Snow flurries drifted down.
I woke up alone in a four-bedroom house. It had never been a home. I had only lived there 13 months.
The house was going to be sold and the proceeds divided however the divorce court decreed my parents should split them.
I peered in the fridge for some breakfast. A plastic gallon container had only enough milk to cover the bottom. I poured it over some stale raisin bran flakes.
I crunched the mostly dry cereal.
I put on jeans, a sweater, a hat, mittens and my coat, a wool Russian military jacket I found in
a used clothing store in Minneapolis.
I had nowhere to go. I walked the streets of the subdivision. The houses had packs of cars parked in front of them. Inside bodies moved across the yellow lights shining out. Blue TVs flashed and every so often I could hear the murmur of crowds from inside the houses. Families filled the homes.
I had no family like that. I had no home like that.
I walked on.
I walked past the gas station, closed on the holiday. It had a vending machine for bait. “How Minnesotan,” I thought.
The grey sky drooped over me. I walked along the frozen lake. Snow twisted and untwisted in swirls from the wind gusts.
“I will always be alone,” I thought.
Thanksgiving week 2016
The light spread long warmth over the field. I grabbed my camera, a combined surprise gift from friends on my 40th birthday.
“I’m going out to get some pictures,” I told my family.
I sat in the pasture and the pony came close to me to graze the still-green grass. It had been a warm fall.
Out of all the acreage, she chose to be close to me.
She had been starving when she was rescued. The horses in the herd with her had died. But she survived. The people at Longmeadow brought her back to health. Then we adopted her, skittish and shy though she was.
Over the past five years with us, her friendly, confident self bloomed.
I sat with her and listened to her eat. The sun set.
I came inside, inside my home with my husband and son.
My son helped me pick the best photos and edit them.
I am thankful for my home.
I am thankful for my memories of no home because now I know what I have.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for my memories of being alone because now I know what I have.
I am thankful that ponies can forgive and learn to love.
I am thankful that people can forgive and learn to love.
I am thankful for today.
I am thankful for today.
Wherever you are, may you know the presence of God and feel the peace that transcends understanding. I wish you a Thanksgiving full of enough to eat and a heart full of hope!
4 thoughts on “Why I am thankful: a look back to 1986”
“… she chose to be close to me.” * whew*
I’m thankful for your full heart, so full that you share it with the rest of us. Happy Thanksgiving.
Shelly, your encouraging words always make me want to write more. Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving! ❤
Beautifully said! I am thankful for friends like you and for our two rescued cats, who have taught us many lessons about what is important in life.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Janie, I so appreciate your wisdom, kindness and willingness to be present with all the feelings. Big hugs and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! ❤🐱