Small Blessings (a listicle)


Two weeks past Thanksgiving, I’m still feeling thankful. Yes, I’m thankful that the larger parts of my life are going well, and no, I’m not happy about the events in my newsfeed. But the little things in life have been catching may attention lately, small blessings that can make my day, in the same way that frustrations can ruin it.

I’m thankful when the sun comes out after days of gray.

I’m thankful that living in the country means I don’t have to rake leaves.

I’m thankful that my little Prius still runs well, for the simple reason that it’s the only car that I’ve ever loved and I want to continue driving it.

I’m thankful that my commute is ten minutes long. (Jealous?)

I’m thankful for a keyboard that had power to run for two years and especially for the friend that lent me her charger as soon as I questioned, “How do I charge this thing?” Because after two years, I had forgotten what that black cable was for and who knows where I put it.

I’m thankful for canceled meetings, like gifts of time opening in my day.

I’m thankful to be vigorous and active, though getting up off the floor isn’t as quick as it used to be. (Do you sit on the floor? I find myself there often, not just working with students, but playing with the dog, getting things off low shelves, and looking under the bed to find my missing sock.)

I’m thankful that I work with children, because with kids there is always hope for the future.

I’m thankful for peanut butter, especially the crunchy kind. (If you’re allergic, that’s unfortunate. I’ll eat it somewhere else.)

I’m thankful for openings at the doctor’s office when I need to get in and a good stick when I give blood.

I’m thankful for a cup of hot tea on a cold day and for chocolate, because who wouldn’t be?

I’m thankful not only for my wonderful daughters, but that their chosen fields make them great sources of information for me. My life is richer and better informed for knowing them.

I’m thankful that my friends still want to see me after we’ve had busy months away from each other. (That seems to be a condition of my friendship. You have to wait to see me and then pick up exactly where we left off.)

I’m thankful for new adventures, even if they are only online ones, and for the new people I am meeting through writing. (You can never have too many friends.)

I’m thankful for those who read my blog and come back to read more. I’m especially thankful to the ones who stop to chat, offer words of encouragement, yes, but also just share their thoughts and experiences. It continually amazes me that my words reach people around the world.

I am thankful that I come home to a wagging dog and to eat a warm dinner that I didn’t cook. I’m thankful that I have a comfy spot on the couch and can spend time with my husband as I end my evening. Then to bed, where I’ll be grateful to sleep.



Almost four hundred years ago, the Pilgrims established a colony on land that was only vacant because Europeans brought in diseases that the native people were unable to survive. The Pilgrims too might have succumbed due to their own ignorance and ineptitude in this new world if not for the aid of the Wampanoag people.  Because of a romanticized notion of the harvest celebration that followed, today Americans set aside the fourth Thursday of November to gather with family and friends and binge eat, sometimes also overindulging in drinks and football.

While I despise the ignorance and arrogance that got us here, I appreciate a day dedicated to appreciation. I’m thankful for a holiday whose focus is bringing people together in gratitude, as well as focusing on another of my favorite things: food.

As cooking rolls along Thanksgiving Day, the  Aromatic scent of turkey will creep out of the kitchen and roll through the house. Baking bread will send a side order of scent. Cranberry sauce made from fresh cranberries will savor its tang until served. Vegetables will simmer on the stove, while sweet potatoes, baked earlier, will reheat in the microwave. Dressing and mashed potatoes will arrive with people to eat them. Pies will rest to the side, waiting to be the finale to a fine meal.

At the table, smiles will be exchanged while dishes and laughter are passed from hand to hand. My dog will beg, then park herself at the feet of the one who slips her the biggest pieces of Thanksgiving goodness. We may need a break before dessert, loosening our belts and regretting the seconds or thirds we served ourselves. Stories will be told, armchair quarterbacks will be on duty, and recipes will be exchanged. Finally we’ll all stand at the door with goodbyes, hugs, and packages of leftovers.

Wishing you all many reasons to be thankful, an abundance of good food and the company of those you love most.