Thanksgiving is today—doesn’t it seem early this year? Or maybe that old adage is true: Once you pass 40, time moves at warp speed.
As you gather with your families to give thanks and break bread, I wish you health and happiness during the holidays and beyond.
I am grateful for so many things this year. As I count my blessings, some are positives and some are negatives. You’ll see what I mean…
I’m thankful for:
Not having more aches and pains than I do. My feet are beat all to pieces from running, but my back is fine and my eyes aren’t too bad. (Which means, of course, that I’ll be limping and squinting in a week.)
The smell of fall.
My exasperating, hilarious 84-year-old mother. May she drive me crazy ‘til she’s 100.
My brothers, T-Bob and Bubba, who are everything I’m not, thanks be to God.
My sister, Moonbeam, on whatever planet she inhabits these days.
The freshness of just-washed sheets and the delicious feel of feather pillows.
Friends both old and new.
Marriage to a brilliant, handsome, funny man, who knows all my quirks and loves me anyway. (Turns out normal people don’t snack on mustard by the spoonful.)
Books, books and more books. Do not give me a Kindle for Christmas.
My perfectly imperfect body. Parts jiggle, wiggle and sag, but it does everything I ask it to do. An everyday miracle.
The musical jingle of my dog’s collar as she ambles merrily from room to room.
The freedom to do, say and be whatever I want as long as it doesn’t break the law or frighten the goats.
Our armed forces. Self explanatory.
The good health of loved ones, including my 88-year-old mother-in-law, who is way sharper than her 51-year-old daughter-in-law.
Tolerance and forgiveness.
“Modern Family,” the best sitcom since “M*A*S*H.”
My inability to drive a stick-shift, because just trying to learn scared everybody stiff. If God wanted me to drive a five-speed, He’d have given me an extra foot.
The way my husband’s eyes crinkle when he smiles.
Facebook, without which I would go crazy living in the boondocks.
The cozy creaks and groans our old house makes at night.
My belief that people are inherently good.
Coconut oil. You can cook with it AND use it as a moisturizer.
Church ladies who prepare delicious post-funeral receptions, teach Sunday school and coordinate food banks, asking nothing in return.
Old Navy jeans.
Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers and Eudora Welty.
Everyone who puts on a uniform to fight fires, arrest bad guys and restart hearts.
Hot soup on a cold day.
Cold beer on a hot day.
Our inversion table. Apparently I’ve been longing all my life to hang upside down.
A phone that actually keeps me from getting lost. Who knew?
The ability to run.
Comfortable running shoes.
Country roads to run on.
The kindness and generosity I see practiced around me daily.
My favorite snack: peanuts, Craisins and dark chocolate chips.
Scarves that A) keep my neck warm, and B) hide my neck. Win-win!
Our wonderful veterinarian, who prescribes pills for Nicky’s skin, pills for Nicky’s joints, pills for Nicky’s liver and pills for Nicky’s seizures. (Other than that, Nicky’s perfectly healthy.)
Stir-fried vegetables, pasta and my famous sugar-free oatmeal cookies.
Eyes that can see and ears that can (partially) hear.
The Weather Channel. I’m obsessed.
Julie R. Smith, who is also thankful for newspapers and the people who read them, can be reached at email@example.com.