M and I have been hanging our Christmas lights and chatting with friends near and far much of the day thus far. We are meeting the kids and a few friends for dinner at a restaurant in a bit, then returning home to turn on our newly purchased and hung lights for the final weeks of 2016 we get to enjoy them.

Every year for the last Christmases we have actually lived in this house we have tried to get our lights hung Thanksgiving day or the weekend after. Every year it has been December before we got it done. Finally, this year, we have the lights we wanted. Our first year we bought late and got our “better than no lights” choice. Last 2 years we have had those hanging/dangling lights that are nice at night but look yucky in the daylight hours. This year, we finally have the set we’re delighted with and cannot to return home tonight and see them blinking and twinkling in the darkness.

Yeah, it really does not take much to make me ridiculously happy.

C and A are leaving for their new jobs and home in Tampa in just 2 weeks. Eeeek! Originally it was January, but their firm is working feverishly to close their center by the end of the year, so they are moving about 6 weeks sooner than originally thought. While we are very happy and excited for this next chapter in their lives, ain’t going to lie – I will miss the security of having them just a few exits down the freeway.

On the other hand, Disney World in 2017 seems like a much closer reality than it was a few months ago. I have a friend who lives in Virginia who travels with his parents to Pensacola every year, and with some advance planning we could get to see them while were are there as well.

As a family and as a tribe we had our share of ups and downs this year. There were job losses and changes. There was serious, life-threatening and life-altering illness, auto crashes, unexpected and terminal car breakage, and other shit happens life stuff. Fortunately, these matters caused discomfort, anxiety, fear, and inconvenience in the moments, but in each situation work-arounds were achieved, resolutions and solutions found. We also had 2 weddings that went off spectacularly and without a lot of drama-trauma, only great joy, families joined, new friendships born, old friendships reaffirmed.

Near as I can tell, no one is homeless or starving again this year. Wishing my realm we are mostly healthy or on the road back to health, happy, looking forward to the days ahead … meaning those that come AFTER the holiday madness.

So I have much to be thankful for again this year. Especially to you, my faithful blog readers, commenters, friends. If you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with us, I wish you and your family a warm and wonderful holiday. If this is just Thursday in your part of the world, best wishes for a good day to you as well.



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