Since this is Thanksgiving, and writing what we are thankful for is de rigueur, welp, here is my meager effort.
It has been a rather tumultuous year at The Poor Farm, mostly because The Poor Farm exists only as a concept these days. As most of you are well aware, it all went up in smoke on June 26.
That incident is not one of the things for which I'm thankful. All I had left were some scattered possessions in my truck, in my pickup, and at the neighbors' place. The cat who chose to put up with me met certain death. I still have problems with that - I cannot go out there and look without remembering Rooster, and all the pain rushes back. I've said it before - I'd have given all the other stuff if he could have been spared. Nope, all of it was taken, as it were.
So, thinking in those terms, I was thankful that I still had what I did. Once I pulled off the clothing I was wearing, I had more to wear while doing laundry. I still have a few guns stored away from the place, my laptop and some winter clothing in the back seat of my pickup.
Still - negative feelings about the whole thing.
Maybe in the long run it was a good thing, because I certainly learned against my initial judgment about how generous the human heart really is.
To see the magnitude of the response of all you out there completely blew me away. Both local people, internet friends, and people that up until that point had never heard of me gave willingly. I had many large and small donors - and believe me, it all added up to me being able to start again.
I had a difficult time accepting all that. I've always been a loner as far as getting by is concerned, and to have to take that help was something for which I was completely unprepared - it wasn't my way.
I find myself living in a house that is far nicer than the one that burned. More room, more storage, more comfortable (central HVAC as opposed to a propane stove and wall A/C in the living room). No mice. No bugs. No unusual creatures on my porch.
To be honest, I do miss some features of the creatures - I miss being able to step out at night and hear or perhaps join in with the coyotes. I miss all the birds and their music. I miss the open spaces. Stepping out the front door, all I see are evergreen trees. If I look up, I can see the North Star. On the farm - the whole of the Milky Way spread gloriously across the sky.
But living in town has made me a more social creature - just having to go to the Post Office for my mail means I encounter people I enjoy seeing. I can just jump in the ol' pickemup truck and dash to the grocery store or cafe rather than make a big trip out of it. This is something my great friend Road Pig foresaw when he offered his mother's old place to me to rent. He wanted me in town. I have come to appreciate that decision more and more as time goes by.
It doesn't hurt that he offered one of his cats up as a possible pal as well. Bob has become my buddy. He does like his treats, but he also is very attached to the attention. Maybe that seems like a small thing to some, but it's damn nice to know there is some sort of creature that likes to see me come home.
So, as far as the losing the house and finding out how generous people can be situation is concerned, why, yes, I am particularly thankful. I have been changed - not much, but my worldview has been altered, and my reactions to people as well. As I have said before, I have so many of you to thank for all that.
And looking in other areas, my health is constant - kinda poor, but regular. Not getting worse, at any rate. I've not managed to lose weight or regain my old stamina, but I do manage to report to work most of the time. I enjoy what I do, too. So, I'm thankful for my job. Many are not so fortunate, as we see in the news every day.
I am thankful to live in the United States of America. I have multiple freedoms that most citizens of the world do not enjoy. I can still speak my mind, vote for whom I wish, worship how I want, buy what I want and can afford, drive where and in what I want when I want, enjoy the world's best and cheapest food supply chain, obtain quality medical care (even out here in flyover country), own and use personal weapons denied so many other world citizens, and so many more freedoms we take for granted. Perhaps these things are slowly going away, but this year, I enjoy them and am thankful for it.
Mostly, and let me reiterate here, I am thankful for my friends. I have some very good friends. Very good friends. I have always been fortunate in having such people at my back, but this year taught me how much they cover my six, as it were.
My friends have to be the thing I am most thankful for, out of all the freedoms and choices out there. I love you all, and once again, Thank You!!!