Thanksgiving 2017

This morning the alarm on my phone came to life at its normal 6AM.  My first thought was “oh no, I could have slept in.”  My second thought was “it’s Thanksgiving….. I am thankful!”

As I lay in bed a million thoughts began to flow through my head, thoughts of Thanksgiving and gratitude.

Today as I gather with my family, I am truly thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful that the Lord let my eyes open with that alarm, that I am given another day on this earth.

I am thankful for the 11 lbs of fur resting on my hip, for the almost 10 years that she has been in my life and that every day of those 10 years she still runs to me when I walk in the door, tail wagging and happy to see me.

I am thankful for the creaks and cracks of age in my bones when my feet hit the floor.  A sign of a life well lived and appreciated.

I am thankful that as I grow older I have an appreciation for blessings large and small.

I am thankful for a tight-knit family.  A family that is boisterous, doesn’t take life too seriously, but forms the backbone of my existence and comes together in good times and bad to support and love one another.

I am thankful for a community that supports our elderly and our next generations.

I am thankful to live in a community that understands the importance of standing for the National Anthem, a community where cars pull to the side of the road when a funeral passes and “how’s your mama” is as common a phrase as “may I help you?”

I am thankful for my little cabin in the woods that gives me refuge from the world.  A place where I can diddle and doddle around, make my own, and I am especially thankful for my screened in back porch, where I can watch sunsets through the trees or just sit and enjoy the peace of life.

I am thankful for my brother and sister-in-law.  I am thankful that they allow me the privilege of “parenting” their children and being a secondary grandparent to their beloved Hadley.

I am thankful for my niece and nephew.  I am thankful that they come to me just to talk or for advice and I am thankful that they return the favor when I go to them for the same.

I am OH SO THANKFUL for a two-year old that swells my heart just by running into a room.  I am thankful for her smile, her huge hugs and those sloppy kisses planted firmly on my lips. I am thankful when she tells me she loves me and I am thankful that she has wrapped me so tightly around her little finger.

I am thankful that my niece has a guy in her life who loves her daughter as his own.

I am thankful for my store, for the customers we have and for the opportunities it allows us to be a part of our community.

I am thankful for my team who works so hard to provide quality service and product for our customers and I am thankful that they all have “sick” personalities that enjoy a good joke, can rib me as hard as I rib them and make my days brighter just by being around.

I am thankful for long time friends, from various parts of the world, that I can pick up where we left off the last time we spoke.

I am thankful for my cousin that I haven’t seen in 30 years, who I “speak” with on a daily basis, a cousin who enjoys a  well placed emoji or GIF as much as I do.

I am thankful for the generation of family members who were raised with me, who have grown with me and who now share friendship and family connections and stories.

I am especially thankful for my cousin who is as much of a brother to Sam and I as anyone could be.  I am thankful that he is in our lives and we are able to do life together.

I am thankful for friends who on the surface don’t make sense, but are part of my life and just stop by the store or text to see what’s going on.

I am thankful that I have been able to reconnect with old friends and make new ones since moving back to God’s Country.

I am thankful for those who understand and honor the phrase “judgement has no place here.”

I am thankful to live in a country that doesn’t always honor our fore-fathers, but when it means the most comes together for the greater good.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to gather together with family and friends, I am thankful to be able to do life with these people and I am thankful for the blessings I encounter every day.

I am thankful for more than I could ever express on the screen of this laptop.

I am thankful….. and I am blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may your blessings be bountiful!

 

Life’s Playlist…. Kind and Generous by Natalie Merchant

Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude for the blessings we have, but isn’t it also a time to expand on our kindness and generosity?

Just imagine all the blessings we would have if there was more kindness in the world.

We complain about the shortcomings of the world, imagine the mountains that could be climbed with generosity.

As I give thanks this season,  I also remember those who have given so much to me with their attributes of kindness and generosity, it makes me strive to be a better person.

Life’s Playlist…. The Last Song by Elton John

On this date in 1991, Magic Johnson announced his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers due to his contracting the HIV Virus.

The HIV Virus which is a precursor to AIDS has taken too many of my friends.  I give thanks every day that I am healthy and that the virus never touched me in a personal way.

I have seen the horrors the virus takes on a life and during the 80’s and 90’s too many people suffered.  Thankfully for those affected today, the HIV Virus is no longer a death sentence but a disease that can be managed.

Magic Johnson is a testament to living with the virus and what medications do.

I remember my friends, those gone too soon.

 

Life’s Playlist….. Out Here On My Own by Irene Cara

The words of this song are perfection.

Life’s Playlist…. My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen

There are major issues in our country with solutions that seem to be going nowhere.

Big issues that affect every American are being pushed aside by elected leaders on both side of the political spectrum.   Instead of addressing the major issues that impact our daily lives, wedge issues are being pushed to appeal to their bases.

Here’s an idea, if the President and our Congress are really SERIOUS about issues like healthcare and tax reform I have a sure-fire solution that I guarantee could get majority passage on both issues.

IF I WERE PRESIDENT……

If I were President I would call a join session of Congress, have it televised and as I stepped to the podium my entire speech would be….

My fellow Americans, I stand before you tonight as your President knowing that major issues that affect us all are not being resolved and “We the People” deserve better.

With this being said, tonight I call on Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer to appoint four members from their aisle, and their respective arms of Congress,  to focus on healthcare, another four from each side of the aisle to focus on tax reform.

In 24 hours they are to report to Camp David.  The assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Budget Director will meet them there.

These elected officials and my representatives will not leave Camp David until they have reached consensus on these issues that affect us all.  They will stay at Camp David for as long as it takes.

Once they leave Camp David, I expect your leaders to ensure passage of these bipartisan solutions.  None of us are going to get everything we want in these deals, but it is time we stopped working separately and worked together for the American people.

It is time we, your elected officials, got to work and solved the problems that affect us all.

Thank you, may God bless the United States of America and good night.

And with that I would walk off the stage, end of speech.

My bet is, within 5 days there would be solutions.