Curmudgeon's Corner, family


Written by Sanford Begley

                                                            BLESSED BY THE GODS


Cigar tasting
Friends, food, and fellowship

For many of my friends 2015 has been a horrible year that they are eager to see the back of. I too have had some rough patches this year, the death of friends, the deterioration of health of family and loved ones, job problems and financial woes. This is not about comparing our agonies and seeing who one ups the next for the most horrible year though, quite the opposite. You see, despite all I am looking back on a wonderful year.

Like all of us I have had good times and bad this year. Some of my worst times have been secondary to the pains of others. The pain of losing a friend is nothing compared to the pain his wife felt. Some of my best times have been the same, the joy at a friend’s conquering illness is nothing compared to the joy his family felt when he survived. My own greatest joy was shared with my bride and our families and friends: our wedding.

Sanderson-Begley Wedding

Now I have had years that I moaned about, those who know me well shared some of that pain. Those years also had good times that I did not see for the pain of the bad. Well not as the whole of the year went. It has been quite a while since I thought of any year as entirely bad. This is what I want to talk about. You see, I have discovered a way of accepting that bad things can happen without ruining my year. I’m going to do some bragging about my life for a couple of paragraphs to show what I am talking about.


No matter what else happens or happened to me this year I married a wonderful woman, smart, talented, beautiful, and loves me as much as I love her, perhaps more, though I do not see how this could be possible. I have friends throughout fandom, to the point where I can be sure I can find a kindred spirit to talk and share with. I have online friends who are my brothers and sisters though I may never meet them in the flesh. I have friends through all walks of life, some rich, some a step above starving on the streets. That isn’t important to any of us. I am truly blessed by the gods.

Cedar Sanderson
Mama and minions


For a man who can lean on 60 I am in great health. Not perfect, but good enough that I cannot complain. Well yes I can, and often do so in the morning, but I am in good enough health to know that the pain is minor and will go away with exercise. I actually look more attractive to most women than I did as a young buck, the lines and gray add gravitas. I can still do almost anything a twenty-something can, I’m just experienced enough not to now. And men give my words weight, not that they take my word for anything, but that they don’t automatically dismiss them. I am truly blessed by the gods.

My parents, though beyond their three-score and ten, are still alive and taking care of themselves, a blessing I ponder often. While I know I will lose them too soon I still have them. Something so many do not have. While I have lost relatives both older and younger than I, I still have most of them, this too is a blessing.

Tricksy Traveling
Tricksy Traveling

I could name many other blessings of the gods that rain down upon me but those are enough for this purpose. And I know that many of you envy me those blessings. What you should do is ponder what blessings the gods have given you. Do you sleep throughout the night? Do you have friends you can trust? Do people love you? You too have been blessed by the gods.

There are other blessings rained upon us, find yours, and remember them when your year goes to crap. Does your financial situation look horrible right now? Find ways that you could be worse and enjoy what you do have. This includes being alive so that you can eventually work around them. Have you lost someone you loved this year? Remember that you had their love and others were not so blessed. And you will always have them in your heart. Having health issues? We have the greatest medical men in history. Whatever your trial it could be worse and while we live, let us live.

We are all truly blessed by the gods.

3 thoughts on “Blessed

  1. “I can still do almost anything a twenty-something can, I’m just experienced enough not to now.” Precisely! (I am blowing that up and putting it on my office door, BTW…)

    As to bad years – I don’t have ’em. Because I quit counting anything beyond a day a long time ago. December 31st is Thursday, January 1st is Friday (this year). Other than doing a bit of grilling that day and having the SIL over for dinner, that is the only difference between the two days.

    I was trying to think of the last purely bad day I have had. I had to get back to the day that my father died in February 1981, and I was all the way across the country in New Hampshire, while the family was in Arizona. In weather that the commuter airline to New York had decided to not fly in.

    Then I remembered that even that day was not 100% bad. I had friends that drove me to Keene, then when I could not get a “regular” flight out, tracked down a smaller outfit that was willing to fly me to New York. AND would take a personal check from a COLLEGE student as payment. Then one of them, who was from Brooklyn flew with me (since there was no additional cost then) and made sure I got on the (American?) flight to Phoenix.

    Sure, some days are still better than others. Some are worse. But this attitude keeps any kind of permanent depression at bay.

    If you two aren’t already home, may you have a safe (and less boring) trip back from New Hampshire.

    1. I am flattered that you want a quote from me on your door. Perhaps I shall post that as a status so that people who don’t read the blog can see it. And we just arrived home after a fairly tense trip, tension weather related. Going to bed soon 🙂

      1. We’re both of a certain age, Sanford… With kids to remind us of that fairly frequently.

        Saw on Cedar’s post that you got back (hadn’t checked back here for a while). Not surprised the weather was tense; I’ve driven through that kind of stuff all too many times. (Even more fun on the, um, “less-maintained” small roads in New Hampshire.)

        Take care, and a separate Happy New Year to you.

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