Friday, November 14, 2008

14 days of happiness in a lifetime?

I have now reigned about 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen. ~ Abd Er-Rahman III of Spain (960 C.E.)

I find that quote so sad. In 50 years he was only happy 14 days! At first I couldn't grasp how any one could have what they want, be loved and respected, yet could not be happy. Then I thought of my friend - she is of that same ilk. She is a single mother, the childrens father disappeared so he didn't have to pay support. She has two kids who have everything they need and some they don't. They both have two dressers full of clothes and a double tier closet full of clothes some they don't get around to wearing before they out grow them. Their rooms are right out of a magazine-one is done all in tinkerbell and the other in bratz. She has a 20 year job in her kids school so doesn't pay child care. Her kids are covered with insurance. She inherited her house so has no morgage. She gets heating assistance so isn't burdened with the full heating bill. Other than heating she earns too much to be eligible for assistance but not enough to put any away. She got three large trash bags of gifts last year and 2 turkey dinners from various places and is on all the lists for this year. Yet she is so worried about putting more under the tree that she is like Abd Er-Rahman. She is not happy. At school time she was unhappy because of the cost of backpacks. She took 8 of them to the dump because "they don't reuse backpacks"...not the Salvation Army so someone else can benefit. After Christmas it will be something else to not be happy about. It doesn't matter that her kids don't play with 90% of the toys but just sit in front of a tv, it doesn't matter that they don't consider books a gift because they are not going to read them, it doesn't matter that their rooms sit empty because they crawl in her bed, it doesn't matter that others are so much worse than her-she is just not happy.

I am a little anxious about the economy, the fact that Christmas is only 40 days and 16 hours away and I have nada and the progress of the house. Today dawned foggy and wet. Yesterday it rained all day. The pile of laundry is going to fall over and crush us. The leaves are gone and things just look dull except for the pines, birches and sycamores, but I would not say I am not happy. On the contrary my week was a good one.

Saturday the man went to his mandatory sixth day of work. I went in the house and started laying the reclaimed wood floors. Sunday we had finished them and next weekend while the kids are gone we will rent the sander.

Monday, after making everyone lunch and sending them off to school and work, I house sat for my mother as she had to go out and was expecting a repair man. I was so tired from the weekend that I knit all day. I made a pair of slipper socks for my nephew for Christmas but found they were too small so gave them to a friend for her nephew. I then started a pair of peekaboo mittens. I also picked up some pine cones (of which there are an abundance of this year) for #2 daughter and I to make into bird feeds for the winter solstice, something we do every year.
Tuesday was a day of firsts...I saw my first bear this year running across the road on its way to the river. A citidiot (city idiot) who had been tailgating me stopped and got out of the car to get a better view. I had enough sense to appreciate the view I got and keep going. Of course it did get him off my a$$. We were the only two vehicles on the road so why do they feel they need to crawl up there? I am doing 55 in a 35 so I was not going to pull over and let him pass. Nope he needed a lesson in slow down and enjoy...and go get eaten by that bear.

Another first was the flock of sparrows that descended on the feeder. I only have a small suet cake in the feeder now so all I usually see is the woodpecker, titmouse, chickadee and an occasional wren. Since then they are no where to be found. I did have a different bird this morning but the woodpecker scared him away before I could find out what he was.

And last but not least on the way to son's doctor appointment I saw my first eagle of the season sitting in a tree on the rivers edge. We have resident and migratory eagles. Usually with abundant small game in the wood and fields they stay away from the river while the fishermen are there and you only see them in the winter. Now that the hunters are in the woods stirring things up I guess they opted for the quiet of the river!

Wednesday I mixed up a batch of regular hot cocoa and one of double chocolate hot cocoa for the kids. Tis the season you know. Went to town and picked up more paint. I came home a different route and picked up feed from the feed store. I finished the mittens and even worked in the ends right away (something I normally put off until I have to wrap the present!)

Yesterday I spent the day painting. I hate to paint...no really...I hate to paint but it makes such a difference! #1 daughter unexpectedly showed up to help….first I had to fortify the starving child by making her a london broil and cheesy orzo. The kids came home with their report cards-#2 daughter is honor roll.....#2 son is not. Being on the cusp of teen-hood has definitely hit him harder than it did his sister.

Today I sit typing this watching a flock of turkeys follow a deer trail from the bottom to upper ridge. After my mother’s doctor’s appointment, #1 and I will go back in and paint some more. She wants to learn how to spackle…another drudgery job but one more room to do and then we are done with that also.

It was a plain and ordinary week-absolutely nothing exciting but I would still rate it a good week - one I am happy with. Sadly I think too many people only stop to count their blessings during this month when they are also worrying about Christmas and they don't really realize in how many ways they are blessed throughout the year.

I hope you can look over your week and say it was a happy week. If not I hope you have a happy weekend.

1 comment:

Sis said...

I'm with you Sis, count our blessings and keep on having some fun. Hugs to all. Tell No. 2 daughter congrats on an excellent report card and No. 2 son, maybe he should get in the house with you to do some manual labor as without learning and good grades that is what he will be doing for many years. He might as well start working on his skills now and build up muscles and resilence. He was always such a good student. Is he Bored??