Thanksgiving – the purest of holidays, and my personal favorite for it is a day devoted to food, family, friends and gratitude.  It is a day too that reminds me of just how much I have in life – my family and friends, my health, my job, the release of my first book.  I am lucky beyond words, and reflecting that, my list of thanks is endless. 

I am thankful for a warm and loving family and supportive friends, for it is that base that allows me to be who I am.  I am appreciative, too for my home, and even for the endless stream of leaves that blanket my yard despite my perpetual attempts at raking them up.  I am grateful to be stuck in the heavy morning traffic because it means I am lucky enough to be one of those job-holders with someplace to go.  I am grateful for the electricity and running water in my house since there are so many around the world who have neither, and I am thankful for my washing machine because I know the misery of bending into an icy stream in some faraway place to do my wash.  I am grateful too for my noisy furnace since with every groan, I know it’s working to keep me warm.  And I am grateful for my fireplace which offers a nostalgic and magic kind of warm.  I am especially thankful for the plates of food that I will share on Thanksgiving and I am even more delighted with the laughter and love that will surround this meal.

And last, but not least, I am grateful for the unwavering sacrifices of every U.S. soldier – whether active duty or reserve, including my brother, Jim.  Without them, we might not be celebrating this holiday at all.

I am grateful for every single thing that has ever come my way, and I expect that I’ll be expressing my own private gratitude every day of my life.  But, on this Thanksgiving, when I eat a little too much, I will remember to pause and ask that people everywhere, especially those in the world’s hard-scrabble spots, will be as blessed as I have been.