My latest list of five things I am thankful for, in no particular order:
1. People who have a sense of humor. When I say I'm a fire and EMS dispatcher, I think what leaps to most people's minds is those terrifying, life-and-death calls you hear on the news sometimes. We do get those every once in a while, but the majority of our calls are what we call "bread and butter"—ordinary medical calls like difficulty breathing, general illness, and chest pain. Tonight a quite elderly man called 911 and when I said, "Sir, I'll just stay on the phone with you until the paramedics arrive," he replied calmly and politely, "Oh, that's not necessary. Surely I'll live at least until they get here." I love my job.
2. The superhero that is Reed. If y'all can stand just one more mention of the boyfriend....Last week I learned I might possibly have a chance to bid day shift at work. I've worked nights for almost four years, but the possibility of working "normal" hours is tempting, so I debated the pros and cons with myself for a few days before telling Reed I was thinking about it. He works days, but we haven't been together that long and I was unsure what he'd think of my even counting him among the reasons to turn my work schedule upside-down. So, I laid it all out to him over supper. He thought for a few minutes and said, "Of course I'd love to see you more, but the truth is that you have to do what's best for you." Of course. And now I know I'll have his support no matter what shift I bid. I call him a superhero for good reason.
3. My mom's inability to keep really good Christmas presents a secret until Christmas. For years and years, my mother has started her Christmas shopping about mid-August. When she finds something really good, she can't just stow it away until Christmas, try as she might. Yesterday it was my turn for the early present. I cut the tape on the box she hadn't even wrapped yet and inside...a Breadman bread maker! Hooray! I baked a loaf of bread as soon as I got it home.
4. Baby Chase. My daughter-in-law's sister had a baby girl two months ago, and one of my son's best friends had a baby boy just a few days later. Dylan and Sarah have been baby-sitting a lot lately, and along with that has come a certain amount of baby fever. I admit not being immune to it, either. (Babies are just so cute and cuddly and sweet, aren't they?) Monday night Dylan called me and asked me to come over. When I got to his house, there sat he and his wife on the sofa, looking exhausted and a little shell-shocked. "Um," I said, "I hear a baby crying." Sarah looked at me a little tearfully. "I know," she said, "and no matter what we do he won't stop crying." I picked up Baby Chase and rocked him (it's amazing how these skills come right back to you) so Sarah and Dylan could eat supper. As Sarah grabbed a second slice of pizza she remarked, "At least we can give him back in a couple hours when his mama gets here." And Dylan said, "We are so not ready for kids of our own." Lil Chase, I'm sorry you had such a bad tummy-ache, but thank you.
5. Netflix Watch Instantly and FeedFliks. I got a Netflix account because I am completely unable to return a video on time and the monthly fee for Netflix is cheaper than my late fees at the video store. However, I'm unable to return a Netflix DVD right after I watch it, either. It lays around my house for days, sometimes weeks, before I remember to mail it back. It became questionable whether the Netflix account was really saving me money. Then along came Watch Instantly, and I started watching movies on my laptop during down times at work and when there's nothing on tv at home. Last week I learned about FeedFliks.com, a website that calculates your per-movie cost with Netflix. Thanks to Watch Instantly, mine is down to 58 cents a movie. Can't beat that!