A few years ago I made a commitment to myself that, no matter how hectic the season got, I would take the time to celebrate Christmas by “counting my blessings,” as the old song from the movie White Christmas goes. This is my gift to myself, and this year it’s in a pretty darn big box tied up with a pretty red ribbon.
- I’ll get the most recent out of the way: our second book, Wretched Fate, came out as an ebook Nov. 5 and finally showed up on Amazon over the weekend in print form. It’s not yet listed on Barnes & Noble, but it will be. Mom and I are busy planning a series of book signings and events early next year to get the book into the hands of local readers. However, I’ve been biting my nails waiting for it to be available to our readers who aren’t in the local area. The fact it’s available is a bow for my package.
- The Swope family, while we’ve not been all together at one time, has been lucky enough to see each other more than once this year. When you live in Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and the Washington, D.C. area, it’s a small miracle that we’ve been able to visit so much in one year. I’ve seen one sister five times this year and the other four times; I’ve seen a niece I haven’t seen in several years and a nephew I see only every couple of years. I even got to see two old friends this year, Kenny and Sara, who were a big part of my growing up days and are honorary family for me. I put an extra bow on my package for this particular blessing.
- Mom is still writing and dad is still walking. They are now 86 and 88 with the health problems that often come at those ages. Mom is legally blind and it’s hard for her to get around; dad suffers from memory loss, which is really hard on mom and the rest of us. But they will be in my living room laughing on Christmas Eve, and they made it to my brother’s wonderful Christmas concert this year. Another big bow for my package.
- My daughter is back home with us. She made the wise decision to stretch her college fund by going to the local community college; and adjusting to a returning child is bumpy when you’ve gotten used to not worrying on a daily basis. But I’m already enjoying her company; she’s one of my best gal pals.
- My husband is my husband. We jokingly came up with a new phrase this week: IRS (Irritable Ray Syndrome). He gets impatient. But he has the biggest heart in the world, and the fact he can joke about it says who he is. He made this upcoming 60th birthday the best I’ve ever had by getting it over with in September. I had the best “surprise” birthday party ever, and I don’t know many wives as lucky as I am.
Before I get all sappy on my readers, I’ll “wrap” this blog entry up. I am blessed in many more ways, but I want to invite all of you who read my blog to write down and send out what you consider a blessing. I bet once you start a list, you’ll be like me: hard pressed to stop.
Genilee Swope Parente