December 25th is the day we've devoted to the giving of gifts. The fourth Thursday of November is a day we devote to the giving of thanks. Oh, sure, we stuff our stomachs with good food and watch a lot of football, but in between dinner, dessert and the fourth quarter, we hang out with family and friends and find time to be grateful for the good things in our lives.
I'm having dinner with my friends Emily and Mike and over 20 people I might or might not have met before. Em and Mike live at a Bahia Honda State Park and are preparing the holiday meal for the park's volunteers and staff. I think that's a lovely thing to do and am grateful to be part of the gathering.
Em and I also work together. Count this as something else on my gratitude list -- that every day I get to work with people I really like and admire. We share not only a commitment to a mission, but get to be friends while doing so. Bonus!
Speaking of friends, I've made several new ones over the last year or so. A dog park brought us together. We've planned, organized, and put on events together and since May have raised over $24,000.00! We set out to build a park and in so doing built friendships. Cora, Drew, Maye, Lori, Rick, Robin, Michelle, Jo, Dave, Jane . . . the list goes on and I'll never be able to include everybody but I say thanks for each and every one of you! I am grateful every time I think of the many things you've done, the hours you've worked and the successes we've enjoyed.
Cora and Drew also gave me the nudge I needed to look for a boat of my own, and then helped me find one. Once found, you also helped me bring it home, are helping me increase my skills, and patiently answer every question, including the ones that must seem dumb.
Is it silly to be grateful for a boat? Maybe to some. For me, it fits so well with my thankfulness that I live in a beautiful place like the Florida Keys. Being on the water makes me very happy and happiness is always a reason to give thanks.
If you thought the boat thanks were silly, wait for the next thing on my list. Facebook. Yes, Facebook, because it brought me back in touch with long-lost friends. Some from high school; some from my college years. We're spread out all over the country but connected again on one dot com.
Family and friends don't feel so far away when you can get glimpses into each other's lives so easily. I'm grateful for that, as I am for the times that I do get to see them in person.
What else am I thankful for? Well, for one thing, I'm glad that I know when I'm on the verge of going overboard with a blog post. I don't need to list every single thing here, particularly when I carry them all in my heart. All the time.
Thanksgiving might be a single day. Giving thanks goes on all year.
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