I read somewhere that during their first winter in Plymouth, the Pilgrims' rations got so low that they were down to five kernels of corn per day per person. That's not much. Only four women survived that winter because the rest died of starvation, having given their rations to their children. Sometimes we don't realize what we have to be thankful for until we experience a time of not having something vital to our quality of life, like good health or certain creature comforts.
There's no one more offensive than an ungrateful person. They're focused on, "Well what about me and my needs?" Grateful people are so much more palatable, even if the gratitude seeps over into maudlin. I can forgive that. It may be corny (I'm guilty myself), but at least it isn't selfish. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, then, here's what I'm grateful for lately:
Electricity, indoor plumbing, vacuum cleaners, heat when it's cold, cool when it's hot, people who keep me groomed (like the hairdresser and the pedicurist), motorized carts in grocery stores that save my knees, raspberries, chocolate, giraffes, grandchildren, children who gang up on me and make a doctor's appointment I've been avoiding, The Love of My Life, keeping in touch with friends, young people who don't get tired of being good, trees, rhododendrons, irises, daffodils, roses, electronic banking, my computer, live theater, chocolate, raspberries, painkillers, Imodium, people who acknowledge that I'm worthy to draw breath and occupy space on this planet, the Internet, talents and capabilities, America's Constitutional guarantees, my right to vote, people who bless my life with humor, the Oregon coast, Tillamook cheese (and ice cream), potatoes, chocolate, raspberries, writers who make me stretch and strive to be better rather than pandering to the lowest and basest instincts for the sake of a cheap laugh, Almond Roca, goodness and decency I see in people around me, chances to write and share the things that are most important to me, turkey, Some Dude's Fry Sauce, chocolate, raspberries, kohlrabi, my valiant pioneer progenitors who fought in the Revolutionary War and crossed oceans and plains to come to Zion and live as they chose, prayer, people who recognize sincere efforts, people who recognize the person (prophet) who is otherwise without honor in his own country, Americana jigsaw puzzles, people who are part of the solution and not part of the problem, General Conference, the capacity to think, sacred places, family ties, my husband's siblings and their spouses (who accept and love me anyway), genius, minestrone, language, humble ambition, purity, integrity, nobility, the heart turned outward to do good in the world, people who take the time to read and understand my poems (NOT the judges in the LUW contest), people who lean on me and let me comfort them, little people who 'cut the pickle,' knock-knock jokes, puns, beauty, giftedness, authentic country music (not the Osmondized kind), cool jazz, garnet and opal and turquoise and azurite with chrysacola (these are a few of my favorite rings), fudge, Walnettos, Licorice All-Sorts, raspberries, genuine gospel music with good close harmony and not the screamy kind, the Book of Mormon, chances to say how thankful I am for my good, happy life.
Okay, now it's your turn.