Ten Things for Which I Choose to Be Thankful

First and foremost, I’m thankful that I am not dead. Some of you know that I had a triple bypass in March…the surgery and the subsequent looooooooong recovery period and the rehab that has become necessary were and are not fun, but being alive trumps the pain, inconvenience and bother. I’m thankful that I’m alive…

I’m thankful for my family, especially my husband Paul. He’s been my rock through the heart surgery and recovery…in fact, he came up with the idea of buying a new bed that I could get into and out of more easily than I could with our old bed. What a mensch!

I’m thankful for music. I grew up listening to Ray Charles, Johnnie Ray and many others, and I’ve been collecting both well known and obscure music, and it gives me joy. As I write this, I’m reveling in the music of John Prine…

I stopped working almost two years ago. There were no issues; I worked from one semester to the next as a writing tutor, and when my job ended, I was unable to secure another, so I chose to focus on finishing my studies. I’ve been enjoying the luxury of not being tied to a fixed work schedule. I like to say that I’m inadvertently semi-retired…

We are in the throes of another beautiful Alaskan summer, and as some of you know, Alaskan summers are glorious. This summer we’ve had temperatures well over 70 (hot for Alaska!) and although we are also in a drought, it’s unbelievably beautiful outside…

In Alaska’s current economic climate, which is decidedly not promising, I’m thankful that our friends Joel and Rebekah, as well as Chaun and Tara, are able to retain their jobs at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Joel teaches philosophy and Chaun teaches English; Tara is a guidance counselor, and Rebekah homeschools their three daughters, who are delightful. I’m really thankful that they haven’t had to seek employment elsewhere…

Four years ago, when our daughter needed a total hip replacement, I’m thankful that Dr. Timothy Kavanaugh was available to help her. He just retired this year. Thank you, Dr. Kavanaugh, for saving our daughter’s life.

I’m thankful for triage. This is derived from the French verb trier, which means to “sift, sort, or select.” Triage was first used during the Napoleonic Wars and was further refined in World War I, when the three categories of triage were developed: “those who are likely to live, regardless of what care they receive; those who are unlikely to live, regardless of what care they receive; and those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome.” Our daughter was the beneficiary of the third category when she developed a life-threatening staph infection following her hip replacement and required emergency surgery and another ten days in the hospital. Thank you, triage.

I’m thankful that we have a house that has withstood numerous earthquakes, including the one that hit us last November 30th at 7.0 on the Richter Scale….there were a number of people, both in Eagle River and the neighborhood of Sand Lake here in Anchorage, who still can’t move back into their houses. We’re fortunate…

I’m thankful for the wonderful and random things that have come my way throughout my life, like the time in 1976 when I was in a coffeeshop and who should walk in but Dave Brubeck! When I was a kid, the pilot who flew our surveyors to our homestead was the famous Alaskan bush pilot, Don Sheldon (read Wager With the Wind). I’m thankful that, when our son Rhys was a very young hockey player, we had the extraordinary privilege of meeting former Philadelphia Flyer Bill Clement. Clement gave two workshops which were sponsored by GCI, for whom he was a spokesman. It was a thrill to meet him…and of course he brought with him the Stanley Cup rings he had earned when the Flyers won the Cup in the mid-1970s. Those rings were enormous…Bill Clement was very kind to the kids and generous with his time. I could go on and on…but these are the ten things for which I am thankful.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, in concert with Kristi Brockett Brierley of Ten Things of Thankful (http://tenthingsofthankful.blogspot.com/) and hosted by the amazing Kristi Rieger Campbell of Finding Ninee (https://findingninee.com/self-love-zoo-glory-and-being-thankful/)

20 thoughts on “Ten Things for Which I Choose to Be Thankful

  1. Being not dead is often considered one of the top items on most gratitude blog lists. (If for no other reason than it extends the list immeasurably).
    Alaska is surely the most exotic of places to live, at least for some of us photophiliatic types in, say southern New England. The notion of very late sunsets is fascinating, alas, having no tolerance for cold* makes that a dream only.
    Welcome to the TToT (the other half of this dual bloghop weekend).
    Dave Brubeck! verycool
    Triage and medical advancements are things to be grateful for.
    We are subject, in the category of natural disasters, to hurricanes and blizzards. Earthquakes , imo, are in a different category altogether for their ‘oh my god’ factor. At least with hurricanes, you can see them coming and hide.
    Have a good week.

    * two degrees below ‘starting-to-sweat-profusely’

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    1. Hi Clark – yeah, not being dead definitely brings your quality of life up several notches…heh heh heh…Where do you live? I have never (thankfully!) been through a hurricane, or even a tornado, and I was born in St. Louis (GO BLUES!!!). Earthquakes and pine beetles are about as bad as we get here…although washouts from torrential rainstorms have plagued our railroad throughout the years. It’s always something, right? Have a wonnnnnnderful summer and if you ever get up to Anchorage, email me and I’ll show you the sights of our area.

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  2. I’ve been through earthquakes before, but never a 7! Wow! I’m glad you are safe and able to live in your house.

