At both early Thanksgiving meals we have been a part of, with more to come this week, those at the party shared their particular thanks with the group.
|Our No. 1 item on this year's list of thanks:|
two-month-old grandson Eli Smith
On to what I think are more pleasant thoughts. Here are my 30 days worth of thanks in one quick read ...
1. Start with Bea's thought at the early Shaw Family Thanksgiving meal a week ago deep in the woods of central Texas: Thanks for our beautiful two-month grandson, Eli Smith.
2. Here's what I added to that: Thanks for Eli and the other three grandchildren -- Josie, Jacob and Kaden.
Those are easy; those are our greatest blessings. But we should extend it. So ...
3, Thanks for our kids and our in-law kids -- all smart, talented and motivated. We cherish them.
4. Thanks for extended family, the longtime ties, spread from Texas to Louisiana to Georgia, Florida, Oregon and New Jersey -- the Shaws, the Chastains, the Woodards, the Wellens, the Brunos.
5. Thanks for our lives in Fort Worth, the best place of the eight to 10 either Bea or I or both of us have lived, and that includes some places we enjoyed a great deal. But Fort Worth feels like home.
6. Thanks for our grocery stores -- and with some exceptions -- our Monday-morning shopping routine. We do eat well, and try to eat smart. But ...
7. Thanks for chocolate. Hard to resist, but we do try to indulge in moderation and we've turned to dark chocolate, which we've read is better than milk chocolate.
8. Thanks for fruit. We like all sorts; the variety is a healthy plus.
9. Thanks for the exercise routines, which are intended to offset those occasions when we do eat too much or not healthy enough.
10. Thanks for the freedom we have to make trips we want whenever we want to or need to, and for the means to do so.
11. Thanks for the social media outlets we've learned to use. We don't post as often on Facebook and/or Twitter as many people, but we like most (but not all) of what we see there.
12. In the social-media realm, thanks for Bea's I-Pad, especially the Facetime app, which allows us to talk face-to-face with Rachel, Josie and Eli.
13. Thanks for the policemen, firemen and military personnel who serve our cities, towns and country. Tough jobs, lots of danger, lots of scrutiny. We should not take these people for granted.
14. Thanks for YouTube, which -- with its thousands of videos -- can keep me entertained for hours with music, Johnny Carson clips and sports highlights.
15. Thanks for books (the print kind and audio versions) and magazines. Reading remains one of our favorite hobbies.
16. Related to the books, thanks for the Fort Worth Library, which is where we also find the jazz concert series and the First Sunday classic movies.
16. Thanks for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra's pops concert series. Great entertainment at a venue we love, Bass Hall in downtown.
17. Thanks for the sports teams I love to follow. Watching the games can be exhilarating or agonizing, but there's few things that I would rather do. It's been that way for, oh, 60 years.
18. Thanks that my TV does not carry live NFL games. Can't do it any more. I can handle the recorded Cowboys games; I'm a lot more relaxed that way (even when I don't know the result). Don't care enough about the rest of the league.
19. Thanks for baseball, the sport I love most. Soccer (voetbal in Holland) was my first love, and I always enjoyed basketball and football, but it's baseball that I still find most interesting. Wish they'd play faster, but I love the strategy and the player transactions. However, my nephew will tell you that I am not into sabermetrics.
20. Thanks (again) for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, whose class and character will have Yankees fans headed for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2019 and 2020.
21. Thanks for newspapers, diminished as they might be. They're still keeping some of my friends employed.
22. Thanks for photos, especially the digital kind, which are easier to manage than the hundreds of photos we have in albums and envelopes in one of our cabinets.
23. Thanks for some of the smart people we see on television -- Charlie Rose, David Brooks, Bill Moyers, the whole crew on the PBS NewsHour, and locally on KERA, Lee Cullum.
24. Thanks for the late, great funniest people I can remember -- George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Carnac the Magnificent.
25. Thanks for Dancing With The Stars, which has been one of our favorite shows for eight years. That might surprise you, but I think it's an entertaining and creative show. Very happy that Alfonso Ribeiro Jr. (and "The Carlton") won the Season 19 championship -- as I predicted after the first week of the season -- but he had to beat one of the strongest group of finalists in the show's history.
26. Thanks for our politicians because ... ah, never mind. Seriously, there are so many with good intentions, with compassion, with good ideas. We need them to lead with less conflict ... is that even possible?
27. Thanks for our friends, especially the close ones we've had for decades with Louisiana ties. But also many more from Louisiana, the ones in Holland and Florida, Hawaii, Tennessee and most recently Texas, and also the additions on Facebook, including voices and faces from the past.
28. Thanks for this country. Yes, we have a lot of diversity and a lot of diverse viewpoints and contentiousness, but it's still the greatest place to be. Much as I love The Netherlands, I prefer to live here ... and, well, the most important people in my life (see items 1-2-3-4) are here.
29. Thanks for Beatrice, who knows me so well and adds wisdom and clarity -- and so many other things -- to our family as a wife, mother, aunt and Granny.
30. Thank God for our lives. Might be difficult times, but life also is a beautiful thing.
Happy Thanksgiving. (And for my old friends in Shreveport, what time does the Byrd-Fair Park game kick off Thursday at State Fair Stadium?)