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Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer

Month

November 2012

I’m breaking tradition and posting this now instead of Sunday – for obvious reasons. Enjoy this post from my friend Sarah’s blog! ~Amy

Full-Time Writer Mom

It was a childhood joke with my mom and her sisters. After returning from a big shopping trip with their mother, they would say, “Look, Daddy! See how much money we saved!” Then my grandfather would groan and view the purchases and all the “savings.”

I can’t tell you how many times I go to one store or another, where the cashier makes a point to show me how much I saved. Yeah, but what about that other number–the amount I spent? What I save doesn’t actually put money in the bank, although many people shop like it does.

While retailers look forward to moving from the red to the black this weekend (and I understand that they depend on Christmas shoppers to turn a profit), I wonder how many of their shoppers will do just the opposite, putting themselves into debt to kick off the holiday season. There’s nothing…

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Gratitudes

1. I’m grateful to be alive. I could so easily not be. I’m one of the few individuals that’s been given a second chance at life.

2. I’m grateful for my mind. Just as the surgeon was millimeters away from life-giving functions, it’s also miraculous that my words and memories were not affected. They fuel my writing. The physical damage was great, but I’d rather write than walk.

3. I’m grateful to be able to communicate. Sure, I sound like a drunk E.T., but it’s nice to smile and exchange even the most mundane pleasantries with neighbors on Frankie’s walks.

4. I’m grateful for all the family in my life, but particularly for my mom. She made a great sacrifice — twice. Once, when I was born and a second time, six years ago, when she gave up life as she knew it in Miami to come to Jacksonville.

5. I’m grateful to Brooks. The rehabilitation hospital, the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program, the Clubhouse, the outpatient therapy and the Neuro Gym. For everything they do to improve the quality of life for those of us in the community living with a disability.

6. I’m grateful to have a purpose. Find one. Go within. I think it’s something internal, something that can give you hope on dark days, regardless of external forces.

7. I’m grateful to have friends. Old and new. You can’t have too many. They make life sweeter. They’re the electives in a heavy courseload. I’m especially thankful to have one friend/physical therapist (she knows who she is) who keeps me moving!

8. I’m grateful to have Frankie and Bella. And yes, even my mom’s insane cat, Carlito. Animals are wonderful. They have such emotional lives. And not just cats and dogs. Consider — just consider — not eating them. You don’t have to start breaking holiday traditions if you’re not ready. Start next year. Start with red meat. It’s not all or nothing. I’m still unable or unwilling, despite repeated attempts, to give up seafood. Do what you can. Just think about it.

9. I’m grateful for my social security. Fortunately, the government pays me Social Security Disability Income. With it, I can afford the basics of food, clothing, shelter and then some.

10. I’m grateful to live in Florida. I can see the sunrise over the ocean every morning if I want to. It’s sad that I know this (hey, I don’t have cable!) but on Family Feud when Steve Harvey (who’s funny, that’s another excuse) said, “Name a state with the best beaches,” Florida was a top answer.

Keeping a list of things you’re grateful for can help you cultivate a more positive outlook on life which can improve your emotional well-being and reduce stress!

On The Farm

Since I’m loathe to simply slap up the “Writer At Work” sign and leave my poor readers with only the Sunday paper or less worthy blogs (blogs of dear friends excluded, of course,) I’m doing the next easiest thing: posting something I’ve already written. Frankie got a lot of love last week, so for all you Frankie fans out there — enjoy this excerpt from my book. And don’t hold it against me if the sign’s there next week. 

Arguments with my mother can sound like Abbott and Costello routines.  We are parked in the car and my mom is taking Frankie out to do his business.

“When we get back, we can eat!” she tells him.

“I thought you said you didn’t bring any cookies,” I say.

“I didn’t.  You said you brought grapes.”

“I did.  But those are for lunch.”

“But we always have a snack at the park.”

“Yes.  We always have cookies.  You’re welcome to the grapes.  But they were for lunch.”

“Well, I didn’t bring cookies.  I thought we could eat your grapes.”

“AgainWe can.  I’m just saying, they were for lunch.”

Frankie whimpers to remind us he needs to go out or this could go on forever.  As the door shuts, she shoots me a look that says I’m a spoiled child, unwilling to share.

Continue reading “On The Farm”

Parenting

I feel like the parent of the kid who got picked last for T-ball. I have the world’s cutest dog, who on Halloween looked especially dapper, and no one said a thing. Not one person.

I walked him in my neighborhood in the morning. I walked him in my mom’s neighborhood in the afternoon. And he sat out with us for the arrival of trick-or-treaters. Nothing. My mother’s political signs got more attention than his costume.

Granted, it was just a $5 shirt. (I don’t believe in decking him out in complicated, constricting garb, strictly for my amusement: see last year’s post.) But, this was really adorable. I can only describe it as a muscle tee.

As I discovered after the holiday, when I  posted his picture on Facebook to soothe my wounded feelings, there’s some discrepancy over exactly what he was. One friend assumed he was a pirate. I get that. Skulls and crossbones and all. Another friend thought he was a biker dude, which I find even funnier. Some of the skulls are wearing helmets, so I get that too. I’m not sure about the helmets by themselves. Some invisible ghost Harley reference I don’t get? Whatever he was, he was cute. But, no one aside from me and Mom appreciated it.

The only other person we saw on our morning walk took one disapproving look at Frankie and said, “Oh, Amy” in the same tone one might say, “For shame.” Good thing she never saw 2010’s hot dog costume.

I’ve become a true pet parent and no one but other parents can understand. I recognize how crazy I’ve become about Frankie, and I say this is why I never had human kids. That and the fact that I never married or really wanted them, waited too long, am a little selfish, in a wheelchair, and now almost 43 years old. With real children I’d be unbearably suffocating, overbearing and overprotective. My mom occasionally misses being a grandma, but she’d feel differently as the only babysitter I could trust.

Next year, I plan to take Frankie to school — er, I mean, doggie daycare — where he’ll be fawned over in the manner he deserves. Then he and all his costumed friends will be treated to Halloween pupcakes. Stop rolling your eyes.

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