Gratitude 2018 From A-Z

Source: GQ Magazine

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s the one time of the year where I starve all day long so that I can completely make a pig of myself at meal time.

Except for the starving yourself part,” Gorgeous asked me this morning, “how is it different from any other day?” Great. Suddenly it’s Passover and she’s starting in with the Four Questions.

But I do enjoy the sappy traditions of watching the Macy’s parade and all those black-and-white movies from the 40’s and 50’s, which I’m now told elicit groans from millennials on down. And speaking of the parade, I never watch the Today Show so it remains a shock to my system to see a fit, healthy and skinny Al Roker reporting from Herald Square. Oh come on, Al. For the sake of the holidays, put on a few pounds for us. Don’t make me start going on YouTube to watch Willard Scott videos.

Source: SUNY

Ultimately, though, I do get around to taking stock and focusing on my fortune for being in good health, having a roof over our heads, and all that food on the table. Too many people live without such necessities, and it’s easy to take these things for granted every single day.

So in that spirit, it’s time once again to offer up all the things from A-Z for which I am grateful.

This year I am most grateful for…

(A). Abundance. My wife is a passionate foodie. Her being so sometimes makes even the most simplest of searches for milk, eggs, jars of pickles, etc., challenging because of all the “strange” ingredients she has on hand. But in a country where far too many go hungry, I am grateful for our own relative prosperity. Please join me in donating to a local food bank. No one should go hungry.

(B). I had to outsource this one to Gorgeous because everything I came up with was lame: “Butter, specifically European butter. I love baking European pastries, and butter makes everything flaky and delicious.”

(C). Cardio workouts. I’m a bitchin’ Master of the Universe whenever I leave the gym. Gotta love how adrenaline makes you think you’re better than you really are.

(D). Democracy. For all of the divisiveness and loud shouting right now, our system of government with its checks and balances is sacred. Let us never lose sight of that.

(E). Eloquence. Because sometimes restraint is more powerful than a 280 character tweet.

(F). Football. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving and I’m from Detroit, enough said. It seems like only yesterday that Greg Landry, Alex Karras, and Charlie Sanders thrilled a young boy with their athleticism and sportsmanship. The rest of football season, though? Not so much actually. But today? Bring it on and pass the dressing.

(G). My Gorgeous. Life only gets better with this beautiful woman.

(H). Could anyone ask for a better friend than Heather? I think not. Kind, sympathetic, and incredibly loyal. She figuratively knows where all the bodies are buried and keeps all that to herself. Everyone should have a Heather in their life.

Gorgeous and Heather in 2013

(I). Interest and curiosity. I wake up each day with a desire still to learn and discover. That’s important; I pray I always have it.

(J). Judges. As the Chief Justice so eloquently put it this week, there are no “Democratic” or “Republican” judges. An independent, non-partisan judiciary is an important underpinning to our democracy.

(K). Kindred spirits in my life,  such as my friend Dennis. Attempts by both of us over the years to act our age have always been unsuccessful.

Dennis and me at the National Navy Seal Museum in 2017

(L). Laughter. To quote Emily Sailers, “You have to laugh; otherwise you’ll cry your eyes out.

(M). Medicare. I’m not yet eligible for it, but it’s an entitlement into which American workers paid during their working years. Let’s not allow Congress to water it down with vouchers. Please join me by supporting and contributing to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

(N). Newspapers. In a time when we face “alternative facts” and a war on truth, newspapers are vital. They are also struggling to survive due to market forces and an increasingly lazy public. I have a subscription to my local paper. Do you?

(O). The Ocean. It was always my hope to live in a beach community during retirement. That I’ve managed to do so makes me feel incredibly grateful.

(P). Platitudes. How could I have ever gotten through my childhood without them?! “Nobody’s perfect, Mom.” Or one that I still fall back on when I totally screw up: “What’s done is done.” Oh, come on, you’re no better than me: how many do YOU use on a  regular basis?!  “It is what it is” (sorry, I couldn’t resist one more).

(Q). Quirkiness. When all you’ve got are platitudes, one can also fall back on quirkiness. Many thanks to Donna at Retirement Reflections for suggesting this one last year. The letter “Q” is always my achilles heel for this post every year!