    It sounds like between that and the surgery, you’ve had quite the past few months. Being alive is definitely something to be thankful for, and having the loving support of family makes even the difficult times easier.

    I hope to visit Alaska sometime. I have family who have been there, and the photos I have seen are beautiful. Enjoy your warm weather!

    Thanks so much for linking up with FTSF/TToT this week! 🙂

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    1. Come visit!! Summer is glorious and incomparable and all too brief…if we’re lucky, we might get 50 days of sunny hot weather in a summer…but we take whatever comes our way because what the hell else can you do? I’ve lived through the Good Friday Earthquake of March 27, 1964 and lemme tell you…THAT was something. The one we had last November was scary, as they all are….but nowhere near as bad as ’64. I hope that you do get to come up. Do let me know and I will be your guide! Just email me at shermancityhall@yahoo.com.

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  3. Well I have to say I’m thankful you’re not dead too! That’s so sweet your husband bought you a new bed that’s easier to get in and out of! Awww! 🙂
    I’m so glad your daughter was able to get help via triage – staph infections are so scary. I feel like hospitals could find a way to be cleaner in that sense, but suppose with all the people coming in and out, it’s impossible to stay on top of germs. Yikes though. Super cool about the famous people you got to see and hang with – I saw the Stanley Cup once too and was amazed at how huge it is! Enjoy your Alaskan summer! It was almost 80 here yesterday and today is maybe 45 and misty.

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    1. Awww….My son is a New Jersey fan because of Scotty Gomez (Anchorage bred and born!) – and in Scotty’s rookie year, the Devils won the Cup…he brought it to the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage and we got to go see it. What a RUSH….I hope you have a wonderful, restful summer filled with fun and make some wonderful memories…

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  4. Hello! I’m a mother to an autistic child as well. He’s only 9, but verbal and his mind is always surprising me by pursuing an eclectic range of interests.
    Yes, life itself is such a big blessing! I’m so glad you survived your heart surgery and that your daughter healed after a life-threatening staph infection after her hip surgery.

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    1. Keep encouraging your son to follow his passions…good job, mama! Don’t ever let him settle for or be pushed into sweeping floors at a Burger King. There are LOTS of companies in the Lower 48 that hire folks with developmental disabilities…the future is his oyster. And hang in there…I wouldn’t trade the past 30 years for anything in this world!

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  5. “inadvertently semi-retired” – this is such a wonderful way to describe your job status to people! I love it.
    Glad you have time to work on writing and following your hobbies, and VERY glad you’re alive to do so! Surgery is such a pain (in all the ways) but so often makes all the difference. I’m glad it did for your daughter, too.

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    1. Thank you, Lizzi! See, that’s what is soooo great about writing…we get to come up with creative phrases for ordinary things. For example, I am not a housewife; I am a Domestic Goddess. I am not just a Wife; I am She Who Must Be Obeyed….and so on and on and on…

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  6. Hi! Wow, you have a pretty amazing life, and I join you in being grateful that you’ve been given more time to live and enjoy it! I love that you are thankful for the special people that have been brought into your life and made an impact, and also that you are thankful when good things, like jobs continuing, happens for others! Nothing warms the soul more than seeing good things happen to people we care about! I am thankful that you survived the earthquakes unscathed too, the have to be terrifying! I am so glad that you are recovering from your major surgery and I wish you continued health from this point on! I also appreciate the explanation of triage, a term we all know, but really didn’t know exactly what it meant or where it came from. I love learning new things from the people I encounter. XO

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  7. If there were a prize for best thankfuls, you would certainly win with not being dead, plus your daughter not being dead! Holy cow! Wishing continued good health for you and that the staph infection in your daughter is gone and never comes back! An earthquake resistant home is a miracle – I used to live in LA and was there for the 1998 Northridge earthquake. My mom was a big Dave Brubeck fan, and I also enjoy John Prine. I sing the chorus from “Paradise” nearly every single day if I see the coal train traveling through town. Glad you joined us at the TToT!

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    1. Your comment made me chuckle….and thanks! I’m a looong time Prine fan, and was privileged to see him in concert here in Anchorage, at his prime. He was absolutely amazing and such a handsome man…I think that Paradise has to be one of my top five favorites by John Prine, and the chorus just sends me to the MOON…”Daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County/Down by the Green River/Where Paradise lay/I’m sorry my boy, but you’re too late in askin’/Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away…” Such a beautiful song. I can only listen to “Souvenirs” (duet with Steve Goodman) so often, because it makes me weep…

      I’m glad that I joined up with y’all as well – this was fun! Hopefully there’ll be other opportunities…

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  8. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your TToT. Sorry, I took time out to go to YouTube and listen to some of this music you mentioned in your post and comments. This brought back memories.
    When my husband and I went to Alaska a few years ago, we lucked out in being there when the weather was sunny and warm and just beautiful! We were on a very small boat (just eight passengers) cruising around Admiralty Island.
    So glad that you came through your heart surgery and rehab okay! And yeah that your daughter is okay following the hip replacement and the scary encounter with the staph infection. These life and death moments seem to put things in perspective.
    How wonderful that your house has withstood those huge Alaska earthquakes!
    I hope that you will continue to link up to TToT!

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