Gratitude 2017 From A-Z

Source: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

As I ready myself to tie on the ‘ol feedbag for today’s Thanksgiving feast, I recognize that this is once again an appropriate time to acknowledge things in my life that offer perspective, hope, and especially gratitude.

The past year has been nothing but a roller coaster of bombastic tirades against moderation and common sense. And that’s just the Tweets we’re forced to read. We’ll leave the proposed tax legislation for another day.

So again I offer things from A to Z  which make me feel grateful on this holiday. As always, feel free to play along at  home, but do please remember that reader discretion is advised. Your humble blogger is not responsible for shouting matches, hurt feelings, or cold shoulders resulting from this post being read aloud at your own family gathering.

This year I am most grateful for…

(A). NPR’s “All Things Considered.” I am smarter each time for listening to it.

(B). Fellow Bloggers in the WordPress community. I struggle on a regular basis to keep up with all of your wonderful posts, but I’m nonetheless grateful for the inspiration I get from so many of you.

(C). My Car. This 2007 Toyota now has over 110,000 miles on it. It runs great and I absolutely revel not having  a car payment every month. May it run for another hundred thousand.

(D). Charles Dickens. What with relocating yet again, followed by starting a new part-time job, my pleasure reading took a huge hit this year. A hefty volume of “Nicholas Nickleby” has sat on my desk untouched for days and weeks until I was able to pick it up again. However, Dickens so exquisitely captures the stark Victorian England era, and I am finally in a real groove with it. As penance for my tardiness, I will force myself to read another one of his masterpieces next year too. Punishment should always be so awful, eh?

(E). Ear plugs. I’d explain, though it’s best I not. Have I mentioned how absolutely beautiful my wife looks while she’s asleep??

(F). My Friends. I am exceedingly grateful for those I’ve managed to hold onto for all these years. As Linda Grayson says, “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” Not-so subtle hint to my friends: send chocolate!

(G). My lovely and patient wife, Gorgeous. May she somehow glance over (E) above.

(H). The American Healthcare system. It’s sadly still unavailable for far too many, and the uneven offering for those who can barely qualify for it borders on the tragic. But for those of us who are lucky enough get access to networks of first class medical care, it is indeed one of world’s greatest systems. I never lose sight of this fact. Let’s fight for universal coverage so that all of our citizens can receive such advantages.

(I). My iPod. I know! Who uses one anymore?!  Answer: me.

(J). The federal Judiciary. At the moment it seems to be the only rational check on ill-conceived Executive and Congressional power moves.

(K). Our Kittens, Phoebe and Sasha. Just because.

(L). The Public Library. We discovered quite a few overseas TV shows in the last year such as Doc Martin, Father Brown, and A Place to Call Home to name just three. And we’ve managed to get nearly all of them from the library. You can’t beat the cost — free!

(M). Mortgages. At 58 years old it wasn’t my original plan to still have one. But life throws curves at you sometimes. All the same, I am grateful for our new home that we now call ours.

(N). Newspapers. Have you noticed how important they’ve become again? I have an online subscription to the Washington Post and also one to the print version of the local St. Augustine Record. Support newspapers, everyone. It’s important.

(O). Off-the-record conversations. Or, what constitutes as normal interactions between my siblings and me.

(P). My Part-time job. There’s that wonderful moment now when I finish my work and I get to think, “Adios till next time, suckers!” as I walk out the door. Here’s to no-set schedules anymore.

(Q). Okay, I got nothing here. Last year I mentioned the Who’s “Quadrophenia” out of desperation. I’m tossing this back to you, dear reader. Come up with something.

(R). Remote controls. They must be important in my life because we still have way more than necessary. And for the life of me, I can only tell you what probably two of them actually do.

(S). Snapshots. As wonderful as digital technology is, I’m still grateful for the photo albums I have of actual Kodak snaps taken back in the day. They are something I can actually take out and hold in my hand (“Oh look, here’s that pizza smudge from 1989).

(T). Tools. They fix things. By other people, of course, but I’m nonetheless grateful for their presence. When Gorgeous and I moved in together before we were married, she noticed my very smart-looking tool box sitting high up on a closet shelf. “Why do you have that?, she asked.

(U). Ulterior Motives. Ah, yes, today is the day they really come out. Careful at those dinners tonight.

(V). Our Veterans. Lest we forget…

[W]. Normal Weather. After the calamity of three destructive hurricanes hitting our shores earlier this year (including Puerto Rico, because you know, it is really part of the United States), plus those tragic fires in California, I am more of aware and exceedingly grateful for regular weather patterns now. Love those clear blue skies, and even a calm rain can be a thing of beauty.

(X). NOT having my Sirius-XM subscription anymore. After being put through awful “negotiations” with them each year by phone, in order to get them to lower their purposefully inflated bill, I finally cut the cord. We now enjoy the complimentary Music Choice offerings on cable, plus the free Pandora streaming (with commercials). Free, or indirectly free, is better.

(Y). Yves Saint Laurent perfume. [Note to self: next year, don’t write this post while sitting next to Gorgeous].

