Grateful for all of it (well, mostly)

One more reason not to be on Facebook. I kinda think I’d rather be surprised.
Image found on WorldWideInterweb.

As Thanksgiving is tomorrow, it seems apropos that I share just a little of what I’m thankful for this year. Prepare for some snark. Which, by the way, I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful, as always, for my family, whether it’s my family by blood (and we’re all a bit kooky), or the family of friends, email and blog buddies, and associates (some of whom are kooky) I’ve built up over the past 22 years (Lord, I feel old) of working in Little Rock. Some have become so dear to me that they’ve taken on family nicknames, like Crazy Cousin Earl. Of course, most of the time I just call him Earl. He’s not always crazy. He is, though, highly entertaining, as all crazy cousins should be.

One of the good things about streaming most of what you watch is being able to avoid a lot of those ads. Not so much with email. Sigh.
Editorial cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Like Crazy Cousin Earl, I’m thankful that the political emails have slowed to a trickle … well, at least in my personal email. In my work email I’m still getting many, many press releases from this and that elected official. Can I just wish them all away? Does anyone have a spare wishbone I can wish on? The ham I’m having for Thanksgiving is sans wishbone. Dang it. And now I remember I need to take that thing out of the freezer. So much ice …

I’m relieved that not everyone sees everything through a political lens. Those who see things as they really are don’t care what party you align with, what church you attend, what TV shows or channels you watch, or where you shop. They know that politics has no place in science or religion, and that making everything about politics just stokes divisiveness. They, like me, yearn for a day of just talking with friends and family without it devolving into a shoutfest. There are only so many times you can leave the room to prevent a fight. And if you’re in a car, well …

And that is precisely why I don’t do it. That and I’m not a morning person.
Image found on someecards.

I’m also thankful I have no desire to get out on Thanksgiving Day or Friday to fight crowds who want the same low-in-inventory thing I want. I’m not a fan of crowds or rude people (which seem to be synonymous with crowds), and rampant commercialism makes me queasy. Besides, as long as my Internet connection holds out, I’m set. It’s not like I need much, especially since my family and friends and I don’t do much in the way of exchanging gifts; that’s not why we celebrate Christmas.

I may be gone, but I’m watching you people. Thanks for being nice to my mom!

I’m grateful beyond words for the furry ones that have shared my life, though I’m still without one at the moment (I will get another cat or two when the time is right). Through the years, my own furkids (Sharon, Sierra, Bruny [the Maine coon who was Bruno until “he” had kittens], Trouble, Bob, Pepper, Luke, etc.) and those of friends (Gizmo, Simone, Charlie, Josie, Sam, Mackie, the Martin girls) have all made me smile, laugh and cry—Paris Martin in a birthday hat, for instance, is a fuzzy marvel. Our critters brighten our lives and, I think, make us better humans. Plus, they’re great judges of character. I always knew that if Luke didn’t like someone, there was a good reason (and if he liked you, you’d get the belly flop at your feet). Funny … he always growled when he saw a picture of the current president …

Step away from the tartlets and no one gets hurt. I need some time alone with them.
Image found on Tastemade (click for recipe).

I’m thankful for chocolate and humor, both of which are necessary for survival in a world such as the one we live in now. If you’re going to worry, don’t worry about the things that you can do something about; just fix them. For those you alone can’t fix (mass shootings, for example), get together with others to fight for change. And for those that won’t change no matter what (a certain somebody’s constant falsehoods, rash tweets and illogical behavior) … well, that’s when you sit back for a Monty Python marathon with all the Ghirardelli’s you can find. It won’t help change anything, but it will make you feel a little better for a while. Sometimes that little escape has to do.

Because escape is a necessity some days to retain sanity, I’m so grateful to the gods of streaming video. Being able to watch my choice of movies (I’m partially to comedy … big shocker, I know), TV shows and anything else I can think of has kept more than a few people from the slaps they so richly deserve. If you ever see that look in my eyes, cue up something hilarious and step back. Seriously. I bite.

No, being polite doesn’t mean speaking in a British accent. Just like us, some Brits are wankers.
Image found on The Meta Picture.

I’m pleased there are still some people out there who believe in treating others as they want to be treated and who know that “politically correct” and “polite” are not the same thing (nor are patriotism and nationalism, for that matter). They open doors for others (male or female) without being asked, smile and say “hello,” and are more than happy to give someone a helping hand without feeling the need to call attention to it or seek praise for their actions. Would that we had a few such selfless individuals in government … or anywhere, really.

I’m thankful that I’ve gone 3½ years without a recurrence of the stroke and TIAs that landed me in the hospital in 2015. I’m still not where I need to be (why do I always gain weight when I try to lose it??), but I’m better able to know now when I should take a break. Of course, that doesn’t mean I always do it, but at least I’m aware of it, and will step back eventually. Right after I finish this one thing …

That’s it in a nutshell. And I was clearly the model for this image.
Calvin and Hobbes quote found on Twisted Sifter.

I’m grateful to have a job that, most days, I love. I get to do something that makes me happy, with co-workers who help me and push me to be better. I get to meet through phone calls, emails, snail mail and sometimes in person people who may not always agree with me or any other columnist on the Voices page, but who welcome the chance to talk over other views in a civil manner. There are, of course, also the people who don’t know what civil means. Whatever it is, it’s clearly a liberal/conservative/anarchist plot. Dang civility.

But mostly, I’m thankful for all of you who have been reading my weird thoughts for five years (a little longer here on the blog) and haven’t called for my head on a plate. It wouldn’t taste very good, anyway; turkey’s better … and dressing … and potatoes …

Does anyone’s Thanksgiving dinner actually look like this?? Honestly, I just want my mom’s dressing.
Image found on