13 Things I’m Thankful For — 2013 Edition

We’ve stuffed ourselves with turkey. We’ve watched football. We’ve engaged in fierce and probably drunken political debates. Now I’m going to take a few minutes to do something else, and meditate on the things that put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving.

  • I’m thankful for my car. It’s just a Camry, the most ordinary car on the road. It’s reliable, it’s safe, and since it’s a hybrid it gets great mileage. My fuel costs are less than $100/month. When I press on the accelerator, it always goes. When I press on the brake, it always stops. It goes uphill. It keeps me dry when I drive in the rain. Thank you, car.
  • I’m thankful for water. I know, I was thankful for water last year, too. That was for clean, drinkable water, and I’m still thankful for that. I’m grateful for all the rest of the water, too, though; the water that falls out of the sky when it rains, sparkles and murmurs in the local creeks, rises up and crashes against the rocks at the coast. I’m grateful for the water that streams out of my shower head and flows down the gutters into the storm drain, sweeping gold and red leaves with it. I’m grateful for the water that ripples in the bird bath and condenses in nearly-circular drops on the windshield of my car.
  • I’m thankful for not one, not two, but three writers groups. 1) My original writers group still meets even though the leader moved to Hawaii—Scype, like bow ties, is cool – and thanks to Margaret for offering up her house! 2) The Benicia Crew, alumni from the Mendocino coast Writers Conference, provides thought-provoking conversation, inspiration, support and great reading material; 3) The Sonoma Science Fiction Writers Group, meeting at Atlas Coffee, is a promising bunch! All them feed my creativity and provide feedback. Every one of them knows what writing is like.
  • I’m thankful for the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. It’s become an annual vacation, a retreat, a sanctuary, a seminar… a well filled with limpid, quenching inspiration.


  • I’m thankful for Mockingbird Books!


  • I’m thankful that I have enough money that a trip to Hawaii does not require serious financial plans, only logistical ones. I know this makes me privileged, and I’m grateful for that privilege. I’m also grateful that two of my good friends live there.


  • I’m thankful for Spouse. I don’t write much about Spouse here. It’s an agreement. I can, though, talk about how grateful I am that I have him in my life. Spouse is strong, brave, honest. He is funny, smart and caring. He works hard (maybe too hard). He keeps his word. He volunteers; whether it’s formally, or just by offering to help out a friend or a neighbor. “What would Spouse do?” is a question I really ask myself when I’m in a difficult situation. (Okay, well, to be honest, only certain types of difficult situations.)


  • I’m thankful for my friends, and grateful to them as well. The wonderful friends I made in my former workplace still take my breath away with their creativity, dedication, hard work and smarts. And their humor. They broaden my horizons, make me laugh and keep me honest. Linda, who has been my friend the longest, never fails to surprise me. My new friends at Mockingbird Books offer whole new worlds to me each week, not to mention new You Tube videos. My mother-in-law is a role model for how to grow old with strength and grace. Our friend Sharon fills our hearts with warmth and joy. Facebook friends and blog friends, thank you for everything you add to my life.


  • I’m thankful for my neighborhood. The kids across the street wave and say “hi” every morning. Neighbors stop to talk while they walk their dogs. Howard down the street invites me into his garage to see the latest model train landscape. Judy and I walk at different times, and compare notes. Carol always has a wave and friendly word, and Ginny is always up to something new and interesting. I’m fortunate to have this.


  • I’m thankful for Wallaby yogurt. It’s made in Napa County and they buy their milk from local, family-owned dairies. And it’s good.


  • I’m thankful for the internet. No, really. I know it’s fashionable to grouse about it – usually while we’re using it – but it helps me keep in touch with family and friends. It helps me buy things I can’t easily find locally. It might help me sell something someday. It helps me find out stuff. It makes me laugh. It catches me up on the latest Doctor Who theory. And it shows me cat videos.


  • I’m thankful for the slippers Spouse got me for Christmas last year. They have rubber soles so I can wear them outside if I want to. Sometimes I do. They have fleece lining that warns up frosty toes at night and keeps toasty toes warm in the morning.


  • I’m thankful for family; the family born of the bloodline, the family marriages brought me, my marriage and my father’s; and the family of the heart. You know who you are.

Did I mention that I’m thankful for dogs?

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