What are you thankful for?
Thanksgiving is tomorrow—doesn’t it seem early this year? Or maybe that old adage is true: Once you pass 40, time moves at warp speed.
As you gather with your families to give thanks and break bread, I wish you health and happiness during the holidays and beyond.
I am grateful for so many things this year. As I count my blessings, some are positives and some are negatives. You’ll see what I mean…
I’m thankful for:
• Not having more aches and pains than I do. My feet are beat all to pieces from running, but my back is fine and my eyes aren’t too bad. (Which means, of course, that I’ll be limping and squinting in a week.)
• Cut-glass doorknobs.
• The smell of fall.
• My exasperating, hilarious 84-year-old mother. May she drive me crazy ‘til she’s 100.
• My brothers, T-Bob and Bubba, who are everything I’m not, thanks be to God.
• My sister, Moonbeam, on whatever planet she inhabits these days.
• Knockout roses.
• The freshness of just-washed sheets and the delicious feel of feather pillows.
• Friends both old and new.
• Marriage to a brilliant, handsome, funny man, who knows all my quirks and loves me anyway. (Turns out normal people don’t snack on mustard by the spoonful.)
• Books, books and more books. Do not give me a Kindle for Christmas.
• My perfectly imperfect body. Parts jiggle, wiggle and sag, but it does everything I ask it to do. An everyday miracle.
• Cheaper gas.
• The musical jingle of my dog’s collar as she ambles merrily from room to room.
• The freedom to do, say and be whatever I want as long as it doesn’t break the law or frighten the goats.
• Our armed forces. Self explanatory.
• The good health of loved ones, including my 88-year-old mother-in-law, who is way sharper than her 51-year-old daughter-in-law.
• Tolerance and forgiveness.
• “Modern Family,” the best sitcom since “M*A*S*H.”
• My inability to drive a stick-shift, because just trying to learn scared everybody stiff. If God wanted me to drive a five-speed, He’d have given me an extra foot.
• The way my husband’s eyes crinkle when he smiles.
• Facebook, without which I would go crazy living in the boondocks.
• The cozy creaks and groans our old house makes at night.
• My belief that people are inherently good.
• Coconut oil. You can cook with it AND use it as a moisturizer.
• Church ladies who prepare delicious post-funeral receptions, teach Sunday school and coordinate food banks, asking nothing in return.
• Old Navy jeans.
• Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers and Eudora Welty.
• Everyone who puts on a uniform to fight fires, arrest bad guys and restart hearts.
• Hot soup on a cold day.
• Cold beer on a hot day.
• Our inversion table. Apparently I’ve been longing all my life to hang upside down.
• A phone that actually keeps me from getting lost. Who knew?
• The ability to run.
• Comfortable running shoes.
• Country roads to run on.
• The kindness and generosity I see practiced around me daily.
• My favorite snack: peanuts, Craisins and dark chocolate chips.
• Good neighbors.
• Scarves that A) keep my neck warm, and B) hide my neck. Win-win!
• Our wonderful veterinarian, who prescribes pills for Nicky’s skin, pills for Nicky’s joints, pills for Nicky’s liver and pills for Nicky’s seizures. (Other than that, Nicky’s perfectly healthy.)
• Stir-fried vegetables, pasta and my famous sugar-free oatmeal cookies.
• Eyes that can see and ears that can (partially) hear.
• Bubble baths.
• The Weather Channel. I’m obsessed.
Julie R. Smith, who is also thankful for newspapers and the people who read them, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.