Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks for the simple pleasures...

HALLIE: Thanksgiving always makes me feel a bit sappy and giving thanks, seriously, for being with people I love -- my sweet husband of 40+ years, my daughters who keep me from taking myself too seriously, my tall handsome son-in-law.

And then there are the simple pleasures. Like the bird bath. We bought it years ago and when it's not freezing cold out, it really is a bird magnet. Sparrows (we once counted 8 of them trying to bathe in at one time), robins, blue jays, cardinals, juncos, and the occasional wren or tufted titmouse, jockey for position lining up in the quince bush beside it. There's a definite pecking order, and birds that will share and birds that won't. Then there's the intrepid squirrel that clings to the edge and tries to get a drink without falling in.

I just whoosh the water out occasionally and refill it, and it's the gift that keeps giving. This last spring I inadvertently let it dry out and there, in the middle of it, I found a tiny blue egg. Some bird, unclear on the concept.

What's your simple pleasure, a blessing to be counted in the run up to Thanksgiving??

RHYS: My simple pleasure is being in Arizona with brilliant blue skies and the sun shining on palm trees and the close involvement with my grandchildren here--driving Mary to ballet class, watching TJ give his report on the bison to his class--even being called in emergency to babysit. It is a blessing to feel part of a family, to belong, to know that at Thanksgiving there will be 14 of us sitting around a table, laughing, teasing,sharing.

JAN: We have a three season room, a porch full of windows overlooking the exposed granite in our back yard, with a wood burning stove that is gas-fired. In these colder months, we only open and heat it only on the weekends, and Saturday and Sunday morning my husband makes the most awesome Lattes. We lounge about drinking lattes and reading the paper -- a REAL PAPER -- not like the weekdays when I read it on my I-PHONE. It's my little piece of heaven and I'm thankful for the view and for having married a wonderful barista.

ROBERTA: Definitely my husband and the rest of my family. I appreciate my hub for pretty much supporting whatever I do and finding my quirks endearing rather than annoying. Though he could do without pets, I'm crazy about my animals so he pitches right in. Even lets our (large) adopted cat sleep right in the middle of us--splayed out like he was a third person only purring, purring, purring...

RO: I love Jan's porch. Newspapers and lattes sound wonderful.

I have very few family members left. This year I'll be making dinner for over a dozen friends - some of whom I've known since grade school. I'm grateful that at every stage of my life I've met 2-3 people who are still there. Who weren't just the people I had lunch with because they had the office around the corner or met at a trade show.

I'm also grateful (cue God Bless America) that I live in the good old USA. Not a xenophobe, but my recent trip reminded me how much harder a lot of people in other countries ha
ve it. Yes, I realize not everyone in the US is as lucky as I am, but that's a topic for another post.

HANK: Yes, I spend half the time on Thanksgiving cooking and the other half crying. it seems to just crystallize how lucky we all are. And somehow--that kids don't realize it, its just another day (with turkey and three kinds of pie) to them, and they won't realize it til they're old like I am.

The fragrance of the turkey when it's cooking, that first sip of wine, champagne toasts, the sliver of the moon, the beautiful flowers on the table, how everyone has grown over the year. I heard my grandson read! By himself!

Yes, we watch the birds, too...and the ducks in the spring. When the first crocuses come up. The first sip of coffee in the morning. When I wake up in the morning and realize everything is okay. Oh, gosh. Better stop now.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Hallie, this column is SO PRETTY! I love it. (Especially the egg. Whoa.)

    Happy Thanskgiving, all...

  2. I'm also thankful for all the leftovers so I don't have to cook for a day or two.