For once I am actually ahead of schedule because I’m writing this annual post prior to the holiday. We all have our little rituals, and it’s only in the last few years that mine included having to finish a blog post on Thanksgiving morning.
But not this year, baby. I’ll be laptop and tablet-free in order to fulfill my quest in being a couch potato for the entire day. Let the loafing commence earnestly.
I plan on being glued to the TV starting early in the morning while tossing down only celery sticks until dinner time. Starting with the Macy’s parade, continuing with “Miracle on 34th Street,” and ending with the Lions and Bears game well into the afternoon, my fanny will be on solid terra sofa. I already know that I’ll be wearing stretch pants. Don’t judge me.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday.
I love the 1940’s black-and-white movies, phone chats with long-distance family members, and emails from old acquaintances who strangely make contact only on holidays.
Then there’s my other annual ritual for this time of the year: waiting for that aghast and defeated expression on Gorgeous’ face when she again discovers the package of Pillsbury crescent rolls I clandestinely tossed into the grocery cart. “Yes, yes, darling, I know you were planning on baking your own Parker House rolls. But it’s Thanksgiving! It’s a law somewhere that we have to serve Pillsbury!”
From an earthly-like place, Julia Child is no doubt casting a disapproving glance my way.
But in the spirit of the holiday, as we each collectively offer up our individual thanks and appreciation, I once again…
… submit for your approval, all the things from A-Z for which I am grateful this year:
(A) The AARP. They remain on guard in protecting the hard-earned benefits of working men and women. I contribute to them automatically every single month. Click here to learn how you too can help.
(B) The Baseball Google Doodle from last July 4th. I am hopelessly addicted to it and play it nearly every day. HINT: The color of the pitcher’s hat tells you what pitch is coming next; the red hat is his killer fast ball.
(C) Core Stretching. Earlier this year a doctor of mine taught me the importance of post-aerobic stretches. It’s now six months later, and I am no longer experiencing neck pain that has bothered me for close to a decade. I now stretch with every gym visit; at least four times a week.
(D) Hurricane Dorian. Thanks to 85 miles distance between us, we were able to avoid making its acquaintance earlier this year. Hopefully future storms heading our way will take a similar, offshore path.
(E) Elections. Come on, 2020! Enough said.
(F) My Frozen credit. After being notified that little ‘ol me was potentially included in the Equifax hacking of 2017, I went ahead and enacted a security freeze with all three credit agencies. So far it hasn’t been a burden, and it’s also one less thing I have to think about during those anxious 3:00am wake-up thoughts.
(G) Gorgeous. We’re married seven years in early December. Along with retirement, these have been the best years of my life because of this wonderful woman.
(H) Our Home. It’s now two and a half years since we bought our condo. It took longer than we wanted to start decorating because of competing priorities. This year, however, we finally started with some cozy touches that have made it a home in every sense of the word. Still to come: kitchen and bathroom renovations.
(I) It’s tempting here to use that most prominent “I” word of late. But instead, I’d rather focus on the integrity shown by so many career public servants over the last several weeks. To name just one, thank you Dr. Fiona Hill for standing up for the truth.
(J) Jocularity. Sometimes you do have to give credit to businesses who show a little moxie…
(K) Ken Burns once again came up with a masterpiece. His recent documentary on country music is fantastic. I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it yet.
(L) Late night hosts. I was fearful when Jon Stewart stopped hosting a late show that independent thought and ironic observation would stop being offered. But Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and Trevor Noah have more than stepped up to the task. They’ve helped keep so many of us sane from the daily insanity we face.
(M) (tie) Meteorologists. The predictions for the most recent hurricanes were nearly perfect. For us personally, it helped make the decision to stay home and shelter-in-place during Hurricane Dorian. Special mention goes to CBS’s Jeff Berardelli, whose related reporting on climate change is top notch. And…
(M) Modern Family. It’s the last season for this sitcom, and I will miss its inventive and hilarious storylines. While it’s true that over the last couple of years the episodes have been a bit uneven, I will definitely miss all of the great characters. My all time favorite episode is the one where Phil gets his iPad.
(N) John Nettles. Okay, I’m really cheating with this one. It’s a lame attempt on my part to have a third “M” choice. Over the last year we’ve binge-watched the English TV mystery series Midsomer Murder on Acorn TV. We are watching in strict consecutive order from the first episode onward, and we’re currently on season 15. Actor John Nettles was perfect as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby.
(O) Oregon. Oh, Oregon… we hardly knew ye. I finished my career in Oregon, and was there for only 10 months. The nicest people live in Oregon.
(P) Public Radio. Where would I be most days without NPR’s Morning Edition, Joshua Johnson on 1A, Terry Gross on Fresh Air, and All Things Considered? I’m addicted to each of them.
(R) Our local car repair shop. I drive a 2007 Toyota, and it just doesn’t make sense spending top dollar having it serviced at the dealership anymore. Prior to moving here, I was told about about this little neighborhood repair place. I’m fortunate because they really are fantastic.
(S). St. Augustine is a wonderful place to live. It’s historic and beautiful. We pinch ourselves regularly for how lucky we are.
(T) Well, duh. Turkey!
(U) My attending a university and getting an education. It opened up countless doors for me.
(V) Vinyl, baby. My getting that complete vintage stereo is still a few years away, but the visits to record fairs have started in earnest to prepare for it.
[W] We were grateful for warranties this year. When our air conditioning system’s motor broke down in the middle of August, the manufacturer honored the previous owner’s warranty for it. It was the last year of a ten year period. Whew!
(X) Last year at this time, I promised I’d get back to you about how we did with our new cell phone provider, Xfinity Mobile. Our bills are always under $20 every month for two phones. The “catch” is that one has to also subscribe to Xfinity/Comcast for home Internet. We were doing so anyway, so it sure beats the approximately $90 we were previously paying to AT&T.
(Y) YouTube. From complete episodes of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, to interviews from the Television Academy (a particular favorite), to historic speeches of presidents and prime ministers, I waste tons of quality time on YouTube, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Anyone up for a 1972 classic Belgian TV performance of Genesis?
(Z) Zero coupon bond funds. I don’t actually have one, but it could happen someday. Hey, stop rolling your eyes on this one; the “Z” is an especially hard choice every year.
The happiest of holiday seasons from us to you!
Until next time…