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Before I hit the road (Thanksgiving greetings and salutations)

I really do love Thanksgiving. When I was younger, it was about my granny’s giblet gravy, and the pounds of dressing and the awesome sweet potato casserole, all followed by a long nap.

But as I and all of us have gotten older, it’s now more about coming back during one of the few times of the year, spending time with family and reminding one another of how much we mean to each other.

There will be no turkey on this year’s Thanksgiving table. We’re doing cornish game hens, and I’m still not too certain about it. I’m certain that with the culinary traditions changing that my grandmother will find something to complain about, that my mom will find something to yammer on about, that I will find something to shock my family with and that my brothers and I will find something to fight for the remote over. That’s just how it is in our family.

But when it comes down to it, we’re all going to relish the time we spend together, and reflect on how hard we’ve worked to make it through another year. Even if Mom decides to turn on the animatronic Santa Bear that annoys everyone in the house but her. (I love you Mom!!!)

I’m certain we’ll take time to go around the table and talk about what we’re thankful for. I’m certain Barack Obama’s election will be one of those things.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year; many parts of 2008 will be times I’d rather forget; others will be moments I’d like to keep on hand for a long time.

So, here’s my short list of what I’m thankful for:

– My family; the one I was born with and the one I choose. I discovered this year that it is possible, however, to integrate the two. I am also thankful that I’ve never known what it’s like to have a family member who is afraid to extend an embrace or to say, “I love you.”

– Forgiveness, which, I believe is the most powerful, mind-and-soul-freeing act one can do. I exercised a lot of forgiveness in year and found that I was paid back a thousand-fold. As a result I encourage anyone with any ill will or bitterness toward anyone to just exercise forgiveness, and to understand how empowering and freeing it can be.

– Friendship, which has carried me through a number of hard times and good times this year. Although I lost some friends this year, I have gained many, many more – and I consider myself lucky every day that I have them around. I only wish I could express what they mean to me and that they’d know that they’re in my thoughts constantly.

– Freedom – of thought, freedom of and from religion, and the freedom to express thought on a daily basis right here.

– Funny moments. Like when I laughed my ass off at the drunk folk at the bar last week. Or like this Blizzard Man sketch from last week’s SNL.

– Fascinating moments in history. Like standing next to the television to watch the greatest moment yet of my time on this earth:

Yep. Whole lot to be thankful for this year.

I’m hitting the road this afternoon to spend the rest of the week with my family and be without the Internet beyond my blackjack for a while. I’ll see you when I get back. While i’m out, why not share what you’re thankful for this year?

Best wishes to all of you this season.

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