Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (aside from December 9, which is National Day of Celebration for the Birth of Stacy Feducia – mark your calendars). And on this Thanksgiving morning, I awoke to the sound of raindrops at my window – football weather in the desert – and I realized that I have so much to be thankful for on this grateful day…

I am thankful for wet dogs and single-malt Scotch and rainy Sundays (and Wednesdays and Thursdays). … I am thankful that my parents are game enough to camp out with their grandchildren on Thanksgiving Eve, and light a bonfire in the pasture and remember other Aggie bonfires from other days… I am thankful that my niece and nephew are learning to love the mystery of the night sky and the wonder of the outdoors. … I am thankful for family recipes that civilians don’t understand (and I don’t really understand either, but they work like a charm and taste like home). … I am thankful that my sweet husband is in one piece (sanity notwithstanding) and that he gets so much joy from racing his motorbike, it makes up for the pain of a broken collarbone… and crushed rotator cuff… I am thankful that he’s alive… I am thankful that my Mum-in-law is on the mend from a bypass and valve replacement – she’s returning to her feisty ways and Pop is finally starting to mellow out and see how she runs… I’m thankful that the first thing she wanted to eat was a McDonald’s hamburger and her docs said it was OK, and I’m thankful that Pat and I had the opportunity to bring it to her because they made it home safely – and weren’t stranded in St. Martin’s where all these events transpired… I am thankful that I work for the smartest guys in the room, who also happen to be the most thoughtful and decent and they let us try and fail and succeed with equal enthusiasm… I am thankful for my manager Nancy who has been so gracious these past few weeks while I dealt with the Bertinelli sick bay… and for my fun, funny coworkers Cliff, Lisa, Lisa, Karen and Christine who have been so supportive and kind and who are the five folks I want in my foxhole as we work our way through these dark days… I am thankful to have a job when so many others are searching, and the fact that it’s a great job with terrific people is just lagniappe… I am grateful for the chance to go back to school – as recently as the 1970s, some med schools didn’t even admit women, not that I’ve been admitted yet, but that I have the opportunity to apply… I am thankful that we are witnessing an historic transition of power from one administration to the next, and regardless of how you voted, it is really amazing that we can do this without gunfire or bloodshed – it is a testament to the American Experiment… I am thankful to all our military personnel and veterans who are serving their country – and to the families who are supporting them… Keep your head down and your wits about you… I’m thankful for the good citizens who welcome them home with open arms – like the men and women who bought our friend Tyler drinks in Las Vegas when they heard he was home from Iraq – and I am so grateful that he made it home safely… I am thankful for my friends who are patient and wise and put up with me on dour days – Penny, Kellee, Gina, Kristi, Chris, Stacey M, Cynde, Liz, Kathy, and Toni Clay – and wait for me to come out on the other side smiling and happy again… I am thankful for my sister – that she understands me probably better than anyone, and has forgiven my shortcomings more than anyone ever should… I am thankful for friends who bring food (though not for the pounds it packs on) that said, Tami Simmons makes the BEST… MEATLOAF… EVER… and it was a delight to spend an hour drinking a beer with Rockin’ Bob last Sunday (and eating the ribs he brought afterward)… I’m thankful for muddy singletrack, small pocket pairs that connect on the flop, dark roux, Led Zeppelin, Harris hawks, fresh grapefruit, the Stone Brewing Company, Dave Dinsmore at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Mud Run, Local First – and all the great things that Kimber does that no one ever hears about. I’m thankful for Changing Hands Bookstore, Flo’s coconut soup, John the tire guy at Community Tire (and especially his boss Howard), the stereo on my MINI, Mardi Gras, the rebirth of New Orleans, the random videos that David P sent my Mum in the hospital, the Sunday league, the Ladies (and their husbands) poker league, the piney woods of East Texas (and Northwest Louisiana), old jeans, Pat’s hospital gowns, full puppy bellies, and did I mention rainy Sundays?
I have a lot to be thankful for… In fact, I could write all day long and into tomorrow and still not run out of things to say, but I have a pot of Gene’s garlic cheese grits to stir and Chef Tracy’s spicy cider to make, and so I think I’ll sign off. Happy Thanksgiving… Thank you for reading – and thank you for being my friend.