Yes, I can do math as long as it’s simple math! I did not write yesterday because we were in the car for 10 hours on the way home from Tennessee. Since dear husband and step-son are away for the weekend doing their Boy Scout thing, my daughter and I stopped at our local quick mart and each bought our favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and settled in for a Mother/Daughter Movie night. We watched the Coen Brother’s rendition of True Grit on Netflix, followed by a couple of episodes of Dr. Who. The combination of chocolate bliss and travel fatigue knocked me right out for a solid seven hours of sleep. It was a meaningful trip and a wonderful night of time spent with the youngest daughter.
Sometimes Thanks-living means being present enough to live in the moment, making choices that perhaps are not the most logical or efficient but that carry the most relationship capital and time/love investment. It is a necessary challenge to balance thinking and living between head and heard.
So without further commentary let the thanksgivings begin…
1. Mother/Daughter Movie Nights (My daughter gave up time with her step-sister and another friend to stay and watch movies with me. Thanks dear daughter!)
2. Time with Parents (I had some precious time with my father and mother this week. I am particularly grateful for the time my mother spent sharing stories of her childhood. I’ll write more about that one later.)
3. Safe Travel (Other than the senior citizen from Florida who veered her “land yacht” into our lane so close that I could feel my skin crawl and the Big Rig driver who almost clocked us, we had an uneventful and safe trip. Whew! Thank you, God!)
4. Lunch with my Cousin (I always have a blast with my cousin who lives in Chattanooga. Like me, she stays “busier than a bird dog scratchin’ fleas, so I am especially grateful that she took time out of her day for a long, leisurely lunch filled with laughter and catching-up-conversation.)
5. Dinner with a Good Friend (My mom and I had dinner with a dear friend and former neighbor at Wally’s, a local Chattanooga restaurant specializing in Southern home cooking. Again, it was a time filled with laughter and good conversation.)
6. Facebook (Yup, as annoying as it can sometimes be, I am grateful for this social networking tool that allows me to keep up with family, friends, and colleagues. Technology is neutral; how we choose to use or avoid it makes all the difference.)
7. Amazing Teenagers (From the high schooler who has identified an amazing potential weapon in the fight against cancer to the homeless teen on Long Island who won a national science prize for her discovery about adaptability in two marine animals, I am amazed at the gifts and talents youth have to offer. Our job as adults is to encourage, support, and avoid squelching their dreams. Click here for more on these amazing stories.)
8. The Joy of Finding Great Clothes at Second-hand Stores (While I was in Tennessee, I stopped at a local non-profit’s resale shop, where for under $10 I picked up three like-new items that would have totaled about $150 if bought new at their name-brand retailers. I saved money, I gave a second life to three items of clothing, and I circumvented the consumer stream. Cool!)
9. My Laptop (I bought this laptop from a local computer store in North Dakota on a clearance special. It’s a Dell Vostro 1510, and it it a bit too heavy and clunky, but it is sturdy and meets all my computing needs. Best of all? My total investment was under $400. It is essential for my work and writing, and I am so thankful to have it.)
10. Health Insurance (I am so fortunate to have a good health insurance plan made possible as part of the benefits packages provided by my husband’s and my congregations. As a cancer survivor, I would have a difficult time finding coverage otherwise. One of my daughter’s friends, a working actor who lives with diabetes, just tweeted that he cannot find any plan that will cover his preexisting condition when he ages out of his mother’s plan next week. Something has to give with our healthcare system!)
11. Steel Cut Oats and Green Tea (Both of these foods are among my favorites and are healthy choices offering significant dietary benefits. Based on the reality of #10, healthy food choices are especially important. Click here for a quick trip through the 10 best and worst food choices from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.)
12. Simply Being Alive! (I give thanks for another day and another opportunity to live life to the fullest, loving my family, friends, and neighbors, and reveling in God’s good creation.)
It is my prerogative to make this list of thanksgiving into a “Baker’s Dozen” (but with no calories or fat), so…
13. I am thankful to you for joining me on this thanks-living journey. Please take the time to post at least one thing for which you are thankful this very day. You guys rock!