Sometimes I’m just overcome with a wave of thankfulness. It’s easy when you think about it. Big things like the roof over my head, fair health, adaquate good food – you get the picture.

What got me going this morning was not the big stuff but those items that are sort of invisible in our daily lives. Take soap, for instance. When I was a boy, my mother, Ruby Lee, was a big fan of Ivory. She liked that it floated. Easy to find in the bath. She bought into the corporate jargon that it was so pure that it floated. I doubt that purity had anything to do with it. Anyway it was a mainstay in our home for years until Lifeboy came along. I loved the tangy scent and it was tangy enough to overcome whatever body oder that might arise during a hot summer’s day. And it was red. That had to count for somethiing.

Today I like Dial, “Don’t you wish everybody did?” It has the pleasant but not overpowering scent of clover. The antibacterial bar has been around since the 40s. I even like it’s shape. It has dints and curves in places that meke the bar easy to hold as it moulds around various parts of the body.

I am specially fond of the depression on the imprinted side that is a just right place in which to press a nearly used sliver. I mean, I’m thankful for that. What an idea!

Look at it this way: If I can be thankful for a bar of soap, I can be thankful for almost anything. That’s got to be a positive thing, don’t you think? These days, I need more positives in my life. Thankfulness probably helps.

May 6 will be the one year anniversary of my cochlear implant surgery. It seems like it was just last week, but isn’t that always the case?

I have never experienced anything as life changing as this. (Well getting married the first time would qualify, but you know what I mean.) It’s not just learning how to manage the device but also the trips to the hospital in Boston for programing and learning. It has truly been an adventure.

Progress was slow in coming. I started off understanding some speech but there was little improvement for several months. Then things started to happen as I noticed sounds I was not used to hearing and we were able to “clean” up the device’s performance – searching for a purer sound.

Carol Ann, my partner in life, has a voice that has been surprisingly difficult to understand, even with the implant. After my last adjustment or mapping, things took a leap forward and we can now have meaningful conversations in most environments. Some restaurants and driving together are no longer situations non-gratis. We are thrilled about this.

Group conversations can still be a challenge and many public places are still out of bounds. The telephone is still troubling – depending on the voice on the other end. Even TV is better, but BlueTooth helps with the addition of the RemoteMic and an audio looped room for the T-Coil.

There are remaining tweaks and dedicated programs to be tried out but all in all this is a happy anniversary. There might even be a cookie somewhere.

Thanks to all my friends for your encouragement and understanding. Thanks to my friends on the Hearing Journey Forum who graciously listened to my whining and complaining and whose advise, encouragement and judgement have been invaluable.

I believe there is a new year ahead. I’ll hear you there.