No Dookies to Speak of–Just a Lot to be Thankful For

Posted by  Richard Gandon   in  ,      3 years ago     1392 Views     Leave your thoughts  

A year ago today I was a bundle of nerves.  It was the day before Thanksgiving and I got up and went to Walmart to buy cleaning supplies.  I wandered around the store aimlessly but somehow managed to buy a mop, bucket, broom, dustpan, sponges, cloths, many other items, Windex, Lysol and almost every other cleaning fluid known to man, and a cleaning caddy to carry everything around in.  The previous sixteen months had been particularly challenging and included among other things two 10-day stays in the hospital and surgery.

At 2:00pm that day I arrived in New City and closed on my townhouse.  Due to a number of unforeseen delays, I had lost out on a similar townhouse that I had under contract so I literally was making offers and applying for a mortgage from my hospital bed.  The process had taken about ten months and was fraught with delays so I wouldn’t even allow myself to order furniture until the deal was done.  I actually ordered my dining room furniture on my phone at the closing table as soon as the last document was signed and I was handed the keys.

I then headed to Home Depot to buy paint and other supplies.  The only plus to having been sick and recovering last fall was that I had plenty of time to prepare–I had lists of things to buy and things that needed to get done.  I knew exactly how many and what type of light switches, outlets, chair rail, light bulbs, faucets and light fixtures I needed. I had the paint color codes and quantities I would need as well.

I have the greatest real estate agent in the world–Evelyn Oberchircher of Evelyn Realty of Hudson Valley.  I consider her a friend and she has a trait that is becoming a rarity these days: unwavering integrity.  Many prayers were said and candles lit; she had faith and she got the deal done.  I am thankful that she was on my side and I recommend her to people without reservation.

I worked like a madman for the next ten days, cleaning, painting, buying and assembling furniture, moving and unpacking boxes and getting my house ready for us to live in.  There was never a wasted trip–my belongings were stored in four different locations and not once did I walk into my house empty handed.  Last year on Thanksgiving morning I was up early and in my house painting the second coat in my kitchen and cutting and painting chair rail.

By the way here’s a little known fact: Clarke Osborn paints.  He painted when he was younger with his brother-in-law Paul Tortora and he helped me paint my living room.  He’s good and he’s fast.  Need your house painted?  Give him a call–I hear he moonlights and he may even be in the yellow pages.  He’s a tremendous asset, a great friend and I’m thankful that we have him keeping our community safe when he’s not painting.

I am thankful for the great friends and neighbors that I have.

I am thankful that I live in a great community.

And I am especially thankful that I have two amazing, intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful daughters.

Things are different now; I don’t have everything that I once had and we don’t do everything that we once did during the holidays but that doesn’t matter;  stuff is just stuff, we are starting new traditions and creating new memories and I am very thankful for and more appreciative of  what we do have.  Two years ago I did Thanksgiving on my own for the first time.  My daughters and I made a list of what we wanted, we found new recipes, liked them and are using them again this year.

Starting over isn’t easy but great friends and a great community makes it easier.

A lot has happened during the past year but I have my health, I have my girls and I have managed to turn my house into a home for us so yeah, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving


Richard Gandon is the Owner and Publisher of hyper-local community news websites. With a background in financial services, sales and training, he bring a unique perspective to journalism. He hosts a bi-monthly radio show and is a professional photographer.