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It’s not Thanksgiving or anything like that. I’m sure it’s a holiday for someone, somewhere in the world, but it isn’t for me. However, as I was doing the dishes this morning, I was counting my blessings. You don’t need a holiday for that, so I thought I’d share some things I’m thankful for.

  1. My kids generally do what they’re asked to do. I’m talking chores, here. Oh, there’s grumbling, huffy looks, and eye-rolling (mostly Twin #1–that’s her thing.) But there’s not a ton, and they do it. Yesterday, I asked for the bathrooms to be cleaned, laundry folded, and the common areas of the house to be picked up. An hour later, it was done. Now, they’re not awesome at cleaning or folding or anything, but they’re improving. The main thing is that they do it. I took them to Dairy Queen later for a treat. My kids don’t get an allowance because my philosophy is: You live here, you clean here. So, thank you kids!
  2. My wife is awesome at everything. Last summer, she remodeled the kitchen. This summer, she tackled the landscaping. We bought our house as a foreclosure five years ago. The market in Michigan took a lot longer to come back than the rest of the country, so we lucked out big time. There’s no way we could have afforded this neighborhood or this house otherwise. The landscaping, however, is original to the house, which was built in 1977. I’m talking miles of lava rocks, raised beds around the trees. Yews lining the front and back, with ugly little trees on the ends (a conduit for ants to climb up and get into the house through the roof.) We’re on water, so the back is landscaped even more. There are berms that make mowing very difficult. (Let’s landscape a berm with a 1-story dropoff on the other side! That’ll be easy to mow! No, we cannot afford a service.) We have 2 cement patios, huge-ass cement steps that really serve no purpose, a deck off the master bedroom with a patio underneath, stepped landscaping leading from the main floor to the walkout basement, and a huge beach. We got a lot of waterfront. Unlike most waterfront homes, it does not narrow in the back to give everyone a fair slice of water access. This summer, wife redid the entire front, removing a shit-ton of rocks, redoing all the plantings, and putting down nice mulch. She removed the raised beds. In back, she rebuild the retaining walls for the stepped landscaping, leveled the upper part of the lawn so the trampoline doesn’t tilt, put in a garden, redid the beach (expanding it and putting in a fire pit), and she’s finishing up the deck.
  3. She also is replacing windows and sliding doors as we get the funds. I can’t imagine the thousands it would cost to hire this work out.
  4. I have a day job. I know lots of writers hate the day job, but I’m ADD. I like variety, and when you work with tweens, you never know what the day will bring.

There’s a ton more I’m thankful for, but I’ll leave it at this for now. What’s good in your life?

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