Gratitude 2022 From A to Z

This beauty is available as an NFT, payable in Bitcoin only. My better half wishes to disclose that she had NO part in its creation or design.

We made it! Welcome to our first post-covid holiday where absolutely no one is talking about eating outside on the patio or leaving a living room window open.

The only reference I saw to the pandemic yesterday was Dr. Fauci giving his final press briefing at the White House, his last as a federal official. All he did, though, was recommend that people get their booster shots.

Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere, of course. But after two + years of this stuff, we’re all a combination of imaginary herd immunity and burnout. Pass the gravy, please.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As its name suggests, it’s a day when we acknowledge all of the good things in our lives. Such as the invention of the gummy vitamin.

In spite of a continuing and tragic war in Ukraine, persistent inflation, a tumbling stock market, and, yes, warnings of new covid variants over the next few months, this is a holiday in which we give thanks and count our many blessings. So on that note…

… I once again submit for your annual approval, all the things from A-Z for which I am grateful:

(A) The auto save functionality. Honestly, probably half of my emails and most of my blog posts would be lost without this invention. To say I’m grateful is a vast understatement.

(B) Books. I became a librarian partly because of my love for books; I retired because in some measure they became less important, at least in what was my particular area, law libraries. However, my love for them in retirement has only grown. I am currently absorbed by Eisenhower: The White House Years, by Jim Newton (2011 Doubleday). What are YOU currently reading?

(C) Comedies. There is no bigger TV argument in our home than watching a sitcom. Gorgeous is preordained not to like them, and I like to always end my evening with a laugh rather than thinking about a murder. 2022 marks the year in which I was finally able to wear her down. Two we binged on all the way through to their endings: “Baskets” (Hulu) and the classic UK show “Only Fools and Horses” (Britbox).

(D) Well, duh. The Thanksgiving dinner, of course. And how many times do I have to ask: will someone please pass the gravy already?

(E) Education. You wouldn’t know it by the purposeful imbecility displayed on this site sometimes, but I am grateful for the quality of education I received in my earlier life — both public school and college. I attended a midwestern university that drew from a predominantly working class population. The lessons taught there, both inside and out of the classroom, provided a foundation for the rest of my life.

(F) Freedom. One only has to look at certain places — Hong Kong and Iran are good examples — to recognize the many freedoms we in the western world enjoy. This should never be taken for granted.

(G) My Gorgeous. It’ll be ten years next month for us, and I remain the luckiest man on earth.

(G) Honorable Mention: The gay community. Do we hear about the Monkey Pox virus anymore? No, because gay men collectively stood up and showed us all how to handle a health crisis. They got vaccinated and never complained about having to do so. They just went ahead and got their shots, full stop.

(H) Heroes. Richard Fierro and Thomas James, who disarmed the gunman at Club Q in Colorado Springs by grabbing his weapon and holding him down until authorities arrived.

(I) Irony. You gotta hand it to the Dunkin’ Donuts chain. For months we’ve been trying to figure out what they are building behind our gym. This week they finally put up a sign. Future post-workouts will be full of temptation!

(J) Jazz music. Except for certain classics such as Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and “Bitches Brew,” plus the odd Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, or Sarah Vaughan recording, I’ve steered clear of any deep dives into classic American jazz. There’s so much and it all seemed so intimidating. But it’s turned into another retirement passion with so many avenues to explore. Cocktail hour in our home is jazz hour.

(K) Our renovated kitchen! Lordy, it was on life support. But it’s now is a place we actually enjoy using. The bathrooms? Not so much. That and new carpeting are our next projects. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

(L) Lame jokes. Hey, I’m not the one who keeps returning to this blog, YOU are! I must be doing something right.

(M) Masterpiece mysteries on PBS. We just finished Magpie Murders, which was excellent. We await the return of Grantchester next year.

