Thanks for the arguments

For our household, this is a day of negative thanks. Really, things could be a lot worse.

The Organizer and the grandkids could have waited to get sick until this afternoon, thereby ensuring that the First Reader and I had a chance to catch the really awful virus going the rounds in Hutto. Instead, she’s stuck up there dealing with projectile-vomiting pre-schoolers while herself feeling too miserable to consider anything more than crackers and ginger ale. So it’s good that they aren’t joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Really.

The Fashionista and her husband could have decided to fly in from Brooklyn, in which case I would even now be tiptoeing through the conversational minefields generated by a fervently politically correct couple, so it’s good that…

Naah. Scratch that. Restart. All these people who are stressing about the difficulty of dealing with seldom-seen family and political disagreements? They should shaddup already. Walking on eggshells or not, I only wish the kids were here, all of them, so I could be snatching choking hazards from the toddler and avoiding arguments with the Correct instead of making soup to send up to Hutto.

Leaving me to a catalog of negative thanks:

The resident cat cannot really turn himself into a dragon, no matter how fiercely he launches himself from the top of the bookshelves.

The Hutto Virus probably is not a new form of Ebola.

The doings in Hong Kong, though terrible enough, probably have not launched World War III…

You know what? I’m going to take my own advice and shut up before I come up with any more disasters that haven’t happened yet. There’s no point in giving the gods ideas.




    1. The younger daughter, graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology and teacher of a painful life lesson: never let your kids move to Manhattan. You may not get them back.

  1. I’m thankful that Peter had the latest heart attack after we’ve met our deductible, instead of in January…

    I’m thankful we didn’t get freezing rain, just miserable chilly rain and damp… for which the ranchers and farmers are probably thankful.

    I’m thankful Floof has such a laid back attitude toward life, because 17 pounds of “Duuuude” is a much easier cat to handle than 17 pounds of snits and attitude.

  2. Laid-back dinner with my inlaws, where I did most of the “work” because the work was basically just heating stuff up– ham (spiral), mashed potatoes (instant), canned beans, canned corn, bagged lettuce, and crescent rolls.

    The kids did the rolls.


  3. I’m thankful that yesterday’s windstorm just hurled a rain of broken-off tree limbs onto the sunporch that is my office, rather than sending the entire huge silver maple crashing down onto it while I was sitting at my computer, just about ready to get up and fix lunch.

    I’m grateful that we have a good insurance agency, and they recommended a contractor who had people at our place within a couple of hours, boarding up the broken window and tarping the multiply punctured rubber roof on the sunporch so we could hit the road this morning to join the family for Thanksgiving dinner at Dad’s place, and stay overnight so we can drive back rested instead of exhausted.

    I’m particularly grateful I have a wonderful endocrinologist who put me on thyroid pills right away when I first saw her in March, so I once again have the energy to write like the wind on both fiction and non-fiction, on websites and autoresponder sequences, all the things I need to do to make for our deductible, for getting a tree service to remove the ancient silver maple that shed all those destructive tree limbs and the mulberry/silver maple Frankenstein tree in the front yard with three huge dead limbs that could come down in an ice storm or heavy wet snowstorm, and for any additional money we may have to pay out if the contractors open up something in that sunporch and discover they can’t do any repair work without bringing everything up to current code (at our expense).

    Awful as things are right now, I have a heck of a lot to be thankful for.

  4. I am thankful for something I get asked every time some order-following medical care flunky asks me this: “Mr. O’Malley, do you ever think about hurting your self or others? Evidently, the recent emphasis on PTSD and veteran suicides, and the prevention thereof, means that we have Top People working on it. Top. People.
    The fact that it has caused the general population to think slandering every Swinging Richard that ever carried a M-16 in the service of The Big Green Rifle Club by implying he is a grenade with a loose as a goose pin is an Unintended Consequence of their need to publicly demonstrate their Feels.(Cynical Much?)
    My standard reply has been repeated so often as to be almost a muscle memory response.

    “Dear Dr./Nurse/Public Service Flunky,
    Thank you so much for asking. I am touched by your concern. It is true that I suffer from several nagging minor health issues of the type common in men my age. They do not cause me to feel a smidgen of self-pity. So you will not find me on the news shooting up a cinema, or even just a sad suicide full cheap whiskey and pills found under a bridge. There ain’t a smidgen of self-pity in me.
    I knew a lotta men, most better men than me, who never got a chance to be bothered with all this niggly little crap that only us Lucky Ones ever get to feel. I had an entire platoon of guardian angels pulling combat pay looking after me.
    The others never got a chance to grow old. And they’d trade with me in a heartbeat. And they’d rather I live life drinking beer, eating steaks, and chasing women instead of mooning around like some emo sad sack tortured by survivor guilt.
    Please note the page in my health record where you write this, so that next month, when somebody else asks me this question, I can just refer them to this page. Thanks.”

      1. I have to confess, on occasion I find myself wishing I was twenty-five again. simply to be able to hurt guys like Mr.I-Forget-His-Name, the guy we just killed. Oh wait, the guy who suicided when he discovered he was trapped like a rat with nowhere left to run and hide.

    1. As a side note, that question has little to do with “veterans are suicidal lunatics” and is more of a “covering our behinds if someone under our care offs themselves” thing.

      Pretty much every government agency asks that question during a medical exam.

      1. Not just the government agencies. Pretty much every doctor (at least in DFW; since these are chain medical providers it’s more widespread) will require a psychological evaluation on this subject (in the form of a computer questionnaire) before prescribing any sort of prescription painkiller. There is no law requiring it; it’s their insurance carriers.

        Of course, anyone looking at your medical records just sees you’ve been subject to a “mental health evaluation.”

  5. An Odor of Sanctity, by a novelist who was at one time the most popular fiction writer in the United States, the late Frank Yerby, concerns the life of Alaric Teudisson, the aging son of a Gothic nobleman in Saracen-ruled Spain. Toward the end of the book, Alaric is contemplating the wreck of his third marriage: to the much younger daughter of a Muslim nobleman whose late wife had insisted on raising her as a Catholic. Two devastating pregnancies and the intervention of a rebellion-minded priest had chilled their home to the point where they could hardly even greet one another without turmoil. And Alaric, a devout man who bears the scars from innumerable travails, thinks about what they would say to one another were they to converse about the state of conflict-wracked Cordoba, and thinks to himself:

    “I thank Thee, God, for silence.”

    Sometimes it’s the greatest of all blessings. I say that from experience.

    1. OT: Frank Yerby was black, and managed to sell his books without trumpeting his poor oppressed minority status. We managed to read and enjoy him w/o knowing, or caring, about the color of his akin.

  6. Went to friends for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. Food and drink in abundance, and witty debates on difficult topics with complex answers. Unsurprisingly, I found myself defending the second amendment, various other perplexing topics around politics and guns.

    Given I’m British, I’m often in conversations with conservatives who don’t approve of guns etc. Still, I enjoy civilized debates, and this weekend I had a great time.

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