This isn't officially a meme. It's just that I wanted to do something Thanksgiving-themed and this seemed the best way to do it.
1. I am thankful that I have a mother to celebrate the holiday with. I see so many her age or younger who are in such poor shape (or no longer with us!) and I am so grateful that I have been able to keep her in my life for so long.
2. I read such horror stories of families in turmoil, tips for how to handle holiday stress and I'm glad this has never really been a big problem for us. True, this year there are only three of us having dinner together, but all throughout our family life, when there have been periods of tension they have been minor and brief. We don't have anybody who isn't speaking to anybody or people that you can't sit next to someone else, or someone whose behavior we are afraid is going to embarrass us when/if we get together. It is one of my biggest pleasures watching how this family gets along and that if there are differences of opinion, they are quickly aired and then forgotten. We are so incredibly fortunate.
3. I am grateful that I have such a considerate and long-suffering husband who loves me through thick and thin and a lot of other things. He can be very patient and very considerate, more so than I, I think, and I love him for it.
4. I am grateful for the SPCA, which has brought such interesting experiences into our lives. I love all the puppies we get to love and watch grow up--and I'm grateful that they all eventually leave! I'm grateful for Ashley who goes above and beyond....way above and beyond, for all the dogs and for the volunteers as well. She is invaluable and I hope she knows how much we love her.
5. I'm grateful for the "stuff" in my life that I could live without, but don't have to -- The little rubber thing that peels a clove of garlic for me. My iPod Touch that has allowed me to read twice as many books this year as I read last year. The new griddle on my new stove. The TV remote control. The little cassette tape that allows me to play iPod stuff through the speakers in the car. Warm blankets and warm puppies. iPod apps. My big puffy slippers. Peets French Roast coffee. Caller ID.
6. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel so much more than I ever expected to in my life. I hear people say things like "I hope I'll have a chance to go to New York some day" or "I've always wanted to visit X, Y, Z..." and realize that I've been to those places, sometimes more than once, and I marvel at the whole thing. If I never travel any more in my life, I will die very happy that I have been to every place that I ever wanted to visit. Anything else would just be the cherry on top of an already very tall sundae!
7. Brianna! How could I get to #7 without mentioning Brianna. I am so grateful to have such a beautiful little granddaughter, who is, all too soon, turning into a wonderful little girl!
8. I am thankful for those extra special people in my life whom I love so much. For Steve and Ron. For Peggy, Lynn, Melody, Olivia, and Diane. For the incredible Pinata Group, for the Family We Chose, and for Section 16, and for the Internet which allowed me to make so many of what are now such valued real life friendships.
9. I am thankful for all the bloggers and vloggers, for the Facebook and Flickr people who have become, as someone's wife used to call "invisible friends" -- people I will probably never meet and who may not even know I exist, but whose lives I follow through their blogs, their vlogs, and their photos, and whose work often inspires me to be a better writer or a better photographer...or even a better cook!
10. I am thankful for Diana Gabaldon and Michael Connelly.
11. I am thankful for all the actors and directors who have made this past year so special. Leading the pack would have to be Jim Brochu, whose performance I would love even if I didn't already know him as a real friend. But there are those wonderful local people like actors Matt K. Miller from Sacramento Theatre Company and Stephanie Gularte from Capital Stage, director Jade McCutcheon at UCD, and actor Kevin Caravalho from both Woodland Opera House and Davis Musical Theatre Co. Then there are Lenore and Gil Sebastian, whom we seem to know from everywhere, who always make theatrical experiences memorable, and Steve and Jan Isaacson, whom we have known forever, to say nothing of too-many-to-name Lamplighters.
12. I am grateful, in advance, for the things that I know are coming up in the new year -- getting to know my "Compassion Kids" better through letters and photos. Working with Davis Community Network's Anne Hance and the Senior Center Internet Users' Group (a new experience I will start in January). Starting the new Lamplighter History project (let's see if this makes the "things I'm grateful for" next year!). And for new experiences yet to be anticipated.
On the whole, to quote John Denver, "Life is so good these days..." There are things that I would change, of course, but given how things are at this particular moment in time, I am content -- and "content" is a pretty good place to be.I hope everyone reading this either will have or is having or had a very good Thanksgiving and that you, too, are "content" in your life at the moment.