You know that old cliche where you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast, but you have vivid memories from five, 10, 20 years ago? O.k., here come a couple of mine that fit in with the theme of this blog, as we enter the season of ‘thankfulness.’

Thankful-pic-2I’ll never forget when, in kindergarten, Jamie (now 27 years old) said she was ‘thankful for pink baby’ (aka ‘Meghan pink baby’) when asked at school. This is the doll my mom carried in the procession line at my cousin’s wedding (the cousin who would a few years later have a ‘real baby Meghan.’ Somewhere we have photos of Jamie and cousin Holly with their respective babies). It’s also the doll Uncle Harold, on the other side of the family, had to overnight mail back to us, from New Jersey to New York, when she left her there one visit.

Thankful-pic-1And I’ll never forget how Dan’s friend Conor (now about 22) filled out a note parents were going to read at Open School night, saying who the kids’ heroes were. In fifth grade, Conor said singer-songwriter Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes band fame). I remember Conor’s mom’s fallen face, then jokes, about how other kids wrote their mom and/or dad. (Oh, the selflessness of parenting!)

In any case, I thought I’d follow Jamie’s and Conor’s leads and skip the friends, family, home, job and other things I am truly thankful for and share some other, maybe less obvious ones (or at least, more specific to me this year, at this moment in time). So here goes. I am thankful for my:

  • IMG_1179Brand new, shiny bocce ball set
  • Dusty old, road warrior Raleigh bike I call Sage Wind (I know, I am SUCH a geek)
  • Newest Americana singer-songwriter discoveries Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton
  • This Is Us, New Amsterdam and anything HGTV or Hallmark
  • New piano teacher, Jen Grace, who’s so gracefully, graciously and patiently helping me work and count through Debussy’s Clair de Lune (maybe my favorite classical piece of music ever)
  • Brand new, fast, pristine Lenovo 770 laptop (and Azim and all the work friends who turned a nightmarish computer/emotional breakdown into an It’s a Wonderful Life type ending … more to come in the next blog)



  • Furry, purring, pawing feline alarm clock William, although he comes on too early!
  • Grand cat Louie (a.k.a. ‘Mr. Louis Naranjo’) every time he bounds up the stairs for breakfast and dinner in Dan’s room (following a mysterious, terrifying hunger strike in August that prevented him from flying back to Austin with his human dad)
  • Grand cat Clara (a.k.a. ‘Flight Risk’) for visiting us up North from Virginia with mom Jamie, without escaping on a 44-day adventure, like the one we’ll never truly know about a few years back in her then-North Carolina home
  • Toastmasters group at work for showing me I don’t have to be a stuttering, quivering, insecure mess whenever I stand in front of group of colleagues*
  • WW (formerly Weight Watchers) @ Work for helping me stick to my carrot-, almond- and tons of fruit-eating healthy eating/living regimen, with the constant support and camaraderie I need to continue the journey
  • Dad’s caretakers … Mark, who so respectfully treats both mom and dad ‘like gold’ and is a true, loyal companion for dad … and Carl, who’s become an expert in all things Brooklyn from dad, laughs about my mom’s inability to sit still (ever!) and has become a real family friend
  • Thankful-pic-3Local Elwood Library book club, a continuing joy in my life, where new friends, my mom and I recently got to dig our teeth into Apollo 8, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, The Uncommon Reader (to be delved into more in a future blog) and Hillbilly Elegy

Jamie and her classmates’ ‘Thankful’ list

And, finally, I am BEYOND thankful for all of you who read and follow my blog. It’s the creative and ‘sharing’ outlet I didn’t even realize I was missing in my life and it’s 40 posts and counting! Hope you stick with me and let me know how you’re doing too. Like right now … what are YOU most thankful for?

*On a more positive, and serious, note (though I wasn’t kidding about the ‘quivering’ part), Toastmasters has shown me I can be confident, poised and myself when presenting, which is mind-blowing and tremendous growth for me. I can’t say enough about this supportive group and the environment they create that lets many of us face/conquer, one of our biggest fears, public speaking

4 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Hi ellen, Great writing as always. I’m thankful for pickleball,. Found this sport a few months ago. Combines fun, fitness and new friends.


  2. I too am thankful for “This is Us “, “New Amsterdam” “God Friended Me ” all the Hallmark & Lifetime Christmas movies that are on now, cause I love watching them. My firepit, where my hubby and I just sit and chill and last but not at all least I really am thankful that I signed up for your blogs, because they are enlightening, insightful, funny and so on point. 😊 Thank you Ellen


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