Monday, November 23, 2009

Eight? Seven? Six? Whatever...

I’m back-ordered a couple of days on “thankfulness…”

No great excuse, here, that everyone (or no one, evidedently...) hasn’t already heard. I got caught up in café issues, worked twenty-four hours in two days, and was too worn out yesterday to even pick up the lap-top.

As I mentioned, business has been good this month. Good for any month, but especially spectacular for November. I thought, “Wow, maybe we are finally starting to get it, and people are starting to get us.” That would have been a great feeling. But, as has been the case almost every other time in my life when I thought I might actually be responsible for my own success, I discovered that it is more a case of things over which I personally have no control, causing our good run.

Two local eating/drinking establishments have closed their doors since October 30, which has had the effect of leaving bigger slices of the same dining-out-dollar pie for those of us who remain. So while I’m thankful that our numbers are good this month, I know better than to go into paroxysms of joy about how we’re finally on our way and there’s nowhere to go but up.

We need to carpe diem. We need to take advantage of this little windfall the Universe has provided for us, try to impress those folks coming through our doors who perhaps have never been here before, or who perhaps have been here but had a bad experience and didn’t come back, and are going to give us another go. I hope we can do that.

So, while I’m grateful for the chance, I won’t say that I’m thankful for somebody else’s misfortune. I KNOW that “There but for the grace of the Universe go I…” We’ll just keep our noses to the grindstone and try to maximize the opportunity.

That was going to be the extent of my essay on gratitude for today, until I logged on and looked at my email. There was an email from an old J-land friend, one who just recently “found” me again. He is one of these people who used to post very rarely, but when he did post, his insights into his life used to just blow me away. I thought I had lost him forever when AOL dumped us all over the side.

The email I got from him today was very much like his old blog posts. It was an essay about his dad, who he just found out is very ill. Truthfully, I don’t know if I was meant to receive the email. It’s possible that I just got added to his “reply all” list by mistake. Either way, I felt so fortunate to receive that “letter.” His writing was, once again, simple and forthright and powerful, and brought tears to my eyes.

And it reminded me, all over again, of the friends—many now lost in the ether—that I made and cherished in the days of AOL-J. This simple, powerful letter, that I may have received by mistake, was what the journal community was all about back then. So much more intimate, so much more meaningful, than the games, quizzes, and superficial “status updates” of Facebook and Twitter.

It reminded me of why, in spite of all the changes and losses and disappearances, I’m still here.

I can’t give up this place. Lonely and forsaken as it sometimes feels, now, I cannot leave. The memories alone are enough to hold me. And there are always the friends who are still out there, somewhere.

Thank you, Thomas. It was good to remember.

And I wish the best for your Dad…


  1. All you can do it the best you can and with luck we'll all end up in the same place in the end. The food sounds wonderful. Especially that English pub night. :-)

    Naked trees. At least we can see the birds a little better. The juncos are really cute as they pick through the leaves like a flock of teensy chickens.

  2. I can't leave either. Blogging, the way we got started and grew, is connecting, not social networking. And here on Thanksgiving Eve, I want you to know that I'm thankful for you my friend.