(N) New friends. Earlier this year we joined a local group that has allowed us to meet new people, some of whom we’ve started to see socially. Lockdown prevented that, so it’s nice to associate and bond with others again.

(O) OMG no, We’ll all look just this once and let’s never speak of it again, agreed?

Spotted in the candy aisle, I kid you not.

(P) My parents. The ever-present teenager in me continues to make fun of them constantly. But I miss them terribly and wish they were still around.

(Q) Ha! In looking over last year’s list, I see I actually skipped the letter Q by mistake. It does put into question the quality control I’m supposedly paying to this blog’s HQ each year. You gets what you pays for, eh?

(R) Receiving gifts. Yeah, yeah, giving is more important… yada yada yada. But RECEIVING a gift, come on!

(S) The stock market for building and maintaining my retirement… Oh never mind, who am I kidding? Let’s just get to the next letter.

(T) Tax deductible gifts. I make a donation three times a year to Feeding Northeast Florida. Please consider doing the same to a similar organization where you live.

(U) Unconditional love. There is no better gift. If you have it, be grateful for it and return it in kind.

(V) I’m going with vaccines for the second year in a row. Just wrap your heads around the fact that the scientific community developed them in ten months! That’s an unbelievable Herculean effort. Because of them, we’ve all been able to return to taking the occasional vacation again.

[W] Withholdings. Our accountant is quite hyper about them for some reason, but I do love the big deposit Uncle Sam sends us after we file our tax returns. Did someone mention vacations a moment ago?

(X) Who doesn’t love a little “xo” in a text now and then?

(Y) Gorgeous is a longtime watcher of the daytime soap, “The Young and the Restless.” It’s recorded daily on our DVR and she watches it after the news each evening. I can’t be bothered to watch such piffle, so I never so much as even glance at the screen. I will say, though, that the Adam Newman character is a real slime ball. Not that I watch, mind you.

Actor Mark Grossman as Adam Newman
Source: Young and the Restless Fandom

(Z) I really got zilch for this one, but I do love me some Italian ziti now and then. Just not today of all days!

To everyone, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe upcoming holiday season!

33 thoughts on “Gratitude 2022 From A to Z

  1. Another triumph Marty! My highlights of this year’s list (Gorgeous and THAT turkey aside) are your honourable mention for the gay community and the heroes of the Q Club massacre one of whom, if my reading of Twitter is correct, is a member of the transcommunity. Seems that some members of society are leading the way more than others. Also love that photo of your parents – it deserves an xo all of its own. Happy Thanksgiving to you lovely pair & thank you for the humour & the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks, Debs. You managed to form a big gulp growing in my throat with your thoughtful words. Yes, it’s been a tough week in our violent-obsessed country. I have no idea how we’ll find our way out of this madness. It’s good to find a way to smile now and then in spite of it. Again, many thanks and please be well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Upon opening this post, I was fairly certain (100% actually) that Gorgeous had nothing to do with the design behind your opening photo. 😀
    I always look forward to your Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Post. It did not disappoint! (A+)
    Wishing you and Gorgeous a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    BTW – To answer your ‘What are you reading’ question – Richard recently finished the Palace Papers (on your recommendation). And while I never cracked the cover, I feel that I read it word for word — Richard loves to share with lots of detail!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot all about the fact that Richard was reading that book! Yeah, it was a good one. I wasn’t prepared for Tina Brown’s irreverent humor to pervade throughout the book, which was a delight. I knew she was a good editor (i.e. New Yorker, Vanity Fair), but I had no idea she’s that good of a writer.

      Thanks, Donna!

      Like

  3. Marty, this post is a classic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and smiled all the way through it. Love the turkey picture at the start. Now, I used to have candle holders like that, but I can’t find them. I probably gave them away at some point. Now I regret it deeply! Hope you and Gorgeous enjoyed your Thanksgiving. My guess is she created a really great turkey – and didn’t even use markers, candle holders or a hat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She naturally walked out of her office and into the kitchen at the precise moment I was setting up that picture. She took one look at what I was doing, sighed, turned around, and went back into her office! 🤣

      Those candlesticks I believe are a very recent acquisition, picked up at a thrift store. The thrift store is near the gas station I prefer, and so she jumps at the chance to go get gas with me each time for some reason. lol. I drop her off, and I’m never quite sure what goes in there.

      Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Betty!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gorgeous has great taste. I love thrift shops. It’s best if our husbands just wait outside. I keep thinking about your alphabetical post of things you are grateful for. I may copy your idea next year, if you don’t mind. Your list this year was the perfect blend of humor and the care and compassion we should all have for others.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Feel free to create one next year, Betty, because I originally stole it from a friend who’s done it for years via Facebook! 😆 It helps, btw, to keep a list throughout the year of words when you think of them. I didn’t do that this year, and so this one was a bit of a slog.

        Gorgeous laughed at your suggestion that husbands just stay outside of thrift shops. 🙂 Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Day After Thanksgiving, Marty! Nope not Black Friday, just a great day filled with lingering feelings of holidayness on the day after one. How’s that for a greeting?
    Love your posts – I’ll comment directly on your ‘J’. I was raised on the stuff – Dad was a Jazzman mover and shaker in Chicago during the 40s-60s (some 70s). My point? Enjoy your new foray into the wealth of this musical genre – forget about feelings of intimidation. If ya like it – go with that. If not – move onto to another jazz era/instrument focus/etc. Don’t hesitate to dabble in a little brainy research on whatever piece stimulates that portion of your emotion…you’re a librarian/researcher so go with that, too! Some Jazz stuff opens up more when approached in that manner.
    Stay cool, man.
    😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so amazing about your dad, Laura. The stories he must have had… that stories you must know!

      I’m sort of all over the place with the different eras. I love the “cool” New York era of the fifties for sure, but then things get so interesting in the sixties with Miles, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, et. al. And then there are the organists such as Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Shirley Scott. Of course, one also shouldn’t forget the great vocalists: Tony, Frank, Rosie obviously, but also Shirley Horn, Nancy Wilson, Julie London… right up to now with Diana Krall. It’s a fun rabbit hole. Happy Day After, Laura!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So many laughs packed into one list! Having to host the Thanksgiving ordeal yet again this year, I was feeling not so grateful, but reading your post lifted my spirits, at least until I had to start cooking. Your poor turkey though, like he hasn’t suffered enough. But that put a whole new meaning to turkey dressing.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re a bear to do, Ana. In the past I’ve aided the effort by keeping a list of of words throughout the year as I think of them. But I didn’t bother doing that this year… to my regret!. This one was a slog. 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

      Like

  6. I love everything about this, Marty. The humour, thoughtful reflection, the amazing find of turkey candlestick holders, and especially the great smiles of Marty and Gorgeous in the photos. 😊

    Love for books in retirement has grown…speaks volumes.
    Heard about Baskets…I may need to check out. I watched the first 8 episodes of “Young Sheldon” in one evening after your recommendation.

    And ‘luckiest man on earth’……I am sure Gorgeous also feels she is lucky.

    I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving weekend. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re awfully kind, Erica. I was caught flat-footed this year and had to write each entry on the spot. Never again! But I’m grateful for your encouragement and kudos.

      Baskets was initially a show in which all the story lines would center on Zach Galifianakis. But that soon changed because of Louie Anderson’s wonderful portrayal as the mother character (in which he’s actually channeling his own mother). It’s Anderson’s last hurrah before his untimely death, and definitely worth watching. Young Sheldon isn’t very popular in our home, but it’s one of my not-so secret favorites. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I trust your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Your list certainly suggests you know how to alphabetize your gratitude. Loved your line about being a teenager making fun of your parents, still. I sometimes feel like I’m finally rebelling against some of my parents rules. It brings me joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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