We Americans, we fors and againsts, we have and have nots, we the so-many-of-us, we spend the whole year as neighbors in America, often with little in common, and then comes November, and our apartness is interrupted by that most American of inventions, Thanksgiving, and suddenly we are One, a population uniting and aiming for thankfulness.
It’s such a clean goal. Thankfulness has no yeah-but to it. Everybody wins.
Count ‘Em Up
When you’re counting blessings, and there’s a big jumble up at the top, 10 or 15 things, all good, and not knowing which ones are the 1-2-3, that right there, that’s a nice problem.
I tend to start my list with Being Alive.
I thought of myself as middle aged at 45, but once you cross 50, and now 60, that dog don’t hunt no more. Far better than me have gone to horizontal…and this many decades in, the list of the honorable departed makes me appropriately humble.
Count Your Many Blessings
Like you, I’ve laughed this year, and smiled, had some good hugs, felt sincerity, felt kindness, felt love, and none of it cost a found penny on the parking lot.
I’m thankful for forgiveness. I don’t know how many gallons the tank holds, or how to refill it, but I’ve used some up over the years, and this year isn’t even over.
I’m thankful for aging. Every decade has felt unique, as if I remain, but cannot remain the same. So far, every decade is better than the last. Lottery money wouldn’t buy me going back.
Count me thankful, that I’m neither rich nor poor. At my lowest, I still had more than a billion of the planet’s population. When I’ve been flush it hasn’t ruined me, ‘cause money does tend to do that.
I appreciate to-do lists. I’m thankful for reasons to get up in the morning. I’m thankful that I’ve done some good in my life, and equally thankful that I still have unfinished business.
I’m thankful for this year. The winter was cold, but not by Yankee standards. Spring was early, and the azaleas were dressed for prom when most of America still had freeze warnings. Summer was summer again, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to face it like my Louisiana ancestors did, without air conditioning. We don’t have much of a fall here, but if you’re counting blessings, put down “No Hurricanes”, and don’t pronounce that timidly.
Politics were politics, and people were people, but America rolls on, and we are that lucky few, among all the population of earth, called citizens of the USA.
I’m thankful for tender memories. I’m thankful for little moments. Some of those little moments are going to visit me again, as tender memories.
I’m thankful for the optimism of wedding smiles, and the sincerity of funeral hugs.
I’ve never been hungry this year. I was sad a few times, but it passed, and right off hand, I can’t remember what it was about. I’ve missed some moments, but I’ve had my share. I’ve done the right thing, mostly. I’ve even done it when nobody would know…though I do sometimes picture my father nodding his approval.
I carry a $20 bill behind my driver’s license. Just in case. I’m thankful that it’s the same $20 I’ve had for years.
I appreciate my health. My belt is bigger, the floor is farther away, had a bad tooth, allergies get me a little, but on the whole, put me down for thankful.
Some people love me, some people like me, and some just put up with me, and I appreciate them all.
I’m thankful for those of you who read these Bedtime Stories, and especially those of you who are nice enough to thank the cook for the meal. I’m working towards getting the best ones compiled into book form, in time for Christmas. I’d be honored, and thankful, if you thought about getting some for gifts.
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This edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories is brought to you by Eighty-one, where we think thankfulness is a nice thing to be full of…
Uncle P can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other Bedtime Stories can be found on the Eighty-one Facebook page.