What I’m giving thanks for

It being the season, I thought it most appropriate to enumerate the many things for which I am thankful this year. Unfortunately, Joe Miller is still around, thereby depriving me of the one greatest thing for which I was hoping to give thanks.

But I can at least be grateful that the campaign is over.  I’m grateful I no longer have to be afraid to answer my phone. I have the joy of knowing it will bring nothing more than a telemarketer into my home and not some horrible push poll or even more horrible robo-call from some politician who thinks their support will tilt my vote.

But despite the pain of political campaigns, as a columnist I am very grateful to the almost too easy targets those campaigns present on a weekly basis. Instead of spending my weekend wracking my brain for a relevant topic, during campaign season I just have to look at the front page of the paper and inspiration leaps out at me.

So in an odd way I am grateful for what Joe Miller and Sarah Palin have provided me over the years. Unlike our governor who insists on remaining dignified, thereby taking all the fun out of writing about him, most politicians offer such easy targets nowadays that it almost seems almost sinful to take them on.

Back in the world that really matters, I’m thankful that both my friends who battled breast cancer last year are cruising through this year with hair on their heads and reason to hope in their heart. I am lucky that I not only have these friends, but that they will be with me for a long time to come.

I am very, very grateful that my wonderful friend Greta shares her amazing son Joey with me. No matter how angry and irritable the world makes me, all I have to do is see Joey stamp up and down doing the Happy Feet dance I taught him to have all the cares in the world leave me.  As trite and clichéd as it might be, the smile of a well loved, well behaved and simply charming child can go a long way into putting the rest of life in perspective.

I am immensely grateful that my godchild’s husband came home from his third tour in the Mideast in one piece and is sharing this holiday with his two amazingly handsome young sons. There are too many empty places around too many tables this holiday season because of the ongoing conflict in that region. That my godchild does not have to bear that pain is simply wonderful.

I’m thankful that right now I am holding my own against the myriad moments of ill health that have visited me in my very, very late middle age. While my dogs and I will never be poster children for robust health, we enjoy each day we have together. They get their walks, car rides and multiple treats and I get to hug a warm and loving creature that only occasionally passes gas in response.

This year, I will be celebrating 32 years of wonderful companionship with my Amazon parrot Captain and 28 years with my cockatoo CB. Yes, there is the occasional snarl (me) and bite (Captain) when communications break down, but given the species barrier we must overcome for each interaction, we have a pretty good record… and my vet can stop laughing now. It IS a good relationship given what some of my others have been like.

As always, I’m immensely grateful that I go to Bird TLC each week and get up close and personal with some of the most amazing bird life on this planet. If there is anything that beats watching an eagle that came in prostrate from some illness or injury being released back into the wild thanks in part to the care I was able to provide, I don’t know what it can possibly be.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope all your turkeys are free range and full of tryptophan. I hope every plate at Bean’s Café is full for those less fortunate than I am. And I pray to make it through Thanksgiving without having to cut the elastic waistband in my pants.

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?