Thankfulness in 2021

Cayuga Lake

Once again the time has come to take stock, however briefly, of how thankful we are in our lives. I see that a number of large retailers who in recent years have been opening their doors for business at some point on Thanksgiving Day are actually remaining closed this time around. I like to think this is because of a realization that maybe allowing capitalism’s relentless push into one of our few holidays a year devoted to stepping back from the pursuit of Profit and Stuff (and don’t get me wrong! I love stuff! Y’all have seen pictures of my library, right?) was a bridge we shouldn’t cross, but let’s be honest here: I suspect this year’s “Let’s stay closed” brigade is more a function of tight labor and lingering supply chain issues and COVID insecurity in a country that simply won’t get to ninety percent of the population vaccinated. Still, I’ll take it. Maybe we can’t stop capitalism, but it’s a good idea to trip it up, once in a while.

As for other things I’m thankful for? Well, like everybody else, we’ve had a year of ups, downs, twists, and turns. I know we’re not alone on that score, absolutely. But we’re still here, still living, with things on the horizon that we’re greatly looking forward to (an upcoming trip has us very excited), alongside other things that we eye with trepidation (future developments for American democracy don’t seem encouraging).

So anyway, yes, I’m thankful for many things. The dogs, the cats, our house. My car, my job, my phone (yes, I love my phone!). Warm blankets and the rocking chair in my library. The fact that I have my own library. A decent kitchen with tools I know how to use. My job, also with tools I know how to use. Local parks, the public library, our favorite bakery, our favorite Chinese food joint, our favorite barbecue joint, our favorite deli. Hiking trails through the forests. Lakes: the Greats, the Fingers, and everything in between. Roads: particularly US 20A. Sirius XM radio in the car, and music services that have more hours of music available than I could hear in a dozen lifetimes. Mornings like this one: my coffee at the kitchen table, with my laptop, with only the ticking of the two clocks down here. Good movies, and not-so-good ones, too. Old cookbooks and new. British comfort teevee: The Great British Baking Show and The Repair Shop. A collection of glassware, assembled one piece at a time, because a kitchen full of matching items is kind of stodgy. Talented friends whose victories I can cheer, and smart ones in whose brilliance I can bask. Every book I’ve loved and quite a few of the ones I didn’t, because even they had things to teach me. Renaissance shirts, flannel shirts, overalls vintage and new. Blue denim overalls, Hickory striped overalls, herringbone and brown duck and black canvas overalls. ALL the overalls! The occasional pie in my face, and the friends who laughingly shove or smash them there. Friends online and offline and both. The characters in my books: Oh how they surprise me! The Daughter and The Wife, both of whom should be getting up soon, I would think.

And with that, I’ll wrap this up. I think The Dee-oh-gee is begging the next door neighbors for a cookie, and I need to get him in. He’s thankful, too.

Inside view of The Dee-oh-gee, begging for a cookie from the neighbors’ house. It’s OK, the neighbors are my parents.

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