We have a great time. But no Thanksgiving trip to Port Aransas would be complete without the rest of my family watching a corny movie on TV while I write my annual Thanksgiving post, which I've been writing (thankfully) for five years now (2006 here and here, 2007, 2008 and 2009).
I'm always thankful for all the riches and loves in my life, but this year, I feel like there have been two hallmarks that have changed my outlook of the world around me entirely. For two thousand and ten, I can sum up what I'm most thankful for in two pictures:
Buying a house six months ago was one of the best things I've done in my life. It makes me happy every day in subtle ways that have given "it," or as I call it, Julius, a personality. When I come home after a long day at work and find my rosebush blooming, when I hear mariachi music coming from the steps of a nearby church after a Catholic wedding, when I open my door and hand out popsicles to the neighborhood children, when I found a can of paint called "Golden Retriever" in the bathroom -- all of this has made me keenly aware that my house has a soul. Call me crazy but it's there, and I've enjoyed living in Julius and finding that the soul of Julius now lives in me.
I can't talk about Charlie without talking about my first Golden Retriever, Gus, who died of cancer in July of 2007. Gus was my best friend from age 13 onward, and when he passed, I was just hitting my early twenties, apartment-bound and always on the go. Despite the fact that I've worked at a company where you can bring your dog to work every day for almost five years now, I haven't had another dog since Gus. But when I knew I was going to buy a house, I applied online with a Golden Retriever rescue group based in Houston. They told me to keep checking the list of adoptable Goldens and a week after I moved into my house, I saw Charlie on their website. More accurately, I read a description of Charlie and emailed to see if they had any photos. As soon as I saw his picture (the one above) I was sold. How could I not want this smiling furball in my life? Since I adopted him in August, he's dragged me around East Austin for his walks every day, curled up at my feet on chilly evenings, accompanies me to work (just like Gus did when we worked at the horse barn) and fit snugly into a place in my heart, right next to Gus.
Finally, I feel like it's important to also give thanks for what makes both of these things possible: my job, which challenges me and always gives back to me as much as I give to it. I'm thankful that my career path, such as it is, has led me to where I am.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend and that you, too, have much to be thankful for.