/freezer are full... Great grandma (both) are still around to cherish and be cherished... we go to a great church, and we serve a great King... we have our critters, our guns, and the Lord's beautiful clean high desert all around us... we may have snow on the saguaro and Joshua trees new year's eve. Despite the wrongs and evil there has been in my life, God has blessed me far more than I remember to thank Him. And I have brothers not met but read, who encourage, exhort, entertain, and inform. And so I am thankful for you as well. "I wish you a brave new year - all anguish, pain, and sadness; leave your heart and let your road be clear..." Grandpa (stormfriend sends)

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