November 26, 1998
Stuff I'm Thankful For

Stuff I'm Thankful For ... In No Particular Order of Importance:
  • The miraculous return of Honey BBQ Chicken to KFC. Apparently the Colonel does read my e-mails!

  • Also: Celestial Seasoning's Fast Lane Tea ... Pally 100% Cholesterol-and-Donny-Free MarieBiscuits ... Wellfleet Farms Cranberry Juice, except for the pukey *Georgia Peachflavor ... and the nice folks at Swanson's Fine Frozen Foods, makers of my "Thanksgiving dinner" this evening.)

  •  The sound of trains beneath the window of the Tree House ... my nightly lullaby, the past six months.

  •  Daughter #1 ... who has always known what she wanted and never hesitated to go out and get it. (Except for that Unfortunate Episode at age three, when she wanted to be "a garbage mans.")  I'll miss you this weekend, Puss.

  •  The fact that my days of standing at rainy Oregon City bus stops are over, as of yesterday. (Broken Black Umbrella = Permanently Retired).

  • Jill Sobule, who doesn't even know what she started.

  •  Daughter #2 ... who likes to dress up in formal gowns and walk around in teeny tiny circles, chanting stuff ... [g] ... bring a sleeping bag with you tomorrow, Kacie, and I MIGHT give you your pillow back.

  • My sobriety ... hard-won, excruciating, precarious, precious ... and (knock wood) permanent. I am thankful for those who have supported me in this, the most difficult thing I've ever attempted in my life. I am even more thankful to those who predict my failure: they are what drive me to succeed.

  •  Rag-wool socks on cold November nights.

  •  This past year at Benchmade Knife Company. (Hey Dennis! -- I finally know the difference between a Stryker and an Eclipse!) An extremely cool place to work, and I've got the jacket -- and the scars -- to prove it.

  •  The fact that "My Heart Will Go On" has finally, blessedly disappeared from the radio airwaves.

  •  Little white tea candles placed strategically around the Tree House.

  •  Son #Only ... who lists his occupation as "fuLL TimE FLirt" ... and who made me a groovy set of AOL replacement .wavs (so now when I sign on, the chirpy annoying little You've Got Mail Guy has been replaced with "Yo! Check yer damn MAIL!") ... and who still stands behind my chair and massages my neck without being asked.

  •  Moon Paint ... that glorious, messy, neon goop that livens up any *decor.*   

  •  My pal *Someone,* with whom I enjoyed a greasy taco and a civilized conversation last night ... disproving the theory that relationships can't successfully move backwards.

  •  "Walking On Alligators: A Book of Meditations For Writers," Susan Shaughnessy. (Also "Writing Down The Bones," Natalie Goldberg ... "Bird by Bird," Anne Lamott ... "The Artists Way," Julia Cameron.)

  • Stuart The Bus Driver, for never saying "Good morning" to my chest.

  •  Keiko the Whale, for finally fudking going home.

  • My mother -- aka "Mrs. Bill" -- who had probably pretty much given up on me. I have managed to fairly successfully mirror most of her mistakes in my own life. I figure it's time to start mirroring some of her triumphs.

  • Side note: Also a thanks to my baby sister Deb -- expecting HER first baby next June -- and her hub, TicTacTim (aka Computer Whiz Guy) -- for driving the Tots down here tomorrow.

  • Birds #1 and #2, my true companions during my months here in the Tree House.   (Bird #1: "Yeah, well ... we just liked to watch her undress.")

  • My wonderful online friends -- you know who you are -- for the buckets of cheer and support and oven mitts and mix tapes and stuff you've sent my way, over the past year. And for never failing to make me laugh ...
SecraTerri: "Vesuvio's?"
Bottlenekk: "I'll take Volcanoes for $100, Alex."

  •  Alaska Airlines, for the best damn Chicken Caesar Salad-In-A-Completely-UNOPENABLE-Bag I've never had in my life.

  • My new best friend JIM at Oregano City U-Haul, who "guarandamntees" me that the 10 ft. truck will be ready by 5 p.m. on Monday night.

  •  Whatever Forces of Nature woke me at 4 a.m. this morning and propelled me through a day of manic cleaning, sorting and packing, without even needing to stop and take a coma break.

  •  And finally ...

... yeah, you knew this was coming, didn't you?

  • ... I am thankful beyond thankful for the unexpected turn my life has taken recently, and for whatever gods decided I deserved to be blessed in this way, and for the person who has entered that life directly out of left field, and for the new life we are about to enter into together.

I realize that a lot of you give us as much chance at success as Rosanne's new talk show. I further realize that many of you would like to see nothing more than Secra's head on a plate, preferably squinty-eyed drunk, with an apple (or a gun) in her big mouth. This in no way diminishes my optimism, nor my resolve to make everything work, including my sobriety. In fact it has just the opposite effect: I am more determined than ever to stay sober ... to take responsibility for my own life and actions ... to provide for my children in every way I can ...

... and to enjoy the first sober, mature, committed love relationship of my life.

Think I'll go rescue that frozen dinner from the oven now. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

(And note to the Tots, TicTacTim, Deb, and David: see you guys tomorrow. I love you.)



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