What I Am Thankful For…A Thanksgiving Redo


A month or two ago I got a package from my parents with some elementary school projects that my Dad had unearthed in the latest purging exercise. I forget which comedian said that we spend the first half of life accumulating things and the latter half getting rid of things…but it’s true. Ever since college I get the things my parents saved…returned to sender. It often serves as a fun reminder of who we were and how our childhood art and stories have played out in real life.

This particular package held a Thanksgiving book of drawings and “things I was thankful for”. I smiled and set it aside, thinking it would make a good Thanksgiving post. Of course in my rush of packing yesterday I couldn’t find it…so here is what I remember.

  1. My pets. That would be the family dogs (Taffy & Trinka, a golden retriever and dachshund who were a bit like the ugly dachshund and great dane in the Disney movie), the cat we adopted (Vestavia, a beautiful Russian Blue) and two gerbils (Thomas and Teresa) that were my very own responsibility.
  2. The homemade bread my mother bakes.
  3. The nice places my parents take me (this one was accompanied by a lovely drawing of me skiing down what looked like a black diamond – perhaps eyes bigger than those bunny hills!!).
  4. The interesting activities my mom does with us.
  5. My favorite foods – spaghettiOs and lobster were mentioned (not together) in addition the Thanksgiving feast. Again with a mention of my mother’s bread.

After seeing this list today, I thought it was a good place to start thinking about what I’m thankful for now.

First and foremost, family and friends and health, but then I’m thankful for…

  1. Connecting, unconditional love and the ability to take care of or give to others…from pets to the people in our lives who need a little nurturing.
  2. The bread….and appreciation of good, healthy (non-processed) food. I’m sure at the time I was referring to my mom’s raisin cinnamon bread, which I eagerly waited to come out of the oven and slather butter all over while it was still hot. But now I crave my mom’s homemade whole wheat bread. When I was a kid my mother gradually turned into the health food mom. Needless to say my friends did not love coming over to my house after school. We usually went to the house with the pantry filled with Ruffles, CheezWhiz and HoHos rather than corn-nuts, gouda and granola bars. But now…bring on the whole foods. I beg my Mom to send me a loaf of her bread whenever I can!
  3. Travel, adventure and experiences. My dad always said he’d rather go on an interesting vacation than save for a rainy day or a new piece of furniture. More often than not this meant summers backpacking in Wyoming or climbing mountains in Colorado (picture above) and spring break canoeing through swamps in the Everglades. At the time I longed for a more traditional beach vacation. I remember attempting to guide the canoe to the sunny areas of the swamp so I could get a tan too. But now I am thankful for these experiences …and for the spirit of adventure I have now.
  4. Curiosity. An interest in learning and doing new things.
  5. Hmmm. SpaghettiOs and lobster. I think both were a rare treat. Obviously the SpaghettiOs were phased out as the health food era took reign. The love of lobster prevails today. We always were trying new and different foods and had to have one bite. Today I’m thankful for the ability to try so many fabulous foods both high and low in New York City and beyond. Guess that one bite rule payed off.

Happy Thanksgiving!! xoxo

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