Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Readers! I hope you’re all having a pleasant sufficiency of delicious nibblies and festive, fizzy beverages! This is a busy week for everyone, so today I’m offering a post from last Thanksgiving, but updated for 2017. Last year, for instance, I was thankful that Meyer, our lemon tree, had produced a record-setting 18 lemons, which we enjoyed using over the holidays. Within 2 months of that writing, a severe cold snap blew through and, despite Glen’s efforts to keep him wrapped in a blanket, Meyer’s arms froze and had to be amputated. His condition is improving, but we might have to change his name to Stumpy. No homegrown lemons to be thankful for this year, then. I guess I’ll just have to remember last year’s crop with gratitude.
In spite of our lack of lemons, I offer this list in a renewed spirit of thankfulness and counting one’s blessings. It’s impossible to note everything I’m grateful for, so the list is as short as Meyer’s arms. And it’s not the enormous things, either. It’s not about beloved family, friends, animal companions, or health. I know that’s what we tend to focus on at this time of year, but if we have the self-awareness God gave a yam, we already know the big things to be grateful for. These are much less important things, noted completely at random. Things that tickle me, or that I think of with fondness. Small gratitudes that make me thankful out of all proportion to their modest size:
• For Costco, where I can buy all the holiday treats our hearts desire (and please, could you hurry up and build that new store you've been promising?). Délice de Bourgogne, that soft-ripened, triple-cream, heavenly cheese . . . Fresh persimmons . . . Prime rib roast . . . Costco has these delights and many more, plus the perfect tipples to enjoy them with.
• That eating turkey at Thanksgiving is not mandated by law. Prime rib, anyone?
• For Julia Child’s prime rib recipe from Julia Child & Company
• For autumn, which may take forever to get to Central Texas, but I’d rather wait for those few cooler days here than live inside the Arctic Circle
• That the autumn sky is filled with huge numbers of migrating birds. In the past few weeks I’ve seen American White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes, Roseate Spoonbills and several different species of ducks—hundreds and hundreds of ducks. Here’s an inadequate photo of the pelicans, which were very high up:
• And speaking of ducks, that the great Carl Barks drew and scripted the finest Scrooge McDuck comics in history (illustrated weird fiction, if you will). Yes, I own a Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck boxed set.
• For my Little Lulu comics boxed set too, and I’ll be even more grateful when I unpack it (because it’s still entombed in the garage)
• For rail car art
• For weird eyes that appear in the sky
• For the reruns of Josh Gates’s snarky, intriguing Destination Truth TV series showing on the Travel Channel
• That I can pay most bills by phone, thereby putting them off every month until almost the last minute!
• For the set of Cards Against Humanity (“A party game for horrible people.”) that Katie gave Glen and me for Christmas a few years back, and that we can laugh ourselves silly playing this vile, politically incorrect, hilarious game with her and Wesley in the privacy of our homes, with no one judging us
• For Beard on Bread, James Beard’s book that, so many years ago, first made possible the frequent sight (and alluring, yeasty aroma) of fresh-baked bread in my kitchen. My copy has seen some use:
• That about ten years ago I successfully imitated the Schlotzky’s bun (the recipe for which I’ll reveal in a future blog post), thereby creating the Rookie
• For persimmons slowly ripening in the kitchen. And I mean slowly. They’re the banana slugs of the fruit world.
• That we no longer have to look at the dumpster and portable toilet which, though they played an important part in the forever home construction, were not especially attractive
• That, on the smoker he designed and built himself, Glen makes the best Texas-style brisket and pork ribs I’ve tasted. EVER.
• For the day when Glen will finally move said smoker from his warehouse to our forever home so that we can enjoy his best-ever brisket and spare ribs at least one more time before the zombie apocalypse
• For the extraordinary moths that grace our patio. I still don’t know the name for this one. Anybody?
• For the moment a fish yanks my cork under. Or, failing that, Glen’s cork.
• That the convenience store/gas station closest to our house sells fishing gear and bait
• For the day when Glen will finally move the smoker from his warehouse to our forever home so that we can enjoy—Oh, wait . . . Did I mention this one already? Sorry, just a careless oversight on my part. *ahem*
May we all have a Thanksgiving full of gratitudes, small, medium and large!