Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank You

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it's genuine, and because it doesn't really ask all that much of those celebrating it. No obnoxious lights and ornaments to hang, the universe has spared us Thanksgiving Carolers, people aren't banging at our doors dressed as pilgrims or Indians, or, God forbid, headless turkeys. Our animals aren't startled by the continuous explosion of a million snapping cornucopia crackers or the bright burst of pumpkin-scented bottle rockets. Thanksgiving has remained pure, if only because the retailers use it as the jumping off point for the exploitation of the rest of the holiday season. Its message is not one of consumerism, but rather a quiet time to come together, be it with the family you were born into or the family you've created on your own, and to acknowledge the the blessings of your life.

With that in mind, here are some of the things for which I am grateful (in no particular order, of course)
  • The sound of Elijah singing or Jonah cooing while I talk on the phone with their mother.
  • The warm bodies and soft weight of Winnie, Pip and Olive, who curl up on my hip, against my chest, on the pillow near my head each night while I sleep.
  • The speckled color of cinnamon and allspice added to pumpkin, whipped together and poured into a pie crust
  • The sound of a new book as you crack it open for the first time
  • The word "skinidinkinaw," which has been used by my family since before I was born. I have no idea what it means, but my grandfather uses it best as an all-purpose curse.
  • Dill bread fresh from the oven with butter melting on top
  • The warm, fresh smell of the bathroom after Ken has showered and shaved.
  • This American Life on NPR
  • The way Ruth calls me, "Sweetie," Kevi calls me, "Curty-Wurty," Casey calls me "Bro" and Jen calls me "Curtle" (which to be fair she got from my father, who called me "Curtle the Turtle," playing off the Dr. Seuss character).
  • Squinting into sunshine reflected off of snow
  • The short, sing-songy melody my mother makes out of the word "hello" when she answers the telephone.
  • Duncan's amazing eyebrows, the loose skin of his cheeks and his puppy paws, which aren't as soft as they once were, but I still love to cradle them in my palm when we cuddle.
  • Talking with Kelly every night on her way home from work, the way she makes me laugh and how old and comfortable our friendship is.
  • Peanut sauce, postcards, Poi Dog Pondering
  • Finding lost things, especially if they're much loved.
  • Having a space to write and voice with which to do it.
  • Kevin, who loves my mother more than I love dreaming.
  • New pens, new journals, and a nice flat place in the sunshine to sprawl out and use them both.
  • Working with Phil Simmons before he died and knowing that even now he's encouraging me to do what I do best.
  • "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone
  • A.A. Milne, who wrote, "And by and by Christopher Robin came to the end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there, looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn't stop."

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