Today, of all days, I am basking in thankfulness. I feel a sense of gratitude on most days, but having a day named Thanksgiving brings many more thoughts and emotions to light.
Here are some things I'm thankful for, in no particular order:
My friends. I've never been one to have hundreds of friends. Instead, I have friends who are kindred spirits, with a certain skewed vision of the world that allows us to laugh together every time we connect. Even in the saddest or hardest times of our lives, our laughter has warmed us and kept the bond between us strong.
As I look at us all now, I'm sometimes dismayed and most often amused at how we've changed from those lithe young beings we once were to people reaching the very upper range of middle age. We've gotten greyer, picked up some wrinkles, our outlines have blurred into softer ones, and some of our quirks have become eccentric habits. But I know that with each one, even if it's been a very long time, I can pick up the phone and from our first words together, the time between vanishes. We were friends, we are friends, we will be friends. So much love and laughter to be grateful for.
Fall fruits and vegetables. The butternut sqush is deep orange and delicious no matter how it's prepared. Parsnips sweeten my stews and soups. Apples are crisp and tasty, and make the most delicious pies. The kitchen is warmed and wonderfully scented with all the cooking I do at this season of the year. How wonderful that we have this bounty from the earth to celebrate.
My husband, Herb. He is a true partner and friend, someone who readily lends a hand, and is not ashamed to ask for help himself. Every day, I take his lovingly prepared lunches to work with me, and think about how lucky I am that we found each other. For us, love is better the second time around as we forge our way in this marriage, which is the second for each of us.
Holiday catalogs. In days gone past, catalogs were called "dream books" by many who had little or no money to spend. This year, I feel that way about the many beautiful catalogs that come to us unbidden. Lovely images of holiday tables and settings, cute babies and happy adults. Gorgeously styled and colored photos that bring the spirit of Christmas to mind. What a delightful gift of artful arrays - right in my mailbox every day.
My sisters, Sue and Kathy. Sue is the oldest, the leader, the one who helped me so many times when our parents weren't up to the job. She is someone who shares my love of books and reading, a good cup of tea, the necessity and luxury of an afternoon nap. Sue brought my delightful nephew and niece into the world, enabling me to have two of the richest relationships I've ever experienced. Her husband Vinny has given me the brother we never had growing up. Kathy is the youngest, the one who speaks her mind and lets me speak mine. She has helped me to be the "older sister" in a manner that is truly my own. She loves deeply, and is the "switchboard" for all family connections - she knows where every cousin I've ever heard of - and some I haven't - live and how they thrive. How lucky and blessed I am to have this family.
And now, my morning cooking complete and ready to be packed to take to my stepdaughter's house this afternoon, I'm enjoying the quiet, the sunshine, the pretty shadows of trees on the lawn, and connecting with all of you here in the Rain.
I wish all of you a joyous and happy Thanksgiving.