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!