Mochi balls and MREs

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Thanksgiving is the traditional time every year when we count our blessings, of which I have many. My children are all adults now and no longer my responsibility. Three of them have children of their own that are THEIR responsibility and with whom I get to play and indulge and take to the movies. Most children’s movies are especially entertaining because there is usually hidden adult humor among the antics on the screen. Often, I am the only one who “gets it”, and my loud laughter invariably embarrasses the grandkids. I am thankful for my relationship with them and cannot wait until they are teenagers so my own children get some payback for the angst they put me through during THEIR teenage years.

Health is relevant, and even though aches and pains can often sneak into my joints, and back, and head, and shoulders, they are minor inconveniences of no consequence. I never liked to climb stairs, or hike, or jog, or bend over, or carry something heavy anyway, so the fact that I cannot is a positive thing.

Trying to follow a healthy diet has opened my eyes to new foods. When shopping recently, there was a sale on Mochi ice cream balls, buy one box, get one free. Never one to turn down a bargain, and looking for a good, small calorie ice cream treat, they just happened to find their way into my grocery cart, and then into my mouth once I got home. For people who have never had them, I can only describe them as a clay-like texture but ice cream-like taste, shaped into a ball. They are yummy! The only problem is, they must be held within my fingers, which makes eating them quickly mandatory lest they melt down my hand and arms. Eating them quickly can cause brain freeze, which is overshadowed by their deliciousness. I am thankful for finding the treat of Mochi ice cream balls.

I am super-sensitive, and my feelings get hurt easily. I am thankful that harsh words or critical comments from others have never reached my ears. In fact, my life has been lived naively thinking no one ever said a bad word about me but was recently brought to my senses after a friend read my book. She said “Gee! Everyone thought you were attention-seeking when you adopted all those children, but come to find out, you did it because you ENJOYED it.” WHAT? People thought I was seeking attention? It would have been much easier to just dance on the table with a lampshade on my head than raise five children with disabilities to adulthood. Thinking about it for the first time, I am sure that throughout the years people have said negative things about me that would have hurt my feelings, so I am thankful that I have been blissfully unaware.

I am so thankful that I have had the lifelong opportunity to help others. Growing up with a brother with multiple disabilities, it has been easy to see all people in a positive light. My mother used to say, “God don’t make junk!”, so it was only natural for me to see the goodness in everyone. Living life in such a manner has been a delight.

The most recent thing I am thankful for is living through Hurricane Ian in Florida. It was petrifying, huddled in a ball in the middle of the room with Hubby, my friend, and her husband. The wind howled like a freight train, the trees were ripped out of the ground, the electricity went out, parts of the roof flew off, the flood waters came under the doors, and there was a certainty that it was possible we could die. For weeks afterwards, we were stranded in the house with no water and no food, and at the mercy of the National Guard who used airboats to come down our street to pass out food and MREs, (military meals ready to eat.) The experience shook me, but also confirmed my belief in the goodness of others. People everywhere chipped in to help, neighbors helping neighbors, donations of goods streaming in, offers of places to stay, clean clothes provided for those who lost everything, and support provided for people who never in a million years thought they would need support. It was a humbling experience, and one for which I will be forever grateful.

It is going to be a Happy Thanksgiving for sure!

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