Here is Sera this morning. She was eating sunflower seeds out of the bird feeder until I went outside with a bunch of peanuts. She worked on one of those for a bit while I watched her. When she finished, I stood there for a few minutes, talking to her, and she sat and listened. She’s good at that. It’s nice to have someone to use as a sounding board. That’s what friends do for each other.
I’ve been a little pensive myself lately. I was sick for much of last week, and even I was surprised by how much that took out of me. I thought since I was too sick to be around folks I’d have time to rest, relax and read. I read nothing. My mind was so fuzzy and befuddled, and my head hurt so much that I couldn’t read more than a sentence or two before it got too hard to concentrate. I didn’t get anywhere with my reading. I slept a lot, stared at a lot of old re-runs on TV, read a few emails and attempted a few posts, but that was about it. I slept more than I have in ages.
I went back to work on Friday, and that wasn’t so bad. I had a floating secretary at my desk some of the time while I was out (a first for my department!), and she did a great job. There’s still a mountain of work to do, but a lot of that was there before I got sick. I have a very busy job.
This morning I worked on getting acclimated to my new school and their online environment. Everyone I have talked to over the last several months is extremely nice and helpful. It’s interesting that they all have the same manner of speech and speech pattern. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s school-specific – maybe there’s some sort of intensive training program they all go through – or if it’s Ohio-specific. They are located in Columbus, Ohio. Are people from Ohio nicer than people from New York? (I don’t mean New York City – I’m from Upstate). Some of the administrative people from my New York State school were a little clueless. They could have used an intensive training program or a manual or something! I think I had 4 or 5 different academic advisors in the 3 years I was there, and every time I called or emailed, I got someone different. I am hoping the new school is better. It is different. The way to request financial aid is different, and the way to order textbooks is different. I do like the online portal so far. It’s easier to navigate and find things.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past week. I was in one of those feeling sorry for myself moods, too. I realized today that I hadn’t blogged in a couple of days (it kind-of slipped my mind), and I got to wondering whether anyone had even noticed. I know most people have moments when they wonder if anyone cares, and I don’t mean just blogging. If you’re quiet like I am, you tend to get overlooked and bypassed. I don’t often speak up.
School the first time around was good for me. It proved to me that I wasn’t too old to learn new things and that I’m smarter than I thought I was. It showed me that I can be more than I am. It helped my confidence grow, and it made me into a different person (even if it was just on the inside). I wonder what school the second time around will bring? I am eager to face the challenge of a more advanced degree. I know I can keep up. I just have to keep practicing speaking up.
For now, I’ll practice on Sera. I don’t care what the neighbors think, and she seems content to sit and listen.
I always say “family” when I am asked what I am thankful for. Family means so many different things, and I feel like I have had many families in my life.
There was the family I had growing up. They were a wonderful, close-knit group of silly and loving people. We had lots of laughs as a family. We always got together on holidays, and the house was full to bursting. I miss those family gatherings more than I can say. We have many photos and old home movies of family get-togethers, usually at my parents’ house although we did Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Gramma’s house. Sadly, most of my family is gone now. I miss them very much. The folks from my family that are left live out of state – Michigan and Texas, and I’m still in New York. I miss them all.
Then there is the family I began when I married my dear, sweet Hubby. We have two wonderful young men who still live home with us. I am very fortunate to have my two boys. With Hubby on the road all week long, I’d be very lonely without the boys. The four of us are also a zany group. I think the boys and I are a bit sillier than Hubby is. Sometimes I don’t think he knows quite what to make of us. I am so very grateful and thankful for my three men. They are the glue that holds me together. I love them all very much.
There is also Hubby’s family. His parents adopted me as a daughter on the day we married. My father-in-law is gone now, and I miss him a lot. My mother-in-law is 90 and still going strong.
Another family that means the world to me is the family of pets and critters. I had two dogs growing up, and I’ve had one dog, several birds, several fish and six cats since I’ve been married. I still have two cats and a bird. I also have the wildlife right outside my front door. I consider the squirrels to be part of my family, too. Maybe that makes me nutty, but I don’t care. Sera appreciates me, and I appreciate her and all the others out there keeping me entertained.
There is also the family of friends I have – folks I met at school or while working. I still talk to High School friends on Facebook. I try hard to keep in touch with friends from past jobs, and we get together for lunches or dinners. That’s hard because everyone is busy, and when you don’t see them every day, you tend to lose touch. That makes me sad when that happens. I also have a “family” of coworkers in my current job, and I am very grateful that we all get along and work well together.
I also have a whole new family here on WordPress. I have met so many interesting and creative people. I get such joy out of reading others’ blogs. I feel small in comparison sometimes because the poetry is so creative, and the writing is so eloquent. The photography and artistry is amazing. The friendships I have formed here mean so much to me. Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and to yours.
Sea. In a new post specifically for this challenge, share a photo which means SEA to you!
I don’t live near the Sea, but my hometown is located on the shores of Lake Ontario – one of the Great Lakes in New York State. I grew up just over a mile from the lake and the Lake Ontario Beach Park. I live a little farther inland now, but my husband and I often go to the Beach and walk the pier (pictured above).
As a kid, I spent most summers in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence Seaway so I spent a lot of time near water when I was young. Some of my happiest memories are those I spent with my cousin, lying on our tummies on a sun-warmed dock, peering over the edge and watching the sunfish swimming around in the water below us. I can hear the seabirds, and I can smell the gasoline from the boat motors of the fishermen around us.
It has always been my dream to retire and live near the water where I can hear the waves lapping the shore all the time.