I’m taking my gratitude in small doses this year, like the kind of spoon sipping you do as you prepare a special meal.
We won’t have the whole gang around the table this time, but I plan to fill the empty chairs with happy memories. I believe laughter and love ingrain themselves in the wood of special furniture and bubble up through generations.
Old tables and chairs act like external hard drives, storing some of the stories we tell every year (like the time my mom and my grandma dropped the Thanksgiving turkey and it skidded across our kitchen floor) and others that resurface just when we need them (like when my dad got up from the table to give a lost little refugee a warm coat and a ride home).
Happy childhoods don’t leave the earth with the parents who create them. They stick around, like the heartwood of a tree, around which other layers grow.
It hasn’t been my favorite year, but I’m so grateful nonetheless. I’ll raise my glass to family and my four kids who couldn’t swing a Thanksgiving together this year, but, through extreme effort, came very close.
I’ll toast the abiding bonds of friendship and some of the genuinely amazing people we’re lucky to know.
I’ll add good health to the list and mention specifically how deeply grateful I am that those in our family who face struggles are holding their own.
I’m grateful to live in a country that supports (even though it doesn’t always practice) honest discourse.
I’m thankful for music, poetry, comedy, literature, podcasts, blogs and the people who create them.
I’m touched by the postcard my friend Bonnie sent me because not many people take the time to handwrite notes, stamp them and put them in the mail.
I’m grateful for stretchy jeans, warm socks, wide-toothed combs, thick scarves, coconut Greek yogurt, Google maps, daily contact lenses, thermos mugs, commingled recycling, electric tea kettles, Christmas lights, public parks, and every single baby photo that shows up on my newsfeed.
Also, I’m really grateful for you.