Sunday, November 01, 2009

What's keeing me busy ...

For the first time, I'm going to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month -- 50,000 words in 30 days). I've started ... and I'm nearly 2,000 words into it. ... And today was easy since it was just the retelling of a ghost story that the rest of my story is based on.

Still, wish me luck. LOTS of it.

The other thing that I'm going to be doing is a Gratitude Challenge. 21 days of learning to look for the good in life. ... And here goes:

Day 1
Why am I participating in this Gratitude Challenge? ... Where do I start? I know that I take a lot of my life for granted. I really am blessed with a lot ... but I don't always feel as happy with my life as I know that I should.
What do I want to get out of this? I want to be more mindful of the small blessings that I have, instead of being preoccupied with the fact that I could use more money. I need to be, per se, more like Linus van Pelt and less like Lucy in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

(If you want to participate, go right ahead. You don't have to start on any certain date, which is really nice ... especially if you're like me and always space out on that. Which is why, most years, I'm bummed that I've missed "Talk Like a Pirate Day.")

Other news, a lot of my friends are mentioning about how today is Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead. And, since my friends are cool and THINK about stuff, they're expressing gratitude for their ancestors.
  • I want to express gratitude for my Grandma Darlene. She helped influence my love of books. And my love of cats. My mom tells me that I'm still a lot like her. One of my favorite memories of her love for me is when Whiskas (one of our cats) was giving birth. I didn't know who else to call, so I called her and she talked me through the process of getting Whiskas comfortable before my Nana came to pick me up to go to a birdhouse-building workshop. ... I also have a ring that Grandma Darlene bought for me to replace a cheapy-ring that I lost in her car. She didn't have to do that. But she did anyways.
    Often, I feel bad that I don't mourn her more. Her death has been the one that I've accepted the most easily, even though it was the most unexpected. Somehow I've always felt very calm about it. I know that she loves me ... and I am looking forward to catching up with her when my time comes.
  • I'm also thankful for Pop-pop (my dad's dad). He's one of my all-time favorite male relatives. He was very patient with me ... even though he'd refer to me as an "ornery little critter." (Which, in all honesty, is putting it mildly.) He was always calm and constant ... and his death was very hard for me to handle (and still is). The last time I saw him was in the hospital, before he was sent home for respite care. I pretty much just held his hand and sobbed as he slept from the chemo and painkillers.
    (Honestly, if anyone is looking for a reason not to smoke, I can tell you about small-cell lung cancer and how it has affected MY life by taking away my Pop-pop. Yes, I do consider it in that way. If he hadn't gotten addicted to cigarettes, he most likely wouldn't have ever contracted cancer. And I'd still have my Pop-pop. He'd have been able to see his first great-grandson -- who shares his first name-- and twin great-granddaughter. He'd be able to hold his second great-grandson [My cousin's son] ... but because of those damn cigarettes, he isn't here. And knowing this kills me a little every time I think of it.)
    I remember how, when Sarah (my cousin) and I would joke around when we were supposed to be finishing our meals, he'd lean in and tell us in this funny, strained voice, "EAT!" ... Or how he'd give all us grandkids turns at steering the riding lawn mower as he'd cut the grass in Mrs. Weatherbee's (their neighbor) field. I miss talking to him. Or the venison jerky he'd make. Or getting a ride from him after my friends and I floated down Canyon Creek that one time. Or when he and Nana would take me out for a sandwich or something as they drank their coffee and got the local gossip at Lynn's restaurant or at the deli at the grocery store. ...
There are millions of little things that I miss so much about my grandparents.
  • My Grammy (step-grandmother) was college-educated and would discuss literature with me. She also usually had really cool taste in presents (sometimes the presents that she and Grampy would send were more interesting than others).
  • My great-grandfather (Nana's dad) was a wonderful wood-worker. I now have one of the clocks that he made. I need to get a key to wind it. It's beautiful. There's also a tray that he made that is at my mom's. And a couple of boxes with inlaid lids. Sarah and I would dance to the tune in a music box he made (he made the box and affixed the music-player in it).
  • I have some very vague memories of my great-grandma (Nana's mom). She died when I was ... three? My most vivid memory was at a family dinner at her home. Somehow, I didn't have a napkin and got caught wiping my face on the tablecloth. Great-Grandma was the one who noticed. After finding out that I didn't have a napkin, she passed one down. She didn't make me feel silly or stupid or anything. I wish that I had gotten to know her better.
  • My great-aunt Jo. She was funny. Unfortunately, when she got cancer, she didn't let anyone know. She crocheted beautifully. Often while watching baseball. She once, accidentally, locked me in the cellar (where I was taking a shower). It was a good thing that I had my clothes with me, since I had to go out the back door (instead of through the pantry into the kitchen) and around to the front of the house to get back in. Good times. She collected paper fans.
Those are most of the people that I've known who have left me behind.
And Gingi-cat.
Lately, Bucket's taken to telling me, "I'm SAD. I'm SAD because Gingi-cat isn't in our house."
You and me both, sweetie-girl. Even though Ginger hasn't been in our house (or our plane of existence) for three months now. I still don't take it on the chin like I feel that I should.
I don't know if it helps that she appears in my dreams off and on.
Of course, Bruise sums it up well when he solemnly pronounces, "My cat is DEAD."

It almost makes me laugh because he's so ... adamant in his delivery of this fact. Funny boy.

But, yeah. That's really about it.

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