Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I could fill this space with last-minute, delicious recipes for your holiday table, but we’d all die laughing at that. (My favorite collection of recipes is Peg Bracken’s “I Hate to Cook Book.”)
Instead, let’s focus on what we are truly grateful for. (The fact that I’m not cooking is one.) There are so many others…
• I’m thankful for robust good health, which means I will come down with the flu in approximately four seconds.
• I’m thankful for Facebook and Facetime and Skype and all the other cyber-formats that allow me to stay connected to those I love. In other words, you can run but you can’t hide.
• I’m thankful for my husband, Widdle Baby, who drives me crazy and lets me do the same to him. Love you, mean it!
• I’m thankful for the cup of decaf coffee laced with decadent coconut creamer that I drink every Sunday before church. It’s not very healthy, but at least I don’t stagger into the pew with Irish coffee on my breath.
• I’m thankful for what I don’t have, because everyone should carry a few unfulfilled wants. It’s good for the soul.
• I’m thankful for my beloved brother, T-Bob, who after five decades has turned out to be my best friend. Didn’t see that one coming.
• I’m thankful for my other friends, who know who they are. It’s a short list.
• I’m thankful for my pop-eyed, nosy, hilarious, prancing roosters, Ben and Jerry. I was looking for a new obsession, and they are it.
• I’m thankful for our beloved old dog, Nicky. We figure she’s at least 98 and nobody that old can be expected to make it outside on time, every time.
• I’m thankful that only God knows all my secrets.
• I’m thankful that God forgives all my secrets.
• I’m thankful for soy burgers that don’t taste like cardboard. I’m also thankful for salsa, sautéed mushrooms, soft-boiled eggs, snow peas, coconut milk and dark chocolate.
• I’m thankful to live in a country where there is no class system. Before you start yelling about the haves and the have-nots, remember this: We can be born into abject poverty and die in a 20-room mansion if we’re willing to make sacrifices and work hard. Doors do not close because you were born poor. Doors close because you lack drive and self-discipline.
• I’m thankful to live in a country where I can worship where I want; get educated for free; openly criticize the government without fear of disappearing; have access to fresh, wholesome food; travel anywhere I please; and live wherever I wish.
• I’m thankful to our military, from the bottom of my heart. That’s a column for another day, but know that, as the daughter of a veteran, I am grateful.
• I’m thankful that my mother read to me, and filled our home with books. It took me years to realize what she gave up to buy World Book encyclopedias, Readers’ Digest Condensed Books and the American Heritage history series.
• I’m thankful that my only addiction is to books. It gives me a thrill to hold them, run my fingers over the dust jacket and smell the pages. My name is Julie, and I’m a book junkie. Take that, Kindle.
• I’m thankful for my soul sister Anne, who always knows exactly which Rolling Stones song to post on my wall when it’s been a bad day. Like the saying goes, you can’t make old friends.
Julie R. Smith, who tries to maintain an attitude of gratitude, can be reached at email@example.com.