I'm sitting on my couch, in my warm apartment. My NaNo novel is in front of me, with only 10,000 words to go until I win (and a lot more writing and revision until it is complete). My chicken and vegetables are in the crockpot, getting ready to give our little family a few days' worth of meals. And I have a stack of homework waiting for me to finish out the semester in the other room, that I'm planning to work on as soon as I finish watching the parade.
And speaking of the parade, I still love it as much as I ever have done. Just about every act brings tears to my eyes, whether of amusement, nostalgia, or just plain gratitude. (And the St. Jude's Hospital advert actually had tears running down my face.) I spent years watching the parade with my family on Thanksgiving morning.
On this Thanksgiving day, my family is scattered across the country: My grandma is in California, with my mum's older brother and his family. My parents are driving back to Indiana from West Virginia (and I hope to goodness they are driving carefully), where they spent yesterday at a funeral. As is the wont of funerals, they turn into family reunions, and I'm so happy for my mum that she got to spend some time with family she doesn't often see, even though it was under sad circumstances. (Mostly sad; I'm sorry to lose my great-aunt, but she's been ill for years and it was time for her to go to her reward. And I know that she is spending Thanksgiving with my Grandpa and the rest of the family who have gone before and are watching over us.)
And that would be the cue for my cousin Deb to start crying. :) If it helps, Deb, I started crying while writing it.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fam is in Greenfield. I've no idea what most of them are doing, but I hear my brother is in charge of the turkey, in Grandma and Mum's absence. (Not to worry; he's fabulously good at cooking.) I asked Denise yesterday what she's doing, since she has Grandma's house to herself today, and she said she's going to Billy & Jennie's. And I am extra grateful for my sister-in-law, who has blessed my brother's life and been a much better sister to Denise that I've ever been.
My other Grandma, the rest of my cousins, my aunts and uncles-- they are all celebrating today, too. And I'm counting on Facebook to let me know what they are up to.
My list of blessings is so long. I'm glad that I was inspired, back in September, to start keeping a list in the sidebar of daily things I am grateful for. So today, I've posted the entire list for my own-- and yours, if you'd care to read it-- reminder of how blessed I am, and how much I have to be grateful for, from the mundane and almost-silly to the extraordinary.
I hope I never forget that most of the world isn't as blessed as I am. And in the words of Notting Hill, I don't have to go anywhere near that far: Many of my neighbours aren't as blessed as I am, either. And just as a reminder, I suppose, right as I'm typing this Jimmy Fallon is singing "Do They Know It's Christmas" in the Macy's parade. Another one that brings me to tears every time. (The song, that is, not Jimmy Fallon's singing.)
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US. It's a day we need, honestly, to remind us of all we have; that's so easy to forget, I'm afraid. But it isn't enough to only be thankful one day of the year. So my encouragement for myself (and you, and yours) today is that we'll keep the thankfulness going.