I wrote a little bit last year about how the world can be kind of dismal. Things, on a global scale, seem as though they have not improved. Perhaps they never will, but I am still thankful to be a part of it. I am thankful for the people who choose kindness. To my fellow American citizens, happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you have what you need and maybe a little bit of what you want.
This has been a productive but difficult year for me, with lots of change and some serious introspection. There is more to come. I am thankful for a partner who has supported me in all ways. Being able to lean on him, even just a little bit, even when I don’t want to believe I need help, means everything. I am thankful especially for my dad, and my immediate family, for being the incredible, beautiful people they are. I am thankful for my mom’s family, the sheer magnitude of their love, even through a computer screen. I often feel odd and a bit left out, but never in their company. I am thankful for the closeness we had when I was young. I am thankful, too, for Timothy’s family, for having welcomed me with open arms ten years ago.
I am thankful for each and every one of my friends, especially those far away old best friends I rarely see. I love you. I am thankful for the friends I have made in my adulthood, because it seemed unlikely that I would manage such a feat. I am thankful for the accidental friends: former roommates, Timothy’s friends, and the girlfriends and wives of those friends. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you having a beer with me.
I am thankful for my new home, this cozy little house by the river. I am thankful that I finally feel like I am home, because I have not felt this way in a long, long time. I am thankful for pine forests and salt air. I am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to travel.
I am thankful for the tortoise. I am thankful for the half-blind warrior cat who sometimes calls our home his home. I am thankful for the little tufts of fur between his toes, and the way he always smells like leaves. I didn’t realize how much I missed having a cat until one decided to attach himself to me.
I am thankful for board games. I am thankful for mugs of hot coffee. I am thankful for the sound and smell of charcoal on paper. I am thankful for the museums I visited when I was small.
Stay warm and cozy, friends. Remember all those who came before, who spoke languages slowly being forgotten. Thanks for reading.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The snow is finally falling.
I am thankful for family, old friends, and the new friends I have somehow made along the way. I am thankful for the people who help pick me up when I stumble, and I am thankful for the people in my life who accept that I am rarely the one who reaches out. Thank you for reaching out to me, even in small ways.
I am thankful for computers, and for the internet, but I am even more thankful that I was lucky enough to spend most of my young life without either of these things. I am thankful that I can close my laptop, pick up a book, and be just as content. I am thankful that I know how to write a letter, address an envelope.
I am thankful for the opportunity to further my education. I am thankful that I have learned things, and continue to learn things, that shake my foundations a little bit.
The world is a bit of a dismal place to be, right now, but if art, music, and literature tell us anything, it’s that it always has been, and probably always will be. These outlets also tell us, though, that there are inspired people doing beautiful things in the face of sadness and anger. I am thankful for those people. I am in awe of those people. Thank you for fighting the fight.
I am thankful for freshly baked bread. I am thankful that I was taught how to make grilled cheese on a cast iron pan. I am thankful for the birds feeding right outside my window. Thank you, for giving me a moment of pure joy for the cost of nothing more than black oil sunflower seeds.
I am thankful for sharpened Prismacolor pencils and grey drawing paper, flannel shirts and thick socks, cruelty-free lip balm. These are unnecessary objects, but small joys nonetheless.
I am thankful to be safe, loved, and in relatively good health. I am thankful for a heart, body, and mind that allow me to take care of others. I am thankful for all the people who have taken care of me.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I hope you are enjoying time with your loved ones. For my final 100 things post (see the first and second), I thought it would be nice to honor a living being who, while an active part of my live, doesn’t really play quite as important a role as my parents or my boyfriend! Anyone who has a pet will probably tell you they are thankful for that furry (feathery, scaly) member of their family! I will be the first to admit, however, that tortoises are weird pets. To be honest, coming up with a list of ten reasons was a little bit tricky! It’s not that I don’t appreciate McCoy, but he mostly eats lettuce and sits around a lot.
Here are ten reasons I am thankful for the tortoise:
- He has quite the personality. I never thought that reptiles would be that interesting as pets, but he has moods and quirks just like any other animal.
- He is clean (you know, when it comes to bodily functions). He is also free of disease; lots of reptiles (iguanas, turtles, etc) have some pretty nasty stuff going on.
- He is so photogenic. Even with my less-than-stellar photography skills, he usually looks fabulous.
