Dorothy Cannell: My list is as long as some of those Oscar winner acknowledgements, but these are some of the reasons I feel the joy of gratitude this year.
Being pain free as a result of spinal surgery last December.
Having our grandson, Trevor, move in with us while he pursues his hope of a career in writing lyrics and having my husband say to me – “You followed your dreams and so should he.”
The phone calls from grandson Jack and granddaughter Grace when they get the least breeze I need cheering up.
Memories of those loved and lost. Prowling round Reny’s I hear my mother’s voice saying – “Cheap and cheerful.” And my father’s murmuring when I look at a particularly beautiful tree “A sight for sore eyes.”
The friends who have made me laugh and let me cry.
Independent bookstores everywhere, especially Left Bank Books in Belfast (Maine not Ireland) where they often know what I want before I do.
Our dogs, Teddy and Watson who get me up in the morning to feed them, but dote on their dad. His smugness, having not really welcomed the pad of little paws around the house, delights me.
Still finding in reading the magic I knew as a child. Discovering words I didn’t know and reaching for the dictionary.
The ruler on my desk printed on the back with all the kings and queens of England (Cromwell inserted) because I get confused with the Edwards and Henrys.
That was going to be my list. Keep it short and get off stage. But I have a newest gratitude. It’s the idea for a new book that flitted into my mind a few weeks ago then wiggled and wormed into something amorphously plot shaped before falling apart. Being too dark and more importantly stupid. Though stupid may sometimes sell it’s not something to aim for. But never say dead and buried to the determined spawn of the muse.
This one crawled its way out of the coffin, though I was sure I’d nailed the lid shut, and squealed: “Here’s Chapter One, and just to be extra nice I’ll give you the first sentence.”
My head swam. Usually I grope for months for that Holy Grail. But there it was tapping itself on my brain keys:
“Mrs. Haskell is newly bereaved,” the leader of the grief support group smiled benignantly at me and other faces turned towards me, encouragement flowing from their pores. I must have been mad to think this would help. I can’t bare my soul to a bunch of gawking strangers. I’m sorry if they’re in the same or similar situations; maybe this works for them, but I have to get out of here. I tried to get up from my seat, but I couldn’t move, not so much as a finger or toe. It was as though, I thought hysterically, that some ghastly spell had been cast upon me.
Not just one sentence, for which I gave abundant thanks. But this came last night when I should have been working on this blog. And now it has intruded. It being that burning desire to keep going. To at least write the first chapter before it escapes and cannot be recaptured. I have never started a new book before finishing the current one. A new experience. Another reason, I hope, for gratitude as this year draws to a close.
I send my thanks to all who have let me know they’ve enjoyed my blogs.