(Z). Left wing Zealots. To think I actually used to cringe when I heard them; now I find myself shaking my head in agreement. Keep the conversations going, folks.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!


39 thoughts on “Gratitude 2017 From A-Z

  1. Love these! BTW those kitties need a post all their own. Pray for me. I’m having dinner with a Trump supporter (perhaps a little hallucinatory in his food?). I’m hoping no one ends up dead. Every family has one. If you’re lucky they are in the closet because…well…just because.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, Kate. I’m working on stealing one of your “Sassy Cats” postings soon with better pictures than the one I just used.

      Oh, Lordy, good luck with THAT particular relative tonight. Stick to safe topics. Such as exactly when *will* Melania finally leave this guy? I’m sure that’s safer. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quackery… People calling themselves professionals who make money using and promoting
    “treatments” that have no merit…
    In times of trump, we need more science, more facts and more brutal honesty communicated by the brave souls who stand up for what is right.

    Thanks, I am grateful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. None of those uncomfortable conversations for me! Although I do have to deal with a melancholy son who spent the entire day yesterday, with Loser, his tramp, his drunken mama and oh yeah…Losers’ entitled brother and two-faced, weakling sister-in-law. LOLOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d send you a box of See’s (Remember? The best chocolate in the world?) but don’t know your new address.
    As the latest New Yorker cartoon sent to subscribers a few days ago in honor of this wonderful second-most stressful holiday read: “Why don’t we go around the table and argue about what we’re all grateful for.” That’s about right. Can’t wait for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister sent me that cartoon by email this morning! OMG, yes, See’s is definitely still the best chocolate. So sorry I never sent you our new address. We had special post cards made up, and I still have a few left. I think you of all people will appreciate it. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Sue!


  5. This was fun to read and offered me a great insight into what others do and think. I treated myself to a Kindle Fire HD e-reader and bought my first e-book = the latest from Nelson DeMille called The Cuban Affair.

    Recently I flew up to Albany NY to visit my brother and his Missus in their new home – a Victorian home in Adams, Massachusetts. Must say I’m not used to climbing steps or wearing a winter coat.

    Thanksgiving here in Port Wentworth – it is cold, wet, and raining – I’m watching the Godfather movie to amuse myself as going out doesn’t seem all that inviting right now..

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for the book tip, Mike. I’m always on the lookout for authors I’ve never read before.

      Stairs and winter coats will hopefully stay in my past, though we do both have relatives up in Michigan. So you never know. But today here in St. Augustine it sounds an awful lot like what you’re experiencing up there. We hit the gym earlier but only so we wouldn’t feel guilty after the second piece of pie later.

      I did see the Godfather movies are on TV all day today, which amused me. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, and have a great day today! – Marty


  6. With you on the iPod. My iPod Classic went everywhere with me, held my audiobooks and music as well as favourite photos. At 350GB it was my go to one stop entertainment “toy”. When the hard drive fried itself one day I discovered they no longer make them and its ‘replacement’ at 160GB is priced above the original and bigger capacity one. I used to listen to music all the time, the last time I listened was more than a year ago … I feel the loss. So Marty, treasure your iPod Classic – it is irreplaceable. Nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, Linda, the classic model is what I have. Even when I bought it, it was always about the capacity. I wanted LOTS of songs on that baby. And I do! Someday it’ll probably stop working, though. I’m prepared for that eventuality. In the meantime, I’m the guy at my gym who wears two devices on his hip. Eh, at least my t-shirt covers them both. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll certainly miss some of the stations, i.e. Deep Cuts, The Loft, Siriusly Sinatra, etc. And also some of the hosts such as Jim Ladd and David Johansen. But I just got tired of the whole charade with the bill each year. They’ve contacted me twice recently, though their “offers” really weren’t much different than the one I ultimately turned down. So I’ll wait till they come back again for more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a list! Well done to complete a Thanksgiving acrostic!

    Nothing to do with the feast day (which is not really marked in Australia, except by American expats) but I happened to write a piece for my other blog (Lonely Keyboards) on ‘appreciating’ last week. May Thanksgiving has infiltrated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…. my point is underscored then, Bruce. I missed that post of yours! I will be sure to check it out later today. Lately it seems America has seemingly only exported nationalism and vitriol, so I’m glad to know there is indeed something positive. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t do this enough. Take stock. Thx for the nudge. I can see clearly now.

    Took the fam for a brief holiday on Captiva Island. Do you know it? We went the first week of November and it was pretty warm out. What do you people do in July/August?!


    1. I don’t know if I can keep it up every year for fear of repeating myself too much. But even when I’m trying to be snarky, I am at least sincere. Glad you liked it.

      Captiva Island is a place I want to go. I just haven’t explored much around that area (i.e. Fort Myers, Sanibel, Naples). We’re headed to Amelia Island next week, which is closer to where we live. So much to see here still. Summers? Well, you kind of have to like humidity. According to several close friends of mine, that’s proof of my insanity.


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