It’s the Holiday Preamble, a preface to the pudge, a prologue to the pounds. As much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes have big plans but fail to execute, overwhelmed by steps, planning, and most certainly, timing. So that one year when I'd spent days composing a menu fit for kings, that's all there was: intention. Imagination. A mailed menu, my gesture. And somehow it was enough. Enough for me, enough for us all. I don't remember the details of what or where we ate, but I know we were all together. And this Thanksgiving, so many years later, more wrinkles later, a bigger jean size later, a new job later, new friends later, I'm thankful for the memories I'm able to hold, thankful for imagination without limits, and so thankful that I'm able to realize that trying, thought, and intention will always be enough for me.
And so in the spirit of intentions, I’m making it a point to create a list of the things in addition to the giblet gravy, cider-glazed turkey and sticky sweet sin pudding, which make me grateful. Grateful for the things both big and small.
I am grateful for my health, for knowing what my gifts are, for the friendships that feel like family, for my cat's pink belly, for Egyptian cotton.
I'm grateful for a penny found on the ground and the minutes left on the meter.
I am grateful for wrap-around porches with rocking chairs and sweet southern tea.
I'm grateful for yesterday's mistakes before I let them go.
I am grateful for Starbucks toffee nut lattes, the wisdom I've gained from my family and lessons learned the hard way.
I'm grateful for canned tomatoes on a cold winter night and for the bulbs dreaming underground.
I am grateful for the clarity I have about the direction of my life, knowing what my passions are, for lace and clean socks.
I am grateful for my true friends, for always making it okay to feel like sweats and flip flops is a night on the town.
I am grateful for radio stations that play all-day, every-day, Christmas music.
I'm grateful for every part of the pumpkin from its toothy smile to its toasted seeds and for the extra leaf needed in the table.
I am grateful for my education, for grilled cheese sandwiches, and for the courage I have to tell someone how I feel.
I am grateful for the beauty I've found in the most lonesome, frightening places, and for having the self awareness to know when to shut up.
I am grateful for being taught I can do anything I set my mind to and for the tooth that didn't need a filling.
I am grateful for Miracle on 34th Street, for second chances, and for the kind of love that’s there win or lose.
I’m grateful for my ability to communicate, for air conditioning and movie theaters.
I am grateful for lamp-lit snow, and the new friendships I make in yellow summer days.
I am grateful for wine vineyards, the ability to get in my car and drive to a place of whimsy, for free will and for the spatula that flips the egg over easy.
I am grateful for my childhood, for my awkward adolescence, for my now.
I am grateful for my ability to trust my intuition, for the privileges I was born with and that my father made me a soldier.
I am grateful for those who force me to get up and dance in the face of tragedy.
I'm grateful for the taken-for-granted light in the refrigerator and for strangers who smile at me.
I am grateful for barefoot beach barbecues, campfires, bug spray, and old friends who can always pick up where we left off.
I'm grateful for the goose that gives up its down.
I am grateful for the kindness of strangers, for my ability to feel emotions so strongly and for the bravery to forgive.
I am grateful for my ability to laugh in the face of tears, to love openly, and to live with kindness as my motivation.
I am grateful to those who have made room for me in their lives, for pan juices, champagne flutes, and pay checks.
I’m grateful for wrap dresses, pinking shears, and pies cooling on windowsills.
I’m grateful for this day.
Hope you all have a moveable feast and a season of thanks and blessings.