Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful Thursday Thirteen

This being Thanksgiving and Thursday, what better than a Thankful Thursday Thirteen! To make this remotely interesting, please assume I am thankful for all the usual things like my husband, a good job, my health, etc, etc. Of course I'm thankful for that stuff, who wouldn't be? What else am I thankful for? Plenty!

  1. The blue sky. I enjoy good science fiction now and then and have read books that take place on different worlds, worlds where the sky is not blue. I can close my eyes and imagine the sky is purple or red or a color other than blue and while there is novelty in it, I am so thankful the sky is blue. The color couldn't be anymore perfect. And on a clear day in winter when it is a deep near-turqoise color, bright and crisp and sparkling, just looking at it makes me happy.
  2. Public libraries. To me this proves that there is hope for humanity. All libraries could have ended up as private institutions, but they didn't. The fact that there are public libraries where anyone can go and read books, do homework, research the answer to a burning question, and do it for free, amazing.
  3. The seasons. In the San Diego area of California where I grew up there is no true change of seasons. It is only a degree of warmth and it never really gets that cold. Frost is a big deal. To see the change of seasons we always had to go somewhere else, like camping in the mountains. In Minnesota there are seasons. I love how each one looks different, feels different, smells different. By August I am tired of the heat and humidity of summer. By December I am tired of the bare bones of the world and long for a blanket of snow. By February I am tired of bundling up just to take out the trash and long for spring. By May I am ready to stop worrying about the threat of frost on the newly planted garden and long for the warm days of summer that start at 5:00 sunrise and end at 9:30 sunset.
  4. My bicycle. It not only gets me to and from work and saves me the cost of gas from April through October, this year it has gotten beyond that to pleasure rides on the bike trail beneath the leafy canopy of Minnehaha Creek.
  5. Turtles. Is there a creature as funny looking and fascinating and in such variety as the turtle (and tortoise)? I have a red-eared slider turtle who has been my pet for 16 years. I got her when she was the size of a silver dollar and now she is the size of a Nerf football. Her skin is green and white striped. Her eyes are blue. She likes to have her back (shell) scratched. I love to sit and watch the turtles in the lakes and ponds around here sunning themselves on rocks and logs. The way they stretch out their necks and legs to get every bit of sun they can is a reminder of how wonderful just sitting and enjoying the day is.
  6. Trees. I love listening to them talk on a breezy day. Sometimes they sound like running water. Sometimes they sound like whispers. And sometimes they sound like they're having a party.
  7. Chocolate. There are stories of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. Whoever stole chocolate from the gods deserves to be a god in my opinion.
  8. Flannel sheets. One of the best things about winter is crawling into a bed made up with flannel sheets at the end of the day. Warm and soft, burrowing into them to fall asleep has to be one of life's greatest pleasures.
  9. Dancing. Moving the body in joy or sorrow is an amazing and beautiful thing. We offer daycare as part of the services where I work and I am not a kid person so don't often stop in for a visit. But the other day they had a little party and I popped in with a few of my coworkers. There was music playing and the kids, aged nearly two to about four, were dancing. We, the adults, clapped and cheered and before we knew it we were dancing too. I was there for maybe fifteen minutes but I had a smile for the rest of the day.
  10. Traditions and the freedom to create my own. I don't know about you, but traditions in my house are all celebratory. When I was a kid I followed my parents' traditions--the food that was served on holidays and the activities surrounding it. But as an adult, my husband and I have had the pleasure of creating our own traditions. Vegan enchiladas on Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie made from pumpkin that didn't come from a can. Winter Solstice and a special dinner that is never the same thing twice but we always listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons while eating it. You get the idea.
  11. Pencils. Has to be one of the world's best writing and drawing implements. And the things that go along with pencils, pencil sharpeners and those big pink erasers, they all make me happy.
  12. Books. Maybe this belongs in the goes without saying category. But I had to say it anyway.
  13. The internet. Without the internet there wouldn't be blogs. Without blogs I would never have met so many people like you who love books and reading and writing and talking about all that. You know about the TBR pile. I don't have to explain why I'd rather have new books than new clothes even though the knees of my jeans are getting thin and I have a lot of books I've not read yet. Nor do I have to justify a weekend spent "doing nothing" but reading. You all understand. And one of the greatest things in life is to be understood. Thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving!