Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy.
-Walt Whitman, 1653
Bailey got an invitation to a Christmas Party today. Seriously! It was from the Veterinary Emergency Referral Group, Inc. (VERGI), where he spent some time earlier this year, first for “idiopathic chylothorax” and then after eating an entire bowl full of peanut m&m’s!
I think we will decline, because each time we have been there, he has been a noodle, and he would be a noodle again, even if it were just for fun. But I do appreciate their invitation; after all the money I spent there… we deserve it!
This has been a year of unexpected expenses. Beginning with Bailey (the $11,000 dog, and I’m not kidding), we then segued into major car repairs: Joel’s car’s back window fell out, and then right after we’d spent quite a large sum to repair it, he got broadsided, and the car was toast. What really bummed him out was the fact that he had JUST filled the car with $60 worth of gas before he got hit! Goodbye to that money.
In addition to this unfortunate turn of events, Shannon’s car’s windshield shattered, and Donnie Ray (my car) needed some major repairs (a/c, transmission, and “rear end trouble”) and then had to have some re-repairs. After all that, Shannon’s car was involved in a rear end collision (someone else was driving it), which meant even more funds allocated to car repairs.
(Only Bert, the wonder car seems to be immune from misfortune… knock on wood here! Twelve years old, running like a top, we rely on him daily now, as Joel isn’t planning to purchase a new vehicle until the end of the year. Who knew when we bought him in 1995 that he would be such a champ! )
I am not complaining in the least. After all, it is the week of Thanksgiving, and when I count all my blessings, we have had a wonderful year, discounting the above-mentioned surprises. We are happy, healthy, safe, secure, well fed, cool when it’s hot outside and warm when it’s cool. We have love, faith, friends, family, freedom to do as we please within the boundaries of our society, economic blessings that negate any want, and a church family that would step up for us in times of need, just as our biological family would, and probably even more so! This is not only enough, it is MORE than enough.
In addition to this bounty, we also have a precious new family member, little Ernie Boon, seven months old now, the spitting image of his mother, my niece, Camille. So life goes on, and as we lovingly watch my Dad fade away, we are lovingly watching little Ernie blossom. It’s a life lesson to experience this juxtaposition of the two transitions, and I am hopeful that I will take whatever wisdom that may come from this and use it to be a more loving, patient, appreciative person. Happy Thanksgiving to all!