I am at a Starbucks in Austin. Took my laptop, equipped with wi-fi antenna (part of why I bought it years ago) when I drove into Cedar Park, suburban Austin, to turn in my rental truck, not knowing if I would get back to the Starbucks in Marble Falls before it closed tonight, not having checked hours before I left there.
That said, I'm grateful for a Starbucks there. I'm grateful that, on the phone connection, Verizon got out this afternoon, said it had fixed what was outside, and contacted my apartment complex to do what it needed to do inside. So, between high-speed at work, wi-fi at Starbucks, and good old dial-up at home, assuming it's fixed by early next week, I'll be fine on Internet.
I'm grateful for not only Whole Foods but the even better Central Market (a Texas-only chain) in Austin. I've stocked up on good coffee, great dehydrated split pea soup, black bean stew and curry lentil stew mixes, three types of curry powder, charsalt-type dry hickory smoke flavor, some sparkling waters, some high-ginger ginger ale and such. (And, the bulk food stuff I mentioned is actually relatively inexpensive.) Oh, and I had to get some non-inexpensive cheese, an indulgence of mine.
Halfway between Marble Falls and Cedar Park, northwest suburban Austin, is the Balcones National Wildlife Refuge. So, you can guess where I will do some hiking! The road winds a bit, in a good sense, following Texas' Colorado River through hills, with a mix of red oaks, white oaks, live oaks and cedars (could get rid of a few of those!).
I have tuned in Austin's 24-hour classical music station. I've already visited the Austin Symphony website. The Austin Classical Guitar Society, I knew about years ago.
I am grateful; grateful enough to start tearing up when I got in. I don't have to make a lot of money in life, if I can have amenities like this.
Marble Falls is not your typical small town, either. There's old Texas rancher money and at least reasonable-money retirees there. Not many towns of 7,000 have a Home Depot and a Lowe's. And two Thai restaurants, as I discovered today. So, even without going into Austin, I think life will be at least OK if not better there.
I'm grateful the job came open and other things, to make this possible.
Finally, I am grateful for the people on this list, some of whom go beyond acquaintances to friends, whether I've met you in person or not.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Splendid Saturnalia and best of the new year to everyone.