now playing: atlanta rhythm section, “champagne jam”

not particularly happy about working today, especially considering that i only got to bed at 2am when we got home from donnie and faye’s house…but there’s something strangely peaceful about coming to work when only a third or so of the normal inhabitants are here…i will get much done today.

we opted out of actually preparing food this year…decided to dine out, and actually had a really good time. we figured the place that would come closest to getting it right that everyone would enjoy would be cracker barrel, and we were right…we parked right in front of the door and walked right in. i thought when we pulled into the lot that they might’ve been closed, there were so few cars there. it was perfect. the kids were in good spirits and we spent most of dinner giggling…

nanowrimo update: i have three days left…inlcuding today…to come up with 17,000 or so words.

i’d have to say that the odds don’t look too hot here…chances of actually finishing are feeling somewhat doubtful. but i’m not throwing in the towel just yet.

i know that everyone else who maintains one of these things probably does this, but i’ve never been one to let something like being cliched become an obstacle…so here, then, is my gratitude list.

(i actually used to keep a gratitude journal, back during the luddite days when people actually used to write these kinds of things down manually…can you believe that?)

a short diatribe concerning appreciation and thankfulness…

***the whos:

the insular group of individuals that comprise my immediate family: wendy, jayda, and dylan
wendy is my companion, jayda is my confidant and dylan is my mirror; soulmates, all of them.
(i’m especially thankful that, during the time that so often sees parents and children growing apart as they find their way into their own circles, that my children grow closer to me. they remind me that my remaining time on this planet is precious…i try to give them as much of it as i can, and they prove to me constantly what a wise investment this has been. to watch them grow has been the great joy of my life.)

my extended stone road family…darryl, barry, quin, and donnie
it’s hard to explain to someone who’s never experienced it, this circuit that exists between people who do what we do. going out and playing our asses off is the best team sport ever. if you don’t play an instrument or sing and you’ve thought about taking a swing at it, do. even if you do it in the privacy of your own undisclosed location and no one else ever hears a note that you generate but yourself, it really is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. and, not unlike sex, it’s a lot more fun to do with others than by yourself….but by yourself is pretty OK too. the time it takes to become somewhat adept at an instrument pays for itself. i’ve been blessed with talents that have allowed me to go places and do things i’d have never gotten to experience otherwise…and even though i might have peaked some time ago by the world’s standards of success, i’m having the time of my life right now. blake allen, charlie degenhart, marty higgins, todd bartolo and the youngers – i love playing with you guys, and i constantly look forward to the next one.

my circle of friends
this becomes dangerous…to name names or not to name names – that is the question. i guess we’ll just put it this way….if you’re not reading this, then i’m not talking about you specifically. how’s that?
without being quite so pat, there are some folks that i’ve managed to reconnect with in the past year that i’m really glad to have managed to track down. on a weeknight in the fall, i drove my kids two and a half hours south on a school night to the washington dc area to meet my friend thor from high school, who i hadn’t seen for twenty years – thanks to the internet, we’re now back in touch. the kids got a huge kick out of him, and we all had a blast. you just can’t not mention that.

my heroes
in stream of consciousness order:

my kids, my mother and grandfather, david phillips, jerry opdycke, tom del colle, craig wilson, con healy, david lindley, ed king, tom wood, luther crotts, jim johnson, duane allman, lindsey buckingham, sonny landreth, stevie ray vaughn, jackson browne, stephen stills, frank perry, jerry garcia, jimmie spheeris, david wilcox, henry “heineken” beck, john gorka, doug hopkins, ry cooder, rusty young, paul cotton, richie furay, lightnin’ hopkins, joe walsh, neil peart, george marinelli, garry lee, silent bob….to name a few, of course.
(these kinds of lists are tailor-made for “head slapping”, V8 style, after the fact. i’m sure i left out someone who’s vitally important to me…..)

***the whats:

for saving my life, for giving me hope, for offering me a future, for lifting my spirits and giving me insight, for bandaging my loneliness and letting me know that there were other people out there who shared my experiences. for speaking to me personally and for those who responded to me personally, i’m grateful.

i’ve historically had a hard time talking about this out loud, for fear of sounding arrogant or vain, but i’m thankful for the level of expertise i’ve managed to accumulate to this point in my life. i’m thankful that i’ve had the opportunities in my life that my talent has enabled me to take advantage of, and i’m thankful for the resources that have enabled me to pursue as many of the talents that i’ve been able to. i’m thankful for the roomful of guitars, lap steels, mandolins, banjos, and assorted stringed mayhem that lives in my house, downstairs from my home studio for which i am also thankful.

i’m thankful that i fell backwards into this line of work as i was coming into the autumn of my musical aspirations. it’s a perfect fit – almost as if i’d been doing this all along. it keeps my interest, and i feel like i’m contributing something by helping people who feel overwhelmed and illiterate by all this. it’s a good gig to have.

the usual stuff
health, freedom, food, clothing, shelter…i take more for granted than most, and am way too quick to jump on the “woe is me” train if things aren’t going my way – i’m very much a byproduct of the age of entitlement, much to my own chagrin sometimes. thankfully, every now and then i get to drive home in the splendor of a sunset like the one dylan and i got on the way home from GuitarDay last weekend, and it puts things in a more healthy perspective.

so, i’m feeling rather humbled and grateful now, having put all this in a form where i have to digest it all at once…but can’t help but mourn the fact that none of it is eligible to throw at my word count…ah, well. that’s work for another day. or two (since that’s all that’s left….).

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