Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friends, Food, Thanksgiving and Flying Squirrels!

Yes, we survived down, one to go!!  Actually, it was fine because we took the easy way out.  We didn't get back here until very late afternoon on Tuesday.  So, Wednesday was spent getting settled in and situated.  No longer eating meat, I made a new recipe for stuffed acorn squash, which is definitely a keeper.  Then on Thanksgiving day, I went out and got my  mother a traditional Thanksgiving plate, with which she seemed pleased.  We both agreed that it was nice to have a relaxing morning and an easy clean up!!  I always thought that women got the short end of the "holiday" stick, so I was fine with going this way.

After lunch, Pamela, a new friend I met on the way to the Rally to Restore Sanity, came over for dessert.  She stayed quite a while and we all had a good chat.  Unfortunately, she's moving back to California in January.  She's been here a year (her elderly mother lives here in an upscale assisted living home) and not been able to find a job or meet friends with whom she has much in common.  She joined me for Living Liberally a few weeks ago and we found we had lots to talk about, and I think she enjoyed spending part of the day with us.

My trip to NC wasn't without excitement, this time in the form of a flying squirrel!!  Earlier in the week, my mother had told me that there was a squirrel on her enclosed porch and that her kitty was trying to get it.  When I got there, I looked for it but couldn't find it.....and assumed it had gotten back out into the wild.  Then, Tuesday morning (the day we were to come back), as I was making coffee (my mother still in bed), her little kitty flew through the kitchen with something in his mouth.  Immediately I knew what it was and was afraid he was taking it to Mama as a gift!!  As I followed him to the bedroom, he went under the bed, growling.  I checked in every few minutes.  Finally, he was out from under the bed, standing over the squirrel, who was lying flat on his back with his white tummy full exposed.  Tuffy turned to look at me and in a split second the squirrel hopped up and flew under the desk!!  Once my mother was up, we finished packing the car and the mission then became getting the squirrel out of the bedroom.  I spent well over and hour and a half chasing him, with no success.  Somehow he found a good hiding spot and just held up there.  Finally, around noon I said we had to go or we would be driving at night.  So, we opened the window from the bedroom to the porch a little, stuffed towels under the closet & bedroom doors, hoping he would find his way back onto the porch and out the same way he came in.  Thus is the story of our getting back to SC so late.  I just hope the little fellow got back outside.  He was a young flying squirrel and sooo cute.  I told Mama I wish he knew I was just trying to help him out, but to him I was just something much larger than a cat chasing him!

For me, as I grow older, my Thanksgiving list becomes shorted and more crystallized, as I've learned that the best things in life really are not things.  In spite of the ups and downs, I'm thankful to have this time with my mother, especially those moments that are good.  Knowing that "our friends are God's apology for our family", I'm immensely thankful for my friends......and wish they were much closer in proximity!  Those family members who are close to us now (and they aren't necessarily those I was closest to growing up) are also much appreciated.  Good health also has to be close to the top of the list, and I've been so fortunate in that respect.....and have become more aware of it as I've gotten older. Enriching experiences, large and small, are the condiments that add joy to each day....sometimes a short exchange with a total stranger can be the high point of a day, like my recent chat with a lady in the cat aisle of a store who was getting outfitted for her new kitty......little commonalities that are shared with someone else whom you might not otherwise know.  And finally comes the abundance of "things" that makes my life comfortable.  The list could go on and on, but these are the things for which I'm most thankful.

Though it's after the fact, I'm sending this Thanksgiving poem to friends and other readers.  While it's nice to note our blessings on Thanksgiving day, I like what it says able looking for/recognizing "bits of pleasure in each hour", which I'm trying to perfect.

I’m Thankful for You
Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I’m thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!
By Joanna Fuchs