- It is strangely comforting to have him around. He’s not like a dog or anything, but his presence is still very calming. He enjoys being held and having his shell stroked.
- He makes me laugh. He has the funniest sneezes and occasionally tries to mate with shoes, which is as disturbing as it is hilarious.
- He will outlive both Tj and I, assuming he remains in good health. How crazy is that?
- He’s really picky. I guess it’s weird that I’m thankful for this, but it makes my life interesting. I try to introduce new foods, and the grumpy stare I am usually met with just cracks me up. See #5. Oh my gosh! We recently bought some “tortoise salad dressing” (I know, what?), and he actually ate the lettuce I drizzled with it. I almost cried. I see photos of other tortoises eating crazy fruits and veg, and I am always really jealous!
- The thought of building an outdoor summertime tort habitat thrills me! I can’t wait to move into Tj’s house. We do have to be really careful about ants, however, as tortoises have absolutely no defense against ant bites (the more you know!).
- He travels really well. He has been on two 3+ hour drives, now, and fared amazingly during both. He slept the whole way and settled into his new habitats easily.
- He really enjoys listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tom Petty. He is that cool.
Tell me about your pets and why you love them! I am under the impression that small dogs are the pet for the hip blogging girl, and I would love to someday join the ranks with a beagle, but McCoy makes my day, every day.
+ If you have any questions about taking care of tortoises, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment! I would (and Tj would, too, I’m sure!) be happy to answer!
PS. tortoise cozies
- He is a problem solver.
- He’s a socially well-adjusted nerd. He plays Dungeons & Dragons, watches obscure anime, and has an absolutely ridiculous collection of paperbacks, but he also functions as a nice-smelling member of society. I have been acquainted to many a nerdy gentleman; there is a lot to be said for this.
- He makes me laugh.
- He encourages me. He has supported many of even my most passing dreams and ideas.
- He is not a knight in shining armor. He is a beautiful and flawed human being, and that is so much better.
- He genuinely values my help and advice; I value his.
- He challenges me to be a better version of myself.
- I can absolutely, 100% see myself growing old with this person.
- He is the best person to travel with.
- I have loved every single book and movie he has ever suggested to me.
There are so many more reasons. There are more than I could ever think to write down. I am certain that every person is thankful for his or her partner, and I imagine that even some of the reasons are the same as my own, but I still consider myself incredibly fortunate to have this particular fellow in my life.
I am also feeling thankful that he will be home for this holiday (and probably Christmas, too)!
Earlier this year, I made a list of 100 things I feel thankful for. For me, there is always so much to be thankful for, so much left unlisted. Making the list was both comforting and thought-provoking. I thought for Thanksgiving this year I would elaborate on a few of the more important things.
Ten Reasons I am thankful for my parents:
- My mom and dad were both very creative people, and they encouraged creativity in me. I wrote and I painted, I sewed and sculpted. I still do.
- When I was very young, my mother made me truly believe that I could accomplish anything and be anyone. I lost that confidence as I grew older, but I am so thankful that as a little girl I had that much belief in myself. So many people are knocked down from the start.
- I am fairly certain my father is a genius. Genuine.
- When my mother died, I was sixteen, and I know I was a brat. I am sad that I lost my mother during such a pivotal phase of my life, and that she died before I could grow up and become the person who I am today. But I knew at the time, even though our relationship was strained, that she would always have my back. We bickered constantly, but we never forgot to say “I love you.” That means so much to me, now.
- My parents trusted me, and I trusted them. They trusted me to make the right decisions for myself, and were there when I didn’t do quite that. My dad, especially, has been there for the most difficult turns.
- My mother encouraged my anime obsession. She helped me dream up cosplay ideas, and I remember decorating her hospital room wall with Sailor Moon sticker dolls after she had her heart attack.
- My father encouraged my “goth” phase. What a sweetheart. I wanted purple hair, he suggested blue. He bought me a coffin shaped jewelry box for my sixteenth birthday, drew cobwebs on the brown paper package, and wrote my name in “spooky” lettering.
- There were periods of time during my childhood when I know money was a serious issue. I never really felt it. I always had what I needed. I respect my mom and dad so much for this. They must have been hurting.
- They were both (and still, in my father’s case) amazing note and letter writers.
- Without them, I wouldn’t be me. For good and for bad, I am their daughter. This life is incredible: sometimes weird, sometimes sad, but incredible nonetheless.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here. Follow along elsewhere, or get in touch: