Sly and the Family Stone--"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (mp3)
One of the yearly columns that used to annoy me the most back in the old Chattanooga News-Free Press before the two papers merged was this guy's piece around Thanksgiving or Christmas that consisted of nothing more than a tedious list of all of the things that he was thankful for. So, of course, I'm going to steal the idea.
1. I am thankful for the Italian rosemary ham at Costco.
2. I am thankful for my wife's explorations into veganism and how it forced me to adapt my cooking.
3. I am thankful for Neil Young's example.
4. I am thankful for the firepit in my back yard.
5. I am thankful for people who rise to the occasion when I am "beating the bushes;" I hope that I do and will do the same.
6. I am thankful for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
7. I am thankful for my younger daughter's social intelligence, my older daughter's vision.
8. I am thankful for the hope that a garden brings every spring.
9. I am thankful for friends that push me.
10. I am thankful for President Eisenhower's interstates.
11. I am thankful for foreign students.
12. I am thankful for Emily Dickinson's poetry, which makes the world new with each reading.
13. I am thankful for dreams that scold me.
14. I am thankful for a new kitchen.
15. I am thankful for Bob, who made me get a guitar 36 years ago and for Jeff, who makes me play it now.
16. I am thankful for the salad at Lupi's, the onion rings at Ankar's, the Eggs in a Basket at Cracker Barrel, the bologna sliders at Urban Stacks, the nachos at Taco Roc, the chicken at Champy's, the Sonoma Chicken wrap at Greenlife and all of the other go-to food in this city.
17. I am thankful for community service, which did not exist when I was in high school and which has now largely transcended its usefulness on a college application.
18. I am thankful that I did not follow my major and pursue a business career.
19. I am thankful for the companionship of my dog.
20. I am thankful for Monday Night Football gatherings.
21. I am thankful for Garden and Gun magazine, which continues to present our South in its best light.
22. I am thankful for the Ebonys, Big Star, The Weepies, Rilo Kiley, Calexico, Frightened Rabbit, Meaghan Smith, and The Walkmen for surprising, stunning additions to the Christmas song canon. And, of course, Sufjan.
23. I am thankful for my father's wisdom, even when I don't agree.
24. I am thankful for this blog and how it keeps Billy and me searching. And that people actually read it.
25. I am thankful for the influences that New Orleans has had on my life; America would be stale and pale without it.
26. I am thankful for Bud's Thursday nights and how they help to maintain friendship.
27. I am thankful for the Walnut Street Walking Bridge.
28. I am thankful for my daughters' colleges and how fortunate both girls were to find such good fits.
29. I am thankful to have so much Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin on the soundtrack in my head.
30. I am thankful to know how to bake bread.
31. I am thankful for live music, how it is always worth the effort; even when I don't make the effort, I know that I have missed something.
32. I am thankful when I am not intolerant.
33. I am thankful for a job that requires me to reread books I like and to discover new ones.
34. I am thankful for the iPhone. It has become my timer, my reminder, my GPS, my computer, my network, my Kindle, my Netflix, at times, my lunch companion.
35. I am thankful for Linda's Produce, for its figs and tomatoes and red peppers and Christmas trees.
36. I am thankful for Barber's Adagio For Strings and the many settings it is perfect for.
37. I am thankful for Christmas Eve and all of the ways it is better than Christmas.
38. I am thankful for the quirky behavior of cats.
39. I am thankful that Paul McCartney met John Lennon; neither would have or did flourish without the other. I am thankful that, even now, George Harrison continues to reveal new listening pleasures to me.
40. I am thankful for the hours from 5PM to midnight, the second life after work.
41. I am thankful that Americans never stop investigating what they don't believe.
42. I am thankful that my wife found a church.
43. I am thankful each barbeque joint, each region of barbeque can do it so differently, can take the basics of meat and smoke and transform it in wonderful, different ways.
44. I am thankful for the ways that holidays energize life.
45. I am thankful to live in a city that has the finest fresh apple cider that I have ever tasted.
46. I am thankful for the anchor of my wife and daughters.
47. I am thankful for students with ideas; they are my work's blood.
48. I am thankful for the solitude of my backyard in the early morning.
49. I am thankful for how what I think I believe is always put to the test of experience, and how the smallest events and things can carry such meaning.
50. I am thankful for pretzels.
I'm finished for now. When you make a list like this, it's what you leave out that gets you in trouble, so I'll add that I'm thankful for everything else, too.