First, for all of you who require normalcy, I’ve recorded one everyday reason for thanksgiving: good weather. Here in Indiana, we expect winter, like an obnoxious relative, to blow in during November. Instead, sunshine, moderate temperatures, and glorious fall colors have prevailed. We Hoosiers are suspicious, but grateful.
Now begins the weird list. I am thankful for:
- Tangerine peels whirring in my garbage disposal. The fragrance takes me to holidays past when my dad brought home boxes of tangerines.
- Aisle signs in parking lots. I usually disregard them, but when I do memorize my car’s location and later find it, I experience a major rush.
- Purple hand towels. They defy even grandchildren’s noblest efforts to stain them.
- Piano tuners. My very bones scream when a piano tuner pounds and adjusts my keys. As tuners possess sensitive ears too, I salute their bravery in attacking enemy tones.
- Nearly 340,000,000 Americans who prefer forks and spoons over sporks.
- Television. Inevitably, some lunatic sports figure or pubescent program convinces me I’m actually rather sane.
- Black olives, a time-honored family fetish. Children and grandchildren share my taste for them, though my son-in-law attempted to teach his toddler the little black things were bugs. Grandma’s DNA prevailed!
- Flo, the star of the insurance circuit. If she can wear 1960s eyeliner and blue eye shadow, maybe I will star on TV too!
- Pennies. A fistful still conjures up a vestige of my childhood Richie Rich feeling when I exchanged pennies for a sucker-bubblegum-Pixie Stix feast.
- Hundred-calorie bags of popcorn.
- Big, ugly rubber boots, my best buddies whether mudding through gardens or wading through slop, politely called wintry mix.
- Rear window heaters and wipers.
Finally, I’m thankful for hours in the Atlanta airport, surrounded by 4.72 million other travelers. As I stood in a restroom line, a janitor took charge. When her superhuman ears detected a stall lock’s jiggle, she directed the next woman to it.
Insignificant? No. When 2.36 million women wait in line, two seconds apiece add up. This janitor’s heroics comprised the difference between making our flights and dying of old age in the airport.
Even better: she touched our shoulders and said warmly, “Blessings on you today, honey.”
A little weird.
But sometimes weird blessings are the best.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What weird gratitude comes to your mind?