I’ve never been a big holiday person. My poor kids. 

I’m also not a great cook. As a matter of fact…my kids have always gone to their dad’s house for the food part of any holiday celebration because that man can make just about anything taste delicious. 

My kids have always joked about my cooking. 

And let me tell you…they have every right to. It’s bad. And when I say bad…I mean really bad. 

Like that time a teacher at Hank’s Episcopal middle school asked him, while I was standing there, “So Hank…what are you giving up for Lent this year?”

Without skipping a beat, Hank said, “My mom’s cooking.” We laughed and I laugh now thinking about it.

One Thanksgiving, in advance of the kids’ scheduled departure to their dad’s, I thought I would provide a Thanksgiving treat they would never forget. 

I grilled some hot dogs, cut em up into tiny little pieces and stuck a toothpick in each one. I then artistically set those grilled delights beside some small ornate bowls filled to the brim with delicious ketchup for dipping. I added in some fabulous velveeta cheese, cut into small squares, each too with its very own toothpick….complimented by some orange slices and VOILA!!!  

Thanksgiving Molly-Barker-style. 

I lay it all out on the living room floor, picnic style…and called the kids in for a “Thanksgiving you’ll never forget.”

Oh my god. We laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. 

And they never did, in fact, forget it. 

So this Thanksgiving, in my ordinary-non-traditional-and-kinda-weird way…I thought I would list some stuff I’m really grateful for…that might go unnoticed without some intentional brain activity focused in its direction. 

1. I am grateful for my daughter’s extreme levels of independence. The boring one-color towels we used to have are now multi-colored with the stains of various hair colors she’s had over the years. Think of it like a random kind of tie-dye experience. The towels match virtually any color-scheme. 

2. I am grateful for the strength I gained raising two extremely independent kids…in particular Hank. Every minute was pure terror as he set off on the various adventures that eventually brought him home to himself. Somehow we made it. I don’t know how we made it, but we did and I am so grateful for that. 

3. I am grateful for the sleep I never got worrying about things that never happened. Worry is my way of coping with scary things and while this method of coping isn’t always the best, inevitably I end up with some kind of meltdown…that forces me to greater introspection, a breakthrough, a big understanding of how things work in the world. 

4. I am grateful that I have no interest in fashion. This is not to say that I don’t love and respect people who do. (My kids would be THOSE people.) I wear black shirts, jeans and cowboy boots. I make up plenty of other s?&t to worry about (most of it unnecessarily…see #3) and not ever having, how I dress on the list, is a true gift. I have my mother to thank for that. 

5. I am grateful for my health with each passing year. Yes…I love feeling my crepe skin ripple across my arm as I ride my bike at speeds most 56 year old people can’t imagine. I love wondering each morning…how much more my belly button will disappear beneath gravity’s pull on my strong abdominal muscles or how much further my butt will drop to my well-developed-from-years-of-running hamstrings. (😜)

6. I am grateful for coffee…coffee so strong that you can literally feel its impact within three to five minutes of the first sip. (See #3.)

7. I am grateful for my dogs. Because they remind me on a daily basis…that pretty much everything is made up…except of course for the furniture they lay around on. It’s a beautiful thing to read news articles about politics, out loud, and watch their reaction. 

8. I am grateful for all the leaves I haven’t raked yet and the fact that I live in a neighborhood where people don’t seem to care. 

9. I am grateful for all the supposedly bad things hat have happened in my life. Like that time I was hit by a car in 2007, while out on a run. For nearly a year I couldn’t run and its during times of great pain like that..where I figured out what really matters.

10. I am grateful for the people in my life…who somehow manage to believe in me while also holding me accountable. I can be impatient and messy and confrontational without trying to be…sometimes by just being myself…and you love me anyway. 

And you know…here’s the truth. That goes for many of you here…who check in every once in while. 

Yeah I’m talking about you. I am grateful for you too.

Happy Thanksgiving people.