It's  tempting . . .

Usually we host a large dinner for family and friends on Thanksgiving. This year, though, we're going over to my cousin Hal's. This is mostly going to be my side of the family, who I don't see that often. (Most of them live on the other side of the Phoenix metro area, which is an hour's drive, one way.) Tuesday next week, my next day off work, we'll have a smaller TG dinner with Hilde's relatives, some friends, and the rest of the household.

To be honest, it's been a pretty rough year: We lost our close friend Anne, Hilde -- on top of her regular medical problems -- was in the hospital twice, my mother had several mini-strokes (mostly recovered) and her husband Tom had health problems of his own, friends and family members have lost jobs and had hard times finding new ones. Even our Corgi, Madame Mim, has been sick. (Valley Fever, a fungal infection endemic to the Phoenix area; so I'll be putting pills down Mim's throat twice a day for, oh, the next year or so.) And someone we considered a friend stabbed us in the back, financially, for over eight thousand dollars. I'm having difficulty feeling thankful for much.

There are indicators that next year may be better in several regards, particularly financially. (Things actually are better financially already, but the friend responsible for that improvement probably wouldn't want her name mentioned.)

So if I was asked what I'm thankful for, I'd probably say "I'm thankful there's only one more month left in 2009."