This post would have been written and put up this morning, but I just got back from spending the weekend with Kathy and Jade. Which is a good place to start.
Haven't seen either of them in five weeks, which is the longest I've gone not since the start. Just life, and illness, getting in the way. So I was thankful going in.
Kathy had originally intended to go to the Forks of the Credit this weekend, but the weather didn't want to co-operate. So we went back to Woodstock and spent most of the weekend around home.
Most of the weekend. We did go out Saturday night to have a light supper at Fritzie's and see "A Star Is Born" next door. (We'd intended to go to one of the Cineplexes in London, to which we had the remainder of the gift card Eva'd given us for our anniversary. Alas, you can now buy advance tickets online. And people do. To the point the theaters were sold out.)
I have not seen any of the previous incarnations of this movie. I had only the barest idea what it's about. But reviews saying things like "best romantic drama in years" and "music with searing emotional power" had me chomping at the bit.
Well, the theater is downtown Woodstock was a little more than half the price London would have been. Concessions were on the low end of expensive instead of I-have-to-pretend-I'm-in-a-different-country-with-a-different-currency.
The movie destroyed me.
I was expecting a tear-jerker. I wasn't expecting to be an utter blubbering wreck of a pussy boyfriend for the last twenty minutes of running time. Shades of Les Mis, except this time my partner at least shed a tear (a single tear, mind you, to my flood) herself.
I was viciously gratified, walking out, to hear more than one person audibly sobbing. All women, of course, but I state this with defiance: if I'm going to cry, I'm going to cry, damnit.
See this movie. It will win Oscars. It deserves them.
Sunday was turkey day for us (and for Eva and Mark, too). Delicious. especially the stuffing, the homemade biscuits, and the (mmmmm) apple crisp (also homemade). Jade spent Saturday at her dad's family Thanksgiving and Sunday at her boyfriend's family's Thanksgiving so it was just Kathy and I for most of the lovely weekend. Thank you, hon, for sharing it with me. I'll have more to say about you in a couple of weeks....dun dun dun....
Oh-ho, Jade, you thought you got out of the gratitude parade. I'm about to say something that some people might find incomprehensible.
I am not, and would never presume to be, Jade's parent. It's not my place, it's not my role, and all three of us know it. But I love her and feel a sense of responsibility towards her, and I am profoundly grateful for her, even when she's difficult, as teenagers can be.
You see, I was no walk in the park myself. I admire the way my stepfather dealt with my numerous flaws and foibles, and I try very hard to model him. Having that opportunity means an awful lot to me--even at the remove I am. Jade is a strong young woman with a lot of her mom in her and she's going to go a long way once she figures out which way to go and musters the will to get there. I can only hope that circumstances permit me to see her fly.
Thank you for letting me into your mom's world, Jade. (You did know it was ultimately up to you, right?) And thank you for letting me, ever so slightly, into yours.
Now I'm home, Waterloo-home, and no less thankful for who and what is here. Eva and Mark, who had a lovely time themselves. MORE turkey. (Turkey sandwiches for lunch and supper, and a hot turkey sandwich for a bedtime snack, I'm gobble-gobbled out and I'm going to be painting the bedroom a charming shade of turkey-fart tonight.
It's Eva's and my 18th anniversary next weekend, and that's going to be an ode to my wife. For now, suffice it to say that each and every day she gives me unquestioning support and unconditional love. Her strength is an inspiration and her softness a benison. Thank you, love.
And Eva has Mark beside her as well as myself, and that's a blessing, too. Mark is strong in a way that I am not, and at times it has taken both of our strengths, together with Eva's own prodigious reserves, to keep her right side up. But she deserves our love, and more besides...not just because of all she's done, but because of who she is. I'm glad she found Mark, I'm glad Mark found her, and I am thankful for their presence in my life.
Can't forget the best buds Dolly and Bubbles, each lending their own joy to the running of this house.
My dear friend Nicole climbed a mountain this weekend. Not just any mountain -- Mt. Algonquin, the second highest in the Adirondack range, also the steepest and by many accounts the toughest. Like so many of the women of my acquaintance, Nicole is someone with many reasons not to get out of bed of a morning. Reasons no one would dare to fault her for if she lived her life housebound. Yet there she was, hiking eight gruelling hours and summiting a fucking MOUNTAIN. Nicole, you amaze me and I'm so glad I'm your friend.
I continue to be thankful for all my friends, whether I've seen you frequently, rarely, or not at all (yet). I strive always to remain worthy of your friendship. You mean so, so much to me, each and every one of you. Thank you all.
Thank you to my father, for choosing to remain in my life, for loving a son who can be difficult to understand and occasionally hard to love. Thank you to his partner Heather, who is his rock.
I am thankful to live in Canada where, despite worrying signs, we haven't quite descended into the madness that is tearing our neighbour to the south apart. I'm grateful we can appoint a woman to the Supreme Court of Canada and the only complaint anyone has is that she's not an indigenous woman. (We should not get too smug: this is the same country where a judge asked a rape victim why she didn't keep her legs together; where police jailed another rape victim for five days to ensure she'd testify against her assailant and drove them both to the jail in the same van at the same time. We have a long ways to go, all of us. But still...let's be thankful for what we have here. Let's please not throw it away.
I am thankful for my job. It's by no means perfect--the lack of paid sick time raised my eyebrows--but it's a damn sight better than where I was. I got a performance bonus for the month of August. Lost it this past month as the volume increased more than sixfold, but I'm working like hell on getting it back.
I'm thankful for my health, and it's well past time to stop talking to about safeguarding it and start actually doing so. I have so much to want to be around to experience just yet, you know?
And I'm thankful for you, my readers. I hope through me you've learned a little, laughed a little, and maybe loved a little more than you might have otherwise.