Not just because I'm a shameless foodie and it's the biggest food holiday of the year, but also because I simply love the concept of the day: to reflect on what we're grateful for and the good in our lives. We would do well to remember that every day, of course, but it's nice that someone somewhere some time thought it would be a good idea to set aside a special day just for that.
Here, in no particular order is what comes to mind when I think of what I truly value.
1. My husband--Yeah, I'm jumping the gun here, because we won't be able to make it legal here in Washington until December 9 (just a few days away, really), but Bruce has grown to be everything I would ever want in a life partner. I love that he's by my side to share all the joys and sorrows of life and the knowledge that I can rely on him for that. Not only is he my best friend, he's my family too. My heart still lights up every day when he comes home from work--even after over a decade together.
2. My sons--One is by blood and one is by law, but the two young men who live as a married couple in Montreal give me some of the most profound, abiding joy a father can experience. I hate that they are so far away in terms of distance, but they are always close in my hearts and thoughts.
3. My ex-wife and mother of my son--Ellen will always be the woman I love most and, even though what we had didn't work out, she will always occupy a place of honor in my heart.
4. My family of origin--My sisters and all the nieces and nephews back in Ohio have what no one else can claim: that crazy mix of genetics that make us who we are. For better or worse, we're each other's--always.
5. My family by marriage--Bruce's family has welcomed me with open arms and have truly made me feel one of their own. How cool is that?
6. My Mom and Dad--They may both be gone now, but I know they are not truly so. They will always be with me in my heart and memories and I am grateful that, again for better or worse, they made me who I am today.
7. My dog--Lily the Boston terrier has brought joy, frustration, laughter, contentment, and loyalty into our lives for the last nine years. She is truly family and she has to be given credit for the absolute excitement she displays every time I come home, whether I've been gone five minutes or five days.
8. My friends--I won't name anyone, because I would invariably forget someone, but my closest friends (who know who they are) go beyond that appellation. You are family to me and that's says everything.
9. My readers--You are who I am up for every morning at four, pouring out the endless stories that dwell in my heart and soul. You feed my passion and for that, I am truly grateful.
10. My publishers--Thank you for having the graciousness to take on my work and packaging it for the world to see. I couldn't do it without your partnership.
11. My home--I am a true cancer and home means a lot to me. I'm happy I've landed in a comfortable nest near the water that we crabs need to have.
12. My health--I've had a few scares the past few years and I am grateful that I still have the ability and energy to enjoy all of the above.