I have so much in my life to be thankful for! Here are just a few, in no particular order (but the ones with photos are mostly at the end):
10. That I don’t have a dog.
I did for about 18 hours, but was able to find it a home right away. Phew! I like dogs, but three cats is enough right now without a young puppy being thrust into the mix.
Cute, tiny, sweet, and not at all welcome. Oh, well. Bobo has a good home now, and none of her messes left stains!
9. My children’s classes.
It’s great to work with these kids part-time until I can teach children in English full-time again. They had fun icing spice (cup)cakes this past week to go with their story (we’re reading words with “c” sounding like “s”). Next week we start on the winter holidays, and learning the songs for the Christmas party.
8. My family.
The Christmas package from my family already got here from the US (I haven’t even mailed their gifts from me yet!). Getting physical mail and packages makes me feel loved, over and above the everyday knowledge that they love me and the e-mail and phone calls. My family is so wonderful! I’m also grateful for my world-wide family; I can’t imagine life not part of it, and I’m thankful the Father has us encourage and love on each other, instead of just being hermits or something. He sustains us, but he often uses a physical hug or words from a friend’s lips as well as his Word and Spirit.
7. I’m also grateful we live in an age where such fast/instant global communication is possible!
I know, there are so many more important things to be thankful for, but I really am grateful that I can watch movies and TV shows in the comfort of my home while knitting or eating dinner or patting a cat (but never more than one of those at a time!) Recent entertainment has included “Enchanted,” the West Wing Thanksgiving episode “Shibboleth,” some of the HBO mini-series “John Adams,” and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.” Nothing deep and thought-provoking, but good relaxation!
The radiators were turned on in my building at 12 noon today. Hallelujah!
4. That the end-of-term count-down has begun.
I had to take a sick day last week because I was just too run-down and coughing too much to even consider talking for 6 hours of classes. It was a great refresher, but all the running around and preparing for Thanksgiving hasn’t left me far ahead rest-wise. Why is it that China’s only holidays are in September and early October, and then nothing until January? At least it makes me extra-grateful that our contracts this year give the foreign teachers December 24-25 off free (ie, no make-up classes after them.) I don’t have class the 25th anyway, but the 24th would have been another 6-hour teaching day. Week 14 out of 18 is starting now; a few more tests, one more stack of serious grading, some of my favorite lessons, which are easy now since it’s the 3rd or 4th time I’ve taught them, and then it’s time to average grades!
3. A working oven.
Two, in fact. When mine broke, David, the repairman, said the necessary parts weren’t available. Celia gave me her old oven to use, and then, lo and behold, David texted to say mine was fixed and when could I pick it up?- “Well, you said it’s a holiday for you this week and you need to cook, so you’d better come get it now, hadn’t you?” Um, okay! What could I say?
2. Thanksgiving dinner.
I was able to celebrate both Friday and Saturday with two groups of friends. I made a pumpkin pie for each meal. On Saturday morning I actually roasted my first turkey, a seven and a half pound beauty that just fit in Celia’s old oven, while I baked up some stuffing in my own. (Apparently it broke and recovered at just the right time!) In this video, you can see steam coming from the turkey and the water under it in the pan. I don’t know if it’s supposed to steam so much, but I just followed the cookbook directions and it seems to have come out edible! It was a huge mid-day dinner that day and quite yummy. I stuffed myself with all the good things, laughed and chattered a lot, then had a nice game of Clue and a bit more chat before finding a bus home.
Mikaela holds the turkey after I wrestled with it and won
camera crew – this was a well-documented meal!
1. New life!
My neighbor’s dog had four puppies Saturday. I’m really happy for her, because the last litter of two is all gone – one was given away, then the other was hit by a car. I don’t know if she’ll get to keep any of these, but it’s nice to see the new little ones nursing. Becky also had her baby – Jace is one month old tomorrow, and a precious little boy. And a friend here just had a second birthday! Party upstairs! 🙂
Jace and I, when he was 8 days old.