Mom, Mom, Mom #10

To be published in the Thanksgiving issue, November 23rd issue.

Random Thoughts of Thankfulness

I thought I would steer clear of the traditional Thanksgiving column this time around, but it is difficult when your column falls right on The Day. Why are we thankful on only one day? It is just a day, a Thursday in November when there is too much food and too much football and never enough March of the Wooden Soldiers. But, it is difficult to be thankful every day, so I am grateful to the federal government for imposing on us a day to remember to be thankful.

I usually steer clear of traditional holiday stuff, much to my children’s dismay. We never do the same thing twice from year to year. One year, I tried to have The No-Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner. There were mutinous grumblings and many very unhappy children, family and guests.

The experts say this is not the right way to do things, that we all need ritual and tradition. I never liked the rituals and traditions of my family growing up (except for the watching of the old Laurel and Hardy classic, March of the Wooden Soldiers.) I just seem to remember too many bloated expectations deflated annually throughout the holiday season. So my tradition is to switch it up from year to year. The best is when you do something that inspires you say at the time, “We should make this an annual event,” but never do. The joy of the original remains etched in glorious memory.

I am thankful this year, really, I mean it, I am. And, it’s good to be grateful for so many things. Here are a few of my random thoughts of thankfulness for this year. Next year, it will be different. That’s if I write a list at all.

l We were invited to a couple of Thanksgiving dinners. When you leave things to chance each year, you don’t always have a place to go. Having The Dinner on your own isn’t always fun and I don’t like to self-invite. Thanks for having us over.
l My kids came home with excellent report cards last week. That means they have working brains. They each have the right number of arms and legs and teeth and senses and they can laugh and smile and cry and talk back. Okay, I am pushing it a bit with the talking back, but that makes them thinking humans who question authority, right?
l I have brothers and sisters and aunts and nieces and nephews and family.
l I have friends all over the world.
l I only had to turn my heat on twice so far this year.
l I started running again. An old friend sent me an iPod Shuffle—mailed it to me from Utah in an envelope for 63 cents—and I am very happy about having music to drown out the heavy clomping of my feet on the ground.
l There is a lot of traffic wherever I go. That means there is a lot of business and work. Have you tried to park your car near Park Street lately? Three years ago, there was no traffic; I could drive to my very few client meetings in record time. (“Alameda to Mountain View in less than 30 minutes? That’s amazing!”) We ate a lot of Kraft macaroni and cheese back then and not because we wanted to.
l My Dad made it through another birthday—“Don’t hate your birthday! The more you have the longer you live,” he always says.
l I made it through another birthday and told everyone that I was much, much older than I really am. “Wow! You look fabulous for your age!” they all replied.
l There is a new Walgreen’s at the newly improved Alameda Towne Center and soon-to-be (all rumors) other interesting retail outlets. Last year, the Big, New Safeway was the talk all over town. In the next few months, I look forward to talk of other stores.
l Like another Starbuck’s over at the soon-to-be-finished shopping center on Blanding.
l It will never snow in Alameda.
l Little things still can make me happy.

Thanks for reading.
Go make your own list. And, try to watch March of the Wooden Soldiers—just this once.

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