Well, I came up short again, this week. However, the time of year provided me with a natural topic! So here is my Thanksgiving Thursday Thirteen:
13 Things I'm Thankful For
1) I'm glad that I've already seen a snowfall this year. Here in Reggio Emilia, we had snow on San Prospero day, which is the holiday for the patron saint of the city. It was wonderful to wake up to that, especially since I only had one lesson for the day, and then I was able to traipse off to Parma for a day of walking, book shopping, and nice leisurely lunch with my friend, Laura.
2) I'm thankful that my writing muse has deigned to continue speaking to me. What was planned to be a 15,000 word short story has blossomed into a (potentially) 20,000 word novella. While I will likely hack a lot out, it pleases me to know that this story - which I wasn't all that sure I wanted to write - has grown into something I want to work on and am becoming a little proud of.
3) I'm thankful that my husband and I still have jobs - even though mine is very small - in this crazy economy. Italy has been hit hard, too, in recent months, and everyone is struggling. I'm especially grateful that the hubby makes enough so I won't have to work, since if my hours drop any lower, I might as well not be working at all.
4) In that vein, I am also very thankful that I have a husband who is supportive of my writing habit even though it hasn't made any money, yet. (That "yet" is important, y'all!) He backs me in all my efforts, and cheers me on when I get depressed or frustrated. What more could I ask?
5) I'm thankful that my sister-in-law has gotten closer to my hubby since the birth of her baby. My hubby wanted this more than anything in the world, and I'm so glad to see it has happened.
6) I'm thankful that my mother has come to terms with the fact that she and my stepfather will have to move away from their current home. While it makes me very sad to lose a place with so many good memories, I know that they'll both be happier in their new location.
7) I'm glad that I have such wonderful students. I'm going to miss the group I'm working with right now, when our course ends in December. It'll take a lot of luck to get them again next year, if their company will pay for another course. Fingers crossed!
8) I'm thankful for the new friends I've made here, and for the fact that they're willing to reach out to me since I'm not the type to reach out, first.
9) I'm glad that my workplace (the actual school, that is) is full of people that I like to see. They're all friendly and welcoming, and my immediate boss is truly an understanding gentleman. That means a lot to me.
10) On the subject of work and students, I'd like to add that I am grateful that I made the acquaintance of one student in particular. When he passed away suddenly two weeks ago, I really learned how much he'd meant to the group, and to me. We'll miss him.
11) I'm thankful that my terrible, horrible, no-good bad day (aka, Yesterday) came to a peaceful end. With chocolate.
12) I'm thankful that I had the chance to spend some time with my father over the last summer. I spend more time with my mother when I go to the States because I've been closer to her over the majority of my life. But I suppose I'll always be "Daddy's Girl", and it meant so, so much to me that we were able to be together, even though he was too sick to do much of anything besides watch TV. I cooked him an "authentic" Italian spaghetti supper with a homemade ragu sauce, and he loved it. He bragged on me and asked for a second helping when he was barely eating much else. Can you see my smile? I'm still so proud.
13) I'm thankful that my brother, sister and I have had the opportunity to "get to know" my father again. There was a lot of baggage there that we didn't deal with really well, before, but now I think they're trying to get past that and reconnect, at last. Not a moment too soon, I might add.
And since this post has been a bit "heavy", I must find some way to lighten it up.
Always leave 'em laughing, they say.
Always leave 'em wanting more.
Ah. This will do: