Category Archives: slave drew

Being Served

I read an interesting blog by jade, on Queen Bees and service.  I recommend you read it, here, it’s really an interesting entry.

I think that often one of the things that’s hard for people to understand about being a dominant is that being served is not always as easy as it might seem.

For one thing, being served well requires training someone in how you like to be served and that means, then, that you put up with less than ideal service for a while, because no one is going to get it right the first time.

I often use tea as an example in explaining service.

I drink a lot of hot tea.  I think I’ve had four or five pots of tea today.  The morning started with a couple pots of Blackberry Sage tea, I had Rose Petal Tea in the afternoon, then a pot of a new tea I had ordered, a green pear flavor, and then a pot of my favorite green tea at the moment, a pink grapefruit.

So, as you can tell, I take my tea fairly seriously.  Only one was a tea bag kind of tea, the other was all loose tea.

If you were going to serve me for a day or two, you’d need to know how to make tea.  Not only that, you’d need to make tea the way I like it, and even slave drew, who also drinks tea and knows what teas I like and how I like my teas, and once in a while I get a tea that isn’t really what I wanted at that particular time.  It’s unavoidable.

For you to get my tea right, you have to know if I want black tea or green tea or white tea, do I want it flavored or plain, how strong do I want it?

Black tea and green tea and white tea all have different kinds of brewing times.

I like mugs, largish ones, not small cups.

You can’t boil water in a microwave and make tea with it.  I don’t’ know why, but it’s disgusting.

So, if you’re going to make me tea, most likely, I’m going to have quite a few pots of tea that aren’t exactly what I want.

To get good service, too, I have to be able to articulate both what I want and how I want it, and that’s not always easy.

In addition, I have to KNOW what it is I want.

That’s harder than you might think.

I know a lot of dominants who seem to expect submissives to read their minds, when, it seems, there’s not much there to read.

You also have to be willing to make a choice, to pick one thing over another.

You know those people, you say to them, What kind of pie would you like, we have pumpkin, apple and pecan, and they say, Oh, it doesn’t matter.  Whatever.

My, how helpful.

I’ve told you I have all three.  It clearly makes no difference to ME what you have, if it did, I’d not have offered them all.

Or the person to who you say, would you rather have a soft drink or wine, and they say, Yes.

Again, not helpful.

As a dominant, you have to know your own mind, and be willing to state it.

It can be hard, too, to not feel guilty or as if you’re taking advantage of someone.

I know, I know, it’s the dynamic, you like serving, we get that.

But still.

When we’re both sitting down, sometimes it feels pretty selfish to say, “I’d like more tea.”

If it’s something less pleasant – getting up in the night to let the dogs out, for instance – it can feel pretty selfish to stay snug and warm in bed while someone else gets up to do that.

During our Fringe Board meetings, we often  meet at my house and eat dinner during the meeting.  Last time I started to take one of the plates to the kitchen.

I was basically not allowed to, because jacki took it from me, with her usual, Really, Ma’am?  Really?

Sometimes that’s odd for me, too – it’s my house, I’m the host, I should take care of people, it’s odd to me to sit down and be waited on.

I know, I know, it’s hard to believe.

I told you being served is not the easiest thing.

Father B

I am going to post tonight something I wrote earlier today.

The minister who married us is leaving the church.

Yes, I was married in a church and the ceiling did not fall down on us.

I wore a leather pillbox hat and leather gloves I’d been given as a piece of earned leather.

I’m not really a Christian at all – I don’t honestly know how I’d define myself, it changes nearly daily.  But we both wanted a fairly traditional ceremony, none of the unity candle and vows we wrote ourselves.

slave drew grew up in an Episcopalian church, and that was where we went to be married.

We were very lucky, our minister was a lovely man, and a wonderful speaker, and is now leaving us for the greener pastures I always knew would beckon.

We in the congregation were asked to write something for him to be bound in a book to present him when he left, and this is, with some editing, what I sent.  I thought you all might enjoy my memories of his sermons.

I didn’t refer to him as slave drew in what I sent.

What I sent is this:

When slave drew and I had decided to marry, we were looking for a location, and someone suggested this church.  I made an appointment to talk to Father B.

It was important to both of us to have some traditional aspects to our wedding.  We didn’t want to be married in a place we’d never been before, by a person we’d never seen before, and wouldn’t see again.  We wanted to be married by someone who had history with us, and for us, and we have never been sorry that we made the choice we did.

Father B took some of the things we talked about in the counseling we did with him before the wedding, and his wedding sermon was something that a lot of guests mentioned to us later.

We married later than most – I was 50, slave drew was 48, and we both felt very strongly that we would remain separate people, we were not 20 years old and foreseeing our future as two lives becoming one, but as our lives moving together, but remaining separate, and that was something he talked about, in ways that were both meaningful and accurate.

He had listened to us and understood how we saw the path forward.

Some of Father B’s sermons have stayed with both of us over the years.

He spoke once about grief.  His father-in-law had passed away, and he spoke about how the fall of a giant redwood left a jagged hole in the earth, and a hole in the canopy above, but the hole in the canopy allowed light to reach the ground and new seedlings to flourish.

Over time, the hole remains, but the edges grow less sharp and ragged and as the hole fills with rain it creates a pool that reflects the moon above.  It provides water for the life around it, and the fallen tree gives shelter as well.

I have thought of that often when I have lost people over the years since he spoke about it.

He spoke another time, when the financial crisis was happening around us and it felt as though the world was ending.

He used the example of a day when, in the early years of this country, probably due to a storm and other factors, the sun appeared not to rise.  One of the state senates was in session, and there was a great call to end the session and go home, to be with their families when the world ended.

The speaker’s voice of reason prevailed.

If the world was not ending, he said, then there was no profit in leaving their jobs, and if the world was ending, then he believed that they should meet God doing their work, doing as they ought.

It was a truly comforting parable at a time when it did feel as though the world just might be ending.

The final sermon that I do think of often, and I expect I always will, was a Christmas eve sermon one year.

He spoke about a farmer who had a devoted wife who went off to church, but the husband begged off and stayed home, because he didn’t see the point.

While his wife was gone, a flock of geese landed in his field, sent to ground by a sudden storm.

The farmer realized the birds would freeze in the field if he couldn’t bring them into the warmth and the safety of the barn, where they would be safe from the cold and the wind.

But he had no way to make them understand that he meant them no harm, that his only purpose in approaching them would be to lead them to safety.

If only, he thought, if only he could clothe himself in feathers, if only he could present himself as one of the flock, so they would follow his lead and he could gather them into the safety of his enclosure.

That was why, he concluded, Christ had come to us as a baby, and as a man, so we would follow him as one of our own kind, so he could draw us into the safety of his enclosure.

What I didn’t add was that there were other things that mattered to us, too, the fact that there was a Lesbian couple who attended the church, and that their daughter stood in for the Christ child in one Christmas pageant.

The baby cried during the whole thing, but really, how many people would have picked the child of the dyke couple?

Another time his wife posted a photo on Facebook of him officiating at a wedding that was clearly and without question between two women.

He’s an Episcopal Rector, this was not going to make him friends in every sector.

We had, as you might imagine, a lot of gay people at our wedding.

We had transgendered people.

We had a kinky dwarf.

I swear.

(And he would be the first to use that particular term.  Once at an event he sang the Oompa Loompa song.  I told someone that and they asked, shocked, did you laugh?  Well, of course I did, I’m pretty sure that’s why he SANG it.)

And Father B was perfectly lovely to every one of them.

He was also SO submissive that the times he and I had conversations about the wedding or a project I did for the church once, I would have to not only stop speaking but remain totally silent for several seconds before he would speak at all.

He was a lovely man, and I’m sorry he’s leaving, but that is purely selfish on my part.  I’m sure it’s a better move for him, but I will still miss him.

Indolence

I have had an unusually lazy day, in some ways..  slave drew had a minor procedure yesterday and I’ve spent most of my day laying in bed with him, watching television.

I did run an errand or two, and made a rather lovely dinner of a fish casserole with olives and garlic and potatoes and lemon.  I’m also looking after a friend’s dogs while they’re out of town for a couple of days.  I do need to run out and take care of them shortly.

I rarely have the kind of day that involves watching a move or two, a longish nap this morning, and the seeming inability to do ANYTHING of any value.

Although, having written my own blog about accepting quiet as a time to recharge, perhaps I should just shut up and enjoy, huh?

 

 

Routine

I am sitting in bed, with slave drew, watching television and generally hanging out, something we rarely do.

He is playing on his Kindle, surfing and at this moment translating a German phrase of some sort.  He tells me it says, I am very cute, smart, clever, sympathetic, pretty and arrogant on top of it.

I think you have to be German for it to make sense.

We are watching Midsomer Murders, one of our BBC mysteries, about which it always strikes us that so many people could be murdered in these sleepy English villages and there still be enough to put on the next year’s church fete.

I am drinking a lovely tea, a black one made with rose petals and tiny buds.  It would likely be too flowery for most people, but I’m quite fond of it.  It smells like a bouquet of roses.

I spent some time today working on Bluegrass Leather Pride, which will be my focus for the next few weeks.  I’m getting there.

I hope to have a bit more focused and structured time tomorrow to get some emails sent, some schedules created, a program drafted.  We shall see.

In the meantime, though, it’s past my bedtime.

Productive Beginnings

So, today was the first day of 2013, and I made a good start to it, and I am happy about that.

slave drew and I had some left over lasagne I made last night, which was quite good.  We also realized that between about 4pm and 8pm, he ate:

Two veggie dogs with bread.

His LARGE serving of lasagne, and about a third of my more reasonable portion.

A good sized salad.

Five muffins.  Yes, that’s right, five.  These were not little gem muffins, these were full-size muffins I made this evening, and they were pretty good.

So, I fed slave drew, which is not a small thing.

I uploaded some photos for drew to his Facebook account.

I also responded with a long email to something, and I added nine new events for my BDSM Basics series, with class descriptions for each month, which is a good part of the whole work of putting a class together.  Once I know what the class is ABOUT, then it’s easy to present it.

In addition to getting the events created and written, I got my online calendar updated for the year.  A lot of things are continuing items – munches and SIG’s and meetings.  Then there are the big events, like GLLA that need to be added.

I keep a paper calendar, too, because I need that visual, too, sometimes.  And now, on the first day, I feel as though I’m a bit more ready for the coming year.  I have added enough of drew’s calendar to keep me aware of what he’s doing, too, and that’s important as well.

So, in the glow of New Year organization, I will toddle myself off to bed.

 

Quiet Saturday

I’ve not felt very well for a couple of days, a stomach thing that was minor but didn’t feel minor, but I’m feeling closer to myself now, though still not 100%.

I’ve had a quiet couple of days, not doing much, not going anywhere, other than slave drew and I going out today to the mall.  He wanted to look for something  and I went along.  I found a couple of things at good after-Christmas prices, so it was worthwhile.

We made a quick grocery run, too, and now we’re home until we head to see slave drew’s brother, his wife, and their two children tomorrow evening.  Then we have one more gathering

Other than that, I’ve spent the day at home, and I have no complaints about that, either.

It snowed last night, so I got up to a very pretty world, the kind with a couple of inches of very wet snow stuck to every horizontal surface, and some that aren’t so horizontal, either.

The dogs were delighted.  Snow must do something to the scents out there, because the dogs love little as much as fresh snow.  It’s not so cold as to be overly unpleasant, but cold enough that the snow’s not melted, so it’s still pretty.

It was funny to watch people out and about today.  I wore a turtleneck, a long-sleeve t-shirt and a zippered sweater over it, but no coat.

I hate coats.

I hate being cold, too, but I most of the time hate coats more, so I will nearly always just deal with being cold between car and building rather than have to wear a coat.  There’s one in the car if I break down, but I rarely do.

There were people out today in mukluks and parkas, hats and earmuffs.  It was about 34 degrees.

Mukluks.

Earmuffs.

Thirty-four degrees.

I went to college in upstate New York, and lived there for six years all told.

I used to walk regularly to jobs, to classes, from one bus stop to another and back again.

If you breathed through your mouth, your jaw ached because your fillings got so cold.

You didn’t go anywhere without coat and hat and gloves and boots and that includes to take out the garbage.

I remember sitting around in our apartment with friends.  The radiator in the living room worked so little that we kept our television on it.

What we routinely wore, in each other’s houses in winter, was long underwear, tops and bottoms, jeans, socks, shoes or slippers, a flannel shirt, a wool sweater and a down vest.

To see people in 34 degree temperatures dressed us as if they are delivering the serum to Nome always amuses me.

Really, sir, I swear, you don’t need earmuffs in your car.  Honest.

And if someone would like to explain the concept of sequined mukluks to me, I will listen and try and maintain a straight face, but seriously.  Sequined mukluks?  I think not.

We’ve spent our evening watching Project Runway and various British murder mysteries.  Our Christmas gift for us this year was a new television – nothing wild, I think it’s 32″, and it was a very good price – a $500 TV for $200.

The sound, however, was less than stunning, so when I noticed a sound bar that was regularly about $180 for $40, so we added that to the system, and I spent a few minutes last night setting it up, so we’ve been enjoying sound we can hear again.

I started writing a presentation for South Plains on the concept of transparency, specifically in M/s relationships.  It will require a lot more work, but it’s at least started, which makes me feel good.

I got the rest of the dividers I needed for my presentation binder, too, and set them up.  That makes me feel much more organized.

Eventually I’d like to move them all to Power Point presentations, too, but I haven’t gotten that far.  I’ve also spent a bit of time trying to go through my files on my computer and organizing them.  They’re not a terrible mess, but it’s hard to have 15 – really – years worth of files that have been on four or five computers, and have them all as tidy as one might like.

Over the spring, I’d like to get that done, get my files sorted, get the programs migrated to Power Point as well as the notes I already have.

I suppose that while I rarely make resolutions, I do like to have plans, and those are probably the same thing.  I’ll set up some other goals for myself over the next few weeks.

For the moment, my goal is an early bedtime.

If some of your goals are less than lofty, you have a better chance of meeting them.

Winding Down

The year 2012 is winding down.

There are three days left and then this year will be over.  I can’t say I will be unhappy to see it in the rear-view mirror.

It hasn’t been a bad year, in many ways.

In February, my own Bluegrass Leather Pride contest went well, despite having lost two venues in the last month or so before.  We ended up doing it in a private home and the upstairs of a local restaurant, and while it wasn’t ideal, it worked.  My contestants didn’t end up competing at GLLA, but that happens sometimes.

I was also in Indianapolis in February for Beat My Valentine, an event sponsored by IMAS, Indiana Masters and Slaves.

In March I drove out to Dallas, to South Plains Leatherfest, to watch Charles and jacki compete for International Master and slave.

In April, we went to Fort Lauderdale for Beyond Leather, for the International Power Exchange contest.  I presented there, including a brand new presentation on crops and canes.  slave thomas also came and met us there, which was particularly nice.  We spent a bit of time in Sarasota, and in Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places on the planet.

In August, we had another very successful Great Lakes Leather Alliance, despite some curves thrown at the last minute.  One of my scheduled cocktail parties didn’t work out, but I had anticipated the possibility and made arrangements for an alternate plan.

I also presented there, one class that I always do, a class for newcomers to the event, and events in general, and another new class, So You Want to Be a Titleholder.  I also played more at that event – three times – than I ever have before all put together.

In September, I was in Atlanta to present at the International Transgender Leather contest.  I did a humor class there with Ms Tammy.

In October, slave drew and I went to Chicago for Kinky Kollege, and had a very good time there.  Chicago has never been my favorite city, but we had a better time there than I had before.  We really enjoyed it.

I worked to found the first Masters And slaves Together chapter in Kentucky, MAsT: Derby City.  It is running successfully now and I’m proud of that.

We started creating Fringe Elements, a 501C3 Queer Community Center.  We’re close to finding a physical venue, which has always been our goal.  I took the Executive Director position, and I’m comfortable there.  I’m good at running things, I like all sides of it.

I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure I’d keep up with it, but I have. I posted for the first time on May 26, which was 216 days ago.  This post is the 210th, meaning I’ve missed a total of six.

I’ve only really forgotten to post once, I know once was a power outtage issue, and I didn’t post for several days while I was at GLLA, but I think missing  less than 3% is a pretty good percentage.  I’ve seen the number of people who read, and comment, rise, too, and that’s been really gratifying.

It was the 15th anniversary this year of the Louisville Munch, an impressive run for any group.  I added three new people to my formal Leather family by presenting Earned Leather to Gabriel, to Cerrin, and to Shane.

We all lived through an apocalypse, or should I say, another apocalypse.  It reminds me of a line from my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a musical episode called, “Once More with Feeling.”

“What can’t we do if we get in it?
We’ll work it through if there’s a minute.
We have to try. We’ll pay the price.
It’s do or die. Hey, I’ve died twice!”

How many apocalypses have there been and, so far, we’ve lived through them all.

There have been the usual problems and challenges.  Issues with people, the usual things one encounters when one is involved in groups, the usual struggles there.

I’ve been profoundly disappointed in a few people this year, which is also part of living, I think.  People disappoint us.  Other people have stepped up, risen to challenges.

I’ve gotten closer to a few people, and that’s been nice.  I’ve met other bloggers, both face to face and virtually, and that’s been an experience as well.

I lost at least two awards this year, and was “presented” one on a stage in front of a couple hundred people that turned out to be for someone else, though I wasn’t made aware of it until the award handed to me had another person’s name on it.

I know, I know, you should be flattered to be nominated, and I was – one was a Pantheon Lifetime Achievement award, which is a very significant award in the Leather community.  The final result, however, was that I lost.

I turned 55 this year, and I have not liked that at all.  I know, I know, I’m aware of all the things that are good – experience, wisdom, a level of acceptance, my health is good, and it’s far better than any alternative, but I don’t like it.  I doubt I ever will.  It is, however, what it is.

So, three more days and it’s all just one more memory.  I suspect that our New Year’s Eve celebration will end up being a quiet one at home, us and the pups, probably one of those years in which we don’t even stay up late enough to greet 2013 officially until the morning.

And I’m ok with that.

The Great Squirrel Adventure

Yesterday was an interesting day.  In addition to my Santa run, it was also the Great Squirrel Adventure.

About 9am I heard SOMETHING in the garage.  A big thunk.  An alarmingly big thunk.

I went and looked, but saw nothing.

Ten or 15 minutes later, there was another.  Not as big, but still…

slave drew was out and about, but I called him.

He came home, looked around, saw nothing, and headed out to do his errands again.

About 20 minutes later, I start hearing something.  In the fireplace itself.  Not the chimney, the fireplace.

I texted drew this time.

“There is absolutely something in the fireplace.”

“I can hear it moving.”

“Where?”

“In the fireplace of just up the chimney.”

“I can hear it clearly.”

“VERY clearly.”

“Seriously clearly.”

“Right there.”

“On my way.”

While I was waiting, I got the flashlight and looked.

And saw the unmistakable fluffy tail of a squirrel, on the left side beside the grate.  slave drew had laid a fire before Thanksgiving, though it was so warm we never lit it, but the logs were in there.

I called drew and told him what I knew.  “There’s a squirrel in the fireplace.”

He came in with a plan.  He had a dog pen and a blanket.  We were going to put the cage in front of the fireplace, open the doors, and drape a blanket around it.  The squirrel, he theorized, would run OUT of the fireplace, INTO the cage, drew would flip the lid closed and carry Mr. Squirrel outside.

This did not work.

Mr. Squirrel seemed fond of our fireplace, at least much fonder of it than he was of the concept of a dog pen.

Ok, new plan.

The new plan was not my favorite, in that, it required propping open the front door and letting Mr. Squirrel run for it.

My additions to the plan were, ok, but let’s block so he doesn’t run into the den, or the kitchen, or, God forbid, upstairs.

So we drape towels over openings, block them with boxes, all of that.

The dogs are outside, barking their little Scottie heads off at something, but that is the least of our worries at this moment.

I take a spot on the stairs, with a blanket in front of me, preparing.

I notice, too, that we have so many birds in the yard that if we manage to NOT have one or two fly in the open door, it’s going to be somewhat miraculous.

It did not happen, but really, talk about a Disney movie.

So, we prepare for the great squirrel run.

“Just so you know,” I say, “if the squirrel runs toward me, I *will* scream.  You don’t have to do anything about it, but just fair warning.  I will scream.”

“Gotcha,” he says.

Mr. Squirrel, however, is still fond of the fireplace.  He’s not moving.  Nope.  Not him.  Nuh uh.  He’s good.

Crap.  Crappity crap crap.

Crap.

Ok, I say, I’m going to go out and whap on the side of the house with a broom and see if the noise makes him move.

What it seems to do, however, is convince Mr. Squirrel even more thoroughly that he does not want to leave the comfort of his cozy little hidey hole, because, clearly, these people are lunatics.

slave drew is alternately coaxing him and cursing at him.  In German.

I’m alternately half-hiding on the stairs, and hitting the side of the house with a broom.

Mr. Squirrel has a point.

Finally, drew just starts taking all the things out of the fireplace.

The logs come out.

The kindling comes out.

Finally even the grate itself comes back, until all that’s left is Mr. Squirrel himself.

I am peering over the bannister, like a four-year-old watching for Santa, only a lot more likely to scream.

drew tries tapping the back of the fireplace with the long handle of the broom.

FINALLY, Mr. Squirrel makes a break for it.

He LEAPS out of the fireplace and runs.

And to Mr. Squirrel’s credit, had we laid out a path for him that we’d most prefer, that was the exact path he took.

Across the living room floor, running hell for leather.  A left at the hall, four more feet and he’s OUT the door, another quarter second and he’s down the steps and gone.

No muss, no fuss, and he ran like a little trooper.

He was a young squirrel, probably born this summer.  slave drew is going to have to put a wire cage over the top of the chimney so this doesn’t happen again.  We had a bird in the fireplace in the fall.

The funniest thing was Mr. Squirrel running.  Squirrels stop so often, and check things out.  Mr. Squirrel did not. Mr. Squirrel RAN.

That night I thought, he’s somewhere in a tree, telling this bizarre Alice in Wonderland story.

“So, I fell down this hole and into this nice, strange, dark place.  There was some wood in there, it was cool.  I was exploring.

“Then these terrifying giants started tormenting me, doing these WEIRD things!  They were cursing at me, and I tell you, I swear it was in German.  They had a CAGE there, like I was going to just run into it.  Riiiiight.”

“So what happened?” his friends ask.

“I ran, of course.  Clearly, they were insane.”

Then Mr. Squirrel sagely nods his head, eats another acorn, and nods off, to dream of the Great Squirrel Adventure.

Gift Exchanges

I went to two gift exchanges in two days and had a good time at both.

We went to my friends Donald and Chris’ party last night.  I’ve been going to that same party for a decade or more now.  It’s a fund-raiser for the residents of the House of Ruth, a local AIDS hostel.

It’s also always fun.  Some years it’s been quite large, last night it was smaller, but it was quite pleasant to have time to visit with the folks who were there.

We always do a gift exchange at the party and it’s one of those where you can choose to open a new gift, or steal a revealed gift from someone else.

I have learned over the years to always steal if it’s possible, and if there’s nothing that really strikes your fancy, then take the most popular present even if it’s nothing you particularly want.

Because someone else will steal it from you and you will likely have another opportunity to claim something you like.

I have put thought into this over the years, obviously.

At the party I was at last night, there are often fairly sexual gifts – remember, it’s a bunch of gay leather guys.  Last year, my prize from the party was a rather obscenely large pink and black tiger-striped butt plug with an “iron-knuckle” grip.

This year, we took a book of gay male erotica and a pig key chain that oinks when you push a button on it, and a small fry pan with a pig face on it, the kind that leaves that impression on pancakes or eggs, about 4″ across.

It was speculated that it would also leave the same impression on someone’s ass, though that was, when I left, still just a theory.

What we came home with this year was a plush pig that sings a tune and dances, a small stuffed pig keychain, and a pig finger puppet in one package, and a a wooden pig puzzle, a pig that shoots small balls out of its mouth when you press its stomach and my very favorite gift, which I had to take away from Ms Tammy twice, the lighted pigs.

Are you sensing a theme here?

The pigs are really driveway markers, but they are too cute not to have where I can see them often, so they are lined up under the tree.

IMG_3638aa

I haven’t dealt with hiding the cord between them because I just set them out today, but I’m quite fond of them.  They are very cute, and I like them a lot.

Then I went to our SIG group Holiday gathering.  We talked about next year’s topics, and did the same kind of gift exchange there, and I ended up again with the thing I liked the best.

I had taken a crop that I don’t like and haven’t used, though I’ve had it for years. It’s a nice crop, nothing wrong with it at all, but not my kind of crop.

I came home with a pillow that happened to be the first thing that was open, and 11 presents later, I swiped it.

IMG_3635aa

Really, does that suit me, or what?

Thanksgiving

I spent a good deal of years working in healthcare accounting.  I understand cost reports and step-down allocations, volume and intensity based budgeting and reporting, and a lot of other boring things.

I used to think, on cold mornings especially, I wish I didn’t have to go to work, blech, I don’t want to go to work…

My drive to work took me by the Wayside Christian Mission.

Standing outside the doors as I drove off to my job was a line of people, waiting for the Mission to open, waiting to come in out of the cold, waiting for a hot meal, waiting for such small things that I took for granted.

It always made me ashamed that I had complained.

As crazy as my mother was, and as poor as we were, she gave me a clear understanding of how lucky I WAS.

I never went hungry; my mother did.

I knew that however poor we were, I was still luckier than most of the planet.

I feel pretty thankful, honestly, most of the time.  Things can always be better, but things can always be worse, too.

I am thankful for the health of my family and my friends and myself.

I’m thankful for the people who have served me, over time.  I know I am not the easiest person.  I am demanding and critical and I have an opinion on everything.

I have been lucky to be served, and loved, by extraordinary men, and I am grateful.

I have extraordinary slaves now, and my life would be far emptier, far duller, and far more boring without them.

I am lucky to have people around me who care about me, who indulge me, who scamper to get me things and look properly alarmed if I look stern.  I feel lucky to have people who know me and still feel that way.

I am thankful that I feel as though I have made a difference, that I have done good work.  I’ve never been lazy, and I have genuinely always held the community’s best interests at heart.  I’ve done well by that community, I think.

I’m glad to have the first world problems of a house to clean and things to find places for and the mess of a minor renovation from which to recover.  Those are good problems and remind me, as driving by the Mission used to, that I should think far more about the good than the bad, and to remind myself of the grace their is in gratitude.