In the tradition of the past few Thanksgivings (2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017), I’m reblogging my annual “It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!” post, originally from Thanksgiving 2017 (and on the old blog). The Saturday before that Thanksgiving I fell from a ladder and broke my left wrist (and also got a nasty gash in my left leg). I was thankful to be alive, and to have avoided brain damage (my head, thankfully, was unscathed).
Usually this part of a TBT post is italicized, but to help keep it clear which year’s post you’re reading, I’m alternating between italicized and non-formatted text. I’ve also added some headers to keep the prior year’s posts straight.
It’s a been a good year—a very busy one, but a good one. It seems that life is beginning to resume its usual rhythms (and tempo—mine is, apparently, prestissimo).
In looking back at last year’s commentary, I see quite a few changes from 2020 to 2021. For instance, last year I enjoyed distance learning; the few times we’ve done it this year, I’ve found it unsatisfying and ineffective (but I still like working from home—ha!).
On a brighter note, my private lessons empire has come roaring back. From a low of just one loyal student, I am back to teaching around ten to fifteen lessons per week—sometimes fewer than ten, rarely more than fifteen, and often somewhere in between the two—which has been fun, lucrative, and exhausting. I love teaching private lessons; the problem I am running into now is that, in order to accommodate the maximum number of students, I’m having to eat into time spent on other things—writing, lesson planning, and grading. It’s worth it financially, and lessons have become the highlights of my days, but it’s definitely created some time constraints, especially when tacked on after (and, increasingly, during) a busy school day.
Regardless, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with these students, and for the funds that come with teaching them. I now have two students who take lessons twice a week, which is fabulous, and I’m looking to add two or three more in January. I’m looking into shifting students at comparable levels into group lessons to lighten my load a bit, but also out of sheer necessity—I’m literally running out of times to slot students.
Beyond lessons, it has been a very eventful year. I was elected and re-elected to Lamar Town Council; wrote and published a book, The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot; and got a dog. My SubscribeStar page is up to ten subscribers, though two of those are inactive; at one point, I’d reached eleven!
That’s all to say that I have much to be thankful for this year. I’m also very thankful to you, my readers and commenters. The comments thread on the blog has really come alive in the past few months, and has brought a refreshing energy that motivates me to keep writing. Thanks to all of you for your continued support, in whatever way that support comes.
With that, here is Thanksgiving 2020’s “TBT^4: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!“:
TBT^4: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!
Another year has passed, and another Thanksgiving has rolled around. In the tradition of this blog going back to 2017, I’m throwing back to past Thanksgiving Day posts. I’ll alternate between italicized and non-italicized posts so readers can see the layers of commentary and annual updates.
In re-reading “TBT^2: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle,” it’s interesting to reflect on the contrast between 2019 and 2020. Yes, 2020 has been a rough year universally, but it’s personally been one of my better years. The Virus really took its toll financially, especially on my private music lessons and gigging empire, but both of those are recovering as folks mellow out about The Virus and the holidays approach. I’m back to six students now, and have been blessed with some truly God-sent bookings recently.
The Virus brought a silver lining: it forced me to slow down. All the shutdowns made me do what I would have been loathe to do voluntarily—give up various extracurricular activities and side gigs. For the first time in probably seven years, I took the summer off, other than my History of Conservative Thought course and one intrepid piano student (and three days of painting for the school, because they were desperate). I reluctantly got on some extremely mild anxiety medication, and now I love the stuff—I’m not fretting over insignificant things anymore.
I enjoyed distance learning, too, though I am glad to be back with students (most days). It provided the opportunity to laser-focus on my teaching, without all the extra little duties and responsibilities that normally come with teaching generally and my position specifically. I missed putting on a big Spring Concert, but I didn’t miss the stress, the lack of institutional support, and the hours and hours of unwinding and connecting XLR cables.
All in all, it’s been a very good year. I’m up to eight generous subscribers now to my SubscribeStar page, and many of you have purchased my music on Bandcamp. Your support came when I needed it most, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving 2020!
TBT^2: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!
Dang, it’s been another year already. Yikes! Last year I wrote about the updates since the tragic weekend before Thanksgiving 2017. The year after my fall was eventful, as I detail below (my commentary on the original post from the old website is in italics).
Looking back, 2019 has been pretty solid, too. I’ve been a bit morose in a few posts lately, but the beauty of Thanksgiving is it helps clarify the mind—we’re told to focus on what we’re thankful for, and it seems to work.
I’m sure I’ve put back on some of those fifty-one pounds since last year, thanks to the warm complacency—uh, I mean, love!—of being in a steady relationship with a genuinely good person (no falling from ladders in this one). But I still feel pretty good in terms of health.
My little house is coming along. I finally have a dishwasher for the first time since 2011 (it’s humming away at the moment), which is truly a time-saver.
My current roster of private music students is hovering around seven after reaching a peak of ten earlier in the year (I’ve never cracked ten, but that’s probably good for my sanity and schedule), and that continues to be my favorite side hustle (indeed, it’s probably my favorite job, and I’m exploring ways to expand it further).
As far as the injury goes, it still bothers me from time to time, but it’s much better than it was. The “gnarly scar” on my leg looks far less terrifying, too. I can play piano and bass more comfortably, though extended time on a guitar does begin to bother me a bit.
Politically, everything is focused on impeachment. I’ll be glad when that fails. Here’s hoping that this time next year, I’m gloating about Trump’s forty-State landslide reelection while eating turkey and dressing.
#TBT: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!
It’s Thanksgiving Day 2018, and I have much to thank God for this year: a new home, a good job, eight (and counting) private music students, President Trump, and a mostly-functioning left wrist. I’ve also lost about fifty-one (51) pounds since early June. Sure, the midterms were a bit of a stalemate, but the GOP kept the Senate.
In that spirit, below is 2017’s “It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle,” a post about surviving a pretty nasty (and stupid) fall from an extension ladder onto a concrete pad. I wrote that post just a few days after the fall, and expressed my thanks to God for sparing me worse injuries. The wrist is mostly healed now (I can play bass, guitar, and piano again, though the wrist gets agitated after playing bass or guitar after about thirty minutes), although it will probably never be back to 100%. There’s still a gnarly scar on my left leg, though the leg itself is fine (the scar, unfortunately, doesn’t look cool or dangerous; it’s just kind of a scary gash).
It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!
This past Saturday, I fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights…. I shattered my left wrist—it’s called a distal radius fracture—and gashed my left leg. My head was also hurt, but there was no damage to my brain.
The fall was about 10-12 feet onto concrete. It could have been much, much worse; I am very thankful it wasn’t.
The doctor at the ER and the nurse practitioner both told me I would almost certainly need surgery due to the nature of my fracture. I saw the orthopedist Tuesday, and he was able to set the fracture to an “acceptable” state.
Setting the fracture without surgery was a major answer to prayer. I go back on 5 December for a follow-up; if the setting takes, I’ll get a flexi-cast. If not, I’ll have to have surgery.
That’s all to say that my posting will be [limited] for a time, as typing is rather tedious (I’m “typing” this post on my cell phone–the predictive text actually makes it faster). I’ll continue to do my best to deliver quality content and thoughtful analysis, just in shorter and less frequent chunks.
I am very thankful to our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, for extending His Hand of protection and healing; He has already worked miracles during my recovery through the prayers of many friends and family (not to mention the capable hands of my excellent orthopedic surgeon). I’m grateful to be alive!
God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!