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06:59 pm: Catching up on Chookooloonks' Thanksgiving Prompts
Chookooloonks, my favorite photoblogger, is doing a series of gratitude prompts around Thanksgiving. I'd hoped to keep up with them. It's a week in and I've done... nothing. So here are a few paragraphs, which I hope will be followed by more regular posts.

Day 1: Home
Having been away much of this past week, I find home particularly evocative for me just now. I was staying at my old home - the home where I grew up - but it's not home any more. It's wonderful, but it's not home. I missed Peter and Teddy something awful. Because they define "home" for me these days.

To my surprise, driving by our old house in West Roxbury creates no pangs for me either. I lived there for 13 years, but no longer feel any attachment to the house. I miss the proximity to my folks' house, to local friends, and to Boston, but not the house itself or even the neighborhood.

Day 2: Gifts & Superpowers
I believe this one was about one's own superpowers and gifts. I don't know that I have any that are super, exactly. But it's meant to be a list of my gifts.

Aw crap. You know I hate this kind of thing. But I'll try. I'm reasonably well read. When I focus, I can be a good listener. I'm capable of writing clearly. I'm logical. I make good chili, jambalaya, and stew and excellent cookies. I'm good at picking music for a specific mood and charities for specific people. I give thoughtful gifts. I'm a good amateur reader (aloud). My French pronunciation is solid. I give good shoulder and foot rubs. I'm very responsible. I can sometimes tell when a pop song will be a big hit (because I'm absolutely convinced I've heard it before). It seems people have always felt safe talking to me (good at keeping secrets, good at suppressing/not expressing judgment).

Day 3: Cooler Weather
My favorite weather is cooler. I love the fall. I love the crisp feel to the air. I love, love, love sleeping when it's cooler at night and waking up slowly and comfortably as the radiators hiss and pop. I love fires in the fireplace. I love fleece and wool and down. I love the lack of bugs, sweat, and mold. I love coming in from outdoors and snuggling up someplace warm with someone warm and sipping something warm - that feeling of warming up from inside out and outside in.

Day 4: Unexpected Kindnesses
At a couple of meetings in the past couple of years, a work friend has brought me small, thoughtful gifts - a penguin thumb drive and a pad of special paper that you can use as a mousepad too. Last week when I was in Boston, I brought her a silly pin that said "Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bullshit before." Her laugh gave me a small, warm kick.

I used to pay tolls for the car behind me (until I got a transponder and it became too difficult) and I do try to buy coffee or something for a stranger occasionally. I tip extremely well, especially at holidays. And I like forwarding random articles or links that people might find interesting. (Specific ones, not spam.)

Day 5: Creativity
My creativity these days mostly manifests in a quick rush before Christmas to make something for Teddy, usually cross-stitch ornaments. This year, it'll be Angry Birds ornaments. My elbow isn't strong enough for knitting yet; maybe next year.

I mess around with cooking some too, and helping Teddy with school projects. This week, we're doing a Thanksgiving collage (assigned as a family project). So far, we did big, colorful letters in the feathers, each spelling out a Thanksgiving word (family, love, friends, food, and so on).

Day 6: Comfort Food & Drink
My favorite Thanksgiving food to make and to eat is lemon bread, which I do every year. This year, Teddy and I made (orange) marshmallows as well. I used to do Jello leaves, but the kids are all too old to admit they like them now. There are relatively few (traditional) Thanksgiving foods that I don't like to eat (onions, pumpkin pie, dark meat, giblet gravy). My favorite leftovers are turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce (oof!) and pie. (Not in the sandwich; after the sandwich.)

Day 7: Music
I like to think I have fairly eclectic taste in music, but my favorites are R&B, blues, and jazz. Though I do love show tunes and classical and old pop and bluegrass and some country is great. But if I want to get myself in a great mood, it's gonna be groovy, slowish (120 bpm, maybe) jazz, blues, and R&B for dancing. All Right, OK, You Win (and Smack Dab in the Middle). Milk & Water. Natural Man. My Babe. Brick House. Blue Light Boogie. Of course Rock House. And so many more...

Current Location: Longmeadow (home)
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
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