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My Favorite Things, Thanksgiving 2005

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Everyday is a good day for gratitude. It’s good for your soul to appreciate the miracles and wonders around us every day.

Thanksgiving, of course, is a prime special day for that. I don’t have any huge special insights, but I want to publicly note a few particular things I have especially appreciated this year. Here then are my ramblings about a few of my favorite things.

First off, I’m thankful for my legs. I spent last Thanksgiving in the hospital with an ugly bacterial infection. It’s a thousand wonders I’ve still got a left leg. I’m glad to have it. I was struggling with this for months even afterwards before I got hooked up with a specialist who got me straightened out. So, I have to send special mad love to Dr Herbert Cushing for his expertise and special diligence.

On a related note, I really dig Bambi, as I have named the world’s coolest walking staff. My godson’s mama bought this for me at a farmer’s market. Thug’s Ma saw this stick with the deer’s antler on the top, and his hoof at the bottom. Knowing how much I even more than ever before love walking the hills, she knew this was for me.

Backing up a step, staff aside I’m grateful for the Thug’s Ma just in general. There’s no soul in this world or the next of more import. She loves me like a rock, and I don’t know where I’d be without her. That boy better appreciate how fortunate he is to have the world’s finest mother.

Our thug himself rates right high on the list. He’s right at three feet tall several months shy of his second birthday. We’re looking at likely over six foot of strapping boy meat by the time we get him grown. He’s beautiful, and way advanced intellectually for his age.

Plus, he’s musically inclined. During some tornado stuff a few days ago, Ma was singing to him as she carried him wet and naked from the bath that he was in when the lights went out. An hour later when things settled down, he’s on the phone to me singing back her little song. Thus I was treated to my 21 month old godson singing Monty Python, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

Praise must be given for my two month old nephew. Master Eli so far seems particularly calm and peaceful, pure and sinless. He’s already a great comfort to my brother, like a reward from God for his patience and perseverance.

Praise must be given if anything even moreso for Eli’s mother. Amidst turmoil and nonsense from crazy folks, she has been a godsend. In these last several years, she’s become a critical anchor in this family. She’s been a particularly crucial rock for my beloved teenage Psycho Niece. My brother kind of likes Lori pretty good too, though they make the niece and me both gag with their lovey-dovey stuff. Yuck!

My children in general rate right on the top of my list of things to be grateful for. I couldn’t begin to list them and do them any justice, but in many unique and individual ways they embody strength and hope and purity. Young Miss Cienna comes to mind. She was born about a week before 9/11, and I don’t have words for the pure joy of getting down on all fours to play “lion” on her fourth birthday.

New to me in that age range, a few days later I was privileged to meet Miss Lilly. Our Dear Leader’s young daughter plays a mean game of “Uh-Uh.” In the range of older children, I was especially charmed by her grandmother Miss Leslie, particularly her unnecessarily earnest explanation of Native American religion.

There are SO many things for which to be grateful, and I could be here all day. However, I need to nap a bit in preparation for eating some of Lori’s cooking.

So then, let me wrap up with some art. Music sustains the soul, and it always rates high on my list of things to be grateful for. Thank God for the White Stripes. Get Behind Me Satan has brought me great rockin’ joy this year, but “Hello Operator” has been right up there as well. On a related note, I’m grateful to share that White Stripes joy with Alisha Karabinus, the Legendary Monkey who helps me plot the overthrow of the government.

I’m only a humble student of George Clinton, but I know enough to give thanks for the late guitarist Eddie Hazel. His work on “Maggot Brain” is some of the most beautiful sadness to ever come out of a guitar. Special praise must also be given to Bootsy Collins. “Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk” has become my personal fall freakout theme on the mp3 player as I walk the Rabbit Holler with Bambi.

With the release of some long out of print classics, June Carter Cash has emerged as a full force in my consciousness. She was just a heck of a presence, an exceptional force of both music and womanhood- two of my very favorite things.

When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad

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  • Happy Thanksgiving, Al, thank you for sharing your quite personal list of gratitude with us. It gave me pause to reflect on things as well this morning.

  • Nancy

    Glad you’ve still got the leg; we’re never grateful for our health until we (sometimes almost) lose it.

  • Connie and Nancy, thank you both.

  • You know, Al, you are just one, big cuddly teddy bear. You may come across as harsh sometimes but underneath that gruff exterior beats a heart the size of Jupiter. You are one cool, dude, Al.

  • Aw shucks Silas. You’re quite the sweet thing yourself.

  • Thanks, Al, for the reminder that it’s a good idea to get up from the computer desk and take a little walk once in awhile.

    (I’m not saying inactivity was the cause of your medical woes, because I don’t have enough data about you to make any such claim. But if I want to keep my own legs, I really need to start using them more. My grandfather was diabetic and excessively sedentary, and as a result lost both of his legs below the knee, a fate I’d not wish on anyone. One of the hazards of aspiring to be a writer is that it’s not a profession that naturally encourages physical fitness.)

    Here’s hoping you’ll continue to have many blessings and the gratitude to take joy in them.