As my mother would say, while removing one article of jewelry from her cocktail attire before heading off to the event, "No matter how boring the party, you thank the people who have been the bright spots - they're the ones who get you through the event."
Over the last 11 years, there have been many things that I have complained about in this city, but there have been people and businesses who have twinkled like bright spots.
So has been Cookie during this past week.
There are plenty of good people here. They just have different priorities. And there are good businesses that helped us get through the daily schlep.
I have thanked the owner of the local market near our house. That store became more of our lifeline than I care to think, but they usually have what we want, produce excepted.
I have thanked the mechanic who kept our old cars alive and running, sometimes on short notice.
I have thanked many of our neighbors for their kindnesses, especially when one of us has been down for some malady like the 2017 flu that sidelined both of us simultaneously, or my surgery last January. These people made sure we had food to eat so the Husband could relax.
I have thanked the post office of in Ruxton, the best-kept and now exposed secret, in northern Baltimore for their efficiency and kindness.
I thanked our former mail carrier, Reggie. What a terrific guy. Despite hardships in his life, he has always been dependable. And seeing the neighborhood rally around him and help him, thank all of you as well.
I have thanked our yard care company who always took care of us. Carol, you are the BEST.
I have thanked even BGE, because their linemen, through multiple power failures, always kept us in the loop.
I even thanked Dino, the dishwasher whisperer, who can repair any home appliance, and who is far smarter than almost anyone I know, my husband aside.
Then there have been the special neighbors, the ones who are especially kind in ways that you can't put into words.
Thank you to my colon surgeon who saved my life in 2014. Thanks to you I had six years of near normal life.
Thanks to the urologist who helped me get cancer-free for eight months.
Thank you to our family physician who has taken care of both of us since discovering him in 2015.
Thanks to my shrink Charlie for finally getting me to a point where I can deal with my depression.
Finally, and I cannot believe I am including this one, thank you to Comcast. Despite being the worst-run, abusive, and most frustrating service provider that anyone needs to tolerate, you carried every single PBS station around giving us ten channels of programming that got us through COVID. And every British mystery imaginable has been digested and enjoyed us.
And I need to thank this blog's readership - you have stayed with me through the worst years of my adult life.
Fair warning, there are more to come, but better I hope.