O my God, if I’d drawn on a Thanksgiving tablecloth as a kid—“No pumpkin pie for you!” But this tablecloth invited rowdy games of tic-tac-toe and connect-the-dots, and kids, young and old, colored it with gusto. OMG, thanks for that wild, wonderful three-day feast! And for the put-my-feet-up quiet now.
Welcome to my annual appreciation-of-the-odd list.
Wait. Isn’t gratitude against the law during an election year?
Before I dine, I’ll lose the whine and savor what’s extra-fine. Join me, if you’re so inclined.
- First, I’m thankful the election is over. Enough said.
- I’m thankful for my Pressure Peach, a squishy, foam rubber peach with a perfect blush. My sister, a weird, wonderful pastor who lives near Atlanta, hoped its therapy would keep me out of jail. Whenever I feel like punting my computer (or a few people I know), squeezing my Pressure Peach restores sanity and makes everything go just … peachy.
- I thank God for blue jeans that “go” with 1970s T-shirts, button-downs and blazers, sequins or satins. Accessorized with jungle flip-flops or jeweled high heels, jeans go everywhere with everybody. Stains customize their charm. Rips qualify them for designer status. Baggy, saggy or raggy, fitted or faded, yanked from dryer (or laundry hamper in an emergency), jeans are this girl’s best friend.
- I thank God pens, pencils and paper are still legal. I appreciate computers, especially since my handwriting rivals my two-year-old grandson’s. But my fingers still itch when I spy a freshly sharpened pencil, smell a new notebook, or watch ink flow like dark cream across fresh, untouched paper.
- I’m thankful gas prices dropped. Sigh. Now they’ll rise a dollar a gallon because I said it. Or because it’s Wednesday. Or because Obama ate anchovy pizza. Still, I’m thankful.
- I appreciate street lights. They remind me of Thanksgiving cooks — unnoticed until they take time off.
- I’m thankful for my naked coffee table. No one-of-a-kind knickknacks mar its surface — precious evidence of sticky little grandkid fingers.
- I’m thankful for my mantel clock, all crystal and gold balls that dance in an infinite circle. It keeps lousy time, despite fresh batteries. But my husband gave it to me one Christmas with a note that said his love for me was timeless. So I don’t mind being late to appointments.
- I’m grateful God didn’t outsource tree creation to me. I would have gotten the fall colors all wrong. I would have used Super-Glue to bind trunk, limbs and twigs in awkward lumps and would have forgotten roots. Winter breezes would have sent trees rolling like giant tumbleweeds, resulting in interesting insurance claims. God, however, engineers elaborate systems to anchor and nurture trees. With an artist’s eye, He arranges bare, elegant, black branches like lines of poetry.
- I’m doubly thankful God also welcomes the challenge of caring for me and other higher(?) species. Especially during this election year.
What weird things make your odd-Thanksgiving list?
O my God, thank You for a wonderful holiday weekend. Giggling with a grandbaby. Playing “pretend” with closet doors. Bowling instead of working. Snarfing food as if I were a skinny 9-year-old, too. Now, today, I’m supposed to be a grown-up again? OMG, seriously?
Like millions of Americans, I give thanks to God during this season for His over-the-top gifts: my family, my country and whipped cream garnished with pumpkin pie. Sometimes I pinch myself (not too hard) to see if I’m dreaming.
God’s lavishness shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus, who stretched a boy’s lunchbox meal to fill a hungry crowd of 5,000-plus, wasn’t satisfied to provide enough. He served such a feast that his disciples filled 12 baskets with leftovers.
I, too, am stuffed with good things from His hands. I gather blessing fragments, odd little bits and pieces of gratitude, into my blessing basket to share with you. And, since gratitude has no expiration date, never loses its flavor and contains no carbs, I’ll munch on them throughout the holiday season. Here, in no particular order, are 10 weird things for which I’m thankful this year:
- Weather.com. If this indispensable website were not available, I might have to look outside.
- My tin measuring teaspoons. They bring back childhood memories of baking with my mother.
- Our neighbors’ Christmas decorations. When my grandchildren arrive, they will enjoy Christmas wonderland without our stringing one light. Nor will we have to haul the little ones to a light display, enduring multiple coat-hat-mittens-potty-before-we-leave-then-buckle-into-car-seat drills. Thank you, neighbors!
- All octogenarians. Along with nonagenarians and centenarians. They make me feel young.
- Newspapers and magazines. I love the feel, smell and shine of paper, the rustle of turning pages. Will future generations miss the sensation of snuggling up by a fire to read a good book without a power button?
- Our umbrella stand. We keep umbrellas handy for November Noah days. Unless we left them in the car. Or at work. At church. Or in Hawaii.
- Our household financial system. I, the math-impaired, write checks, and Hubby balances. Instant excitement in a marriage.
- Wearing jeans on Thanksgiving. I am not cursed with a hundred layers of petticoats. No smothery long, black dress. No white, starched Pilgrim collars at our house. Just tons of faith, food, fun, and naps in front of TV football.
- My children’s name choices for their progeny. No Draco or Gaga. At least, not yet.
- Servers. An Emmy to those who fake shock when I claim the senior discount.
- Breath mints. The rest of my world is thankful, too.
Ten weird little blessings, and I’m just getting started. Like Jesus’ disciples, I might fill 12 baskets before I’m done.
What weird little blessings fill you with gratitude?