(R). Reboot. Retirement allows me to reconsider and rethink my outlook, habits, and approaches to everyday living.

(S). Streaming TV. My nephew shamed us during a visit this past summer when he watched us borrowing DVD’s from the public library. Not wanting to be labeled a couple of fossils, we started subscribing to Acorn TV for their amazing selection of British and Australian shows. We also took advantage of Gorgeous’ Amazon Prime account to watch occasional (free) offering on Prime.

(T). Tax-deferred accounts. Oh, sure, I love them NOW.  But I bet I’ll start revising that opinion once I begin distributions from them in a few years. I’m already starting to form a few platitudes about this in the recesses of my brain.

(U). Underage. I may not get carded anymore, but I’m still not yet eligible for Social Security and Medicare, ha!

Related image

(V). Votes. Every one of them is important. It’s not fraud when we take the time to carefully count each vote after an election.

(W). Willpower. I’ve been accused more than once of not having any of this. But trust me, this blogger would have posted some things I’d have regretted later without it!

(X). Okay okay, I really am NOT a shill for corporate sponsors. But we recently switched our cell phone provider to Xfinity Mobile. We’re paying by Gig usage, and I’m estimating that we’ll save around $50 a month by doing so. I got really tired of paying for that unlimited plan for data. By focusing on WiFi hotspots, it’s supposed to contain the costs. I’ll let you know…

(Y). You. I am grateful to the six people who regularly read this blog in spite of stomach-churning humor and stories that meander so far a few of you are still reading them.

(Z). I came up with Zero for this one. Better luck to me next year!

A very Happy Thanksgiving from us to you..


56 thoughts on “Gratitude 2018 From A-Z

  1. A great group of things to be thankful for! Yes, I subscribe to a paper newspaper. Our local paper is struggling. They recently condensed Monday and Tuesday, not because there isn’t news but it’s cheaper for them. We still struggle with streaming, going old route and subscribing to Netflix dvds. Yes, we are fossils. Great picture and have a great day. I am currently trying to be good to have more room for later! So hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good on you for subscribing. I only read the local news in our paper because I have an online with the Washington Post, but the local news is still important. Some of the streaming shows have missing series in the middle, so we still end up borrowing from the library sometimes, which I kind of like anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the underage bit 😂 as for voting we are going to the poll tomorrow. Not sure if I want to waste my vote by drawing a donkey on it. Though lately I’ve voted for the best looking candidate of the two. Both of the parties are crap as.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OK, I’m not a fan of Thanksgiving [too sentimental and contrived] but I am a fan of gratitude, so from that point of view I like you list. Why? Because even though I don’t like this holiday I want those who love it to enjoy it. Happy Turkey Day, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi, Marty – I was looking forward to reading what you came up with for your ‘A to Z Gratitude List’ this year. It did not disappoint! Impressive that you remembered that I had suggested quirkiness (or that you resourcefully checked last year’s comments when writing this post). Next year for ‘Z’ you could go with “zingers’…you know you love ’em! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Loved it Marty.Hope you had a wonderfull Thanksgiving, why not make a weekend of it! As you know I do like a bit of reflection, and as I sit here on a chilly foggy morning in France the sun is trying to peep through, so look out for the photo Rich took for me before he went to work. I find myself saying take a picture for Marty for me babe!
    As for platitudes as I tend to go with the flow for most of the time (apart from last Friday!) one of mu platitudes is ‘it is what it is, it ain’ what it ain’t!
    Have a good weekend, and say hi to the lovely Gorgeous for me.
    Moisy ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds lovely, Moisy. The one thing you do so well on your blog is to show the beauty of that wonderful home you both have. I look forward to seeing that picture (I’m so behind on reading the blogs I follow!).

      I like your addition to “it is what it is.” One of my sisters says that expression constantly, and now you’ve given me a coda to say the next time I hear her say it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A great gratitude post! I like the simplicity of the everyday things you treasure. That’s the right idea. When we’re happy about the ‘small’ stuff, the big stuff doesn’t weight us down 🙂
    ‘Cardio’ in particular made me smile. That’s totally me too!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Although in recent months with my weight loss, my wife has barred me from using the elliptical. She points to the treadmill and says “slow!” 🙂 But hopefully all those pieces of pie I ate yesterday will start to do its job (also slowly). And, yes, I think the small stuff is sometimes good to focus on — enough of the small stuff going right means that the anything big going wrong won’t be a crushing blow. At least, that’s my theory.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! What a list. I’m grateful for you my friend! That picture of you on “O” BTW is fantastic. I never get tired of asking if you’ve both gone to the beach, as you know. Looking out across Nora and my .25 acre Virginia estate, our beach is stagnant water that sits on the grass after a healthy rain. You are lucky!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and about that grass, my friend. I understand the neighbors are starting to whisper about that sand “beach” you’re building off the backyard deck. Careful because the Watch Committee is ready to write up a report. Just tell ‘em it’s a re-creation of the Normandy invasion for your new docent business. You can always request a zoning variance with a tourist angle. And “thank you for not reclining!”

      There. I’ve got enough inside jokes there to confuse my six followers. 😀 Happy rest of the holiday weekend; now get out there and start stimulating the economy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, G. I think we all bring memories with us into adulthood that collide with certain holidays. I do get that. Fortunately for me I only have positive associations with Thanksgiving. My birthday? Not so much unfortunately. But I sure love eating, so this particular holiday works for me. 🙂 I do wish you and your family a wonderful rest of the holiday weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Marty. I guess we can all conjure up negative things associated with holidays. But I think the point of Thanksgiving is to focus on the positive. You did that with your list and you clearly get it. And I’m with you on the birthday thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Al Roker looks like a balloon that had all the air let out. It’s not a great look.

    Huzzah democracy. I am hopeful these insane times will pass and we will return to a more civil society. This tone can’t sustain itself indefinitely, right?

    She is gorgeous! Dang.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Except for growing up and the Today Show was on in the house back in the Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs days (that really ages me), I’ve never really watched those morning shows to any great degree. A bit here and there, enough to know who the people. So when Al Roker had (I assume) the weight loss surgery, I probably finally noticed him like a year after that. I was shocked at how he looked and still am whenever I see him. I trust he’s healthier now, though, which I guess does count for something.

      I’m an eternal optimist. But I still have fears, re: Democracy. My fears are that Trump has unleashed what was always at least partially kept in the shadows: this unabashed racism and xenophobic hatred. I worry we won’t be able to put that genie back into the bottle. Even the extreme left are saying things that frighten me. But yes, perhaps some sanity can rebound back.

      I’ll show her your comments, she’ll love it! Thanks!


  9. Your list says a lot about you, Marty. For your second gratitude, I thought you might have picked the B3 Hammond organ, after seeing Dr. Lonnie Smith in Savannah earlier this year. As far as platitudes go, I have lately been overusing “make every day count”. Oh well, it’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You can now change (Y), today it is seven people reading your blog. Came across your site browsing Retirement Reflections comments. Appreciate your gratitude list, especially the comments that made me smile. Erica

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! That was so impressive, how you did that A – Z thing! That would take me until next Thanksgiving to come up with something from every letter of the alphabet. And each one is a great one, too. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Last year was the proverbial “last straw” for me because I wrote it all on Thanksgiving day, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t repeat that again. Periodically during this past year, I’d think of a word while I was out, and I whispered to myself to write it down after I got home. I never did. Instead, I once again wrote all of this on Thanksgiving morning while the parade was on TV, and I struggled because I couldn’t remember anything that I might have come up with during the year. Laziness wins again! So thanks, Laurie, you’ve salvaged some of my disappointment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. OMG…you and Gorgeous are so cute!! And so young looking! Must be all that butter…. Great list Marty! We are kindred spirits (but you knew that already!) And I just signed up for Medicare this week – yeah baby!!! I still ask myself where all that time went…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks, AGMA. Yeah, we clean up okay. Indeed you and I are kindred spirits — it ain’t always easy being liberals in the south! And good on you for signing up for Medicare; I do hope you’re happy with your plan and coverage. Let’s keep both you and the system healthy and solvent for many years to come.


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