Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Thankful Day

by Nancy Northcott

The clock has rolled past midnight, so this is officially Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I'll celebrate with family and friends and be grateful for both. As we engage in our frantic last-minute cleanup for guests, we may take a few minutes to watch a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

I have a weakness for parades despite having marched in one every Thanksgiving when I was in high school (I played the clarinet). I love the floats and the balloons and, indeed, the marching bands. I didn't think about it, all those years ago, but I was fortunate to have parents who could and would buy an instrument and drive to practices and games and, when necessary, parades. I had a fantastic band director, who instilled in many of us an appreciation for a wide range of music, and I had friends in the band who made outings fun. I had the physical health to play a wind instrument and to march in parades and at football bames. All these years later, I'm still thankful for that those things and those people were part of my life.

I hope each of us has cause to be grateful for something today and that some of you will share.

I feel fortunate that my circle of friends has widened. I have the banditas now, and they're a fantastic bunch! I have women friends who convinced me to join RWA and several of its chapters. Elizabeth, who extolled RWA's virtues, had the right bait. "If you joined RWA, you could learn a lot," she said. Over and over, she said it, until I believed her and wrote the check. I feel as if all of our guest readers and commenters are part of that circle, and I'm grateful for all of you.

Two and a half years ago, some women in my college class decided we should all get together, as many of us as we could gather, at the beach for a weekend. I didn't know most of them, having transferred in as a sophomore and so missed freshman orientation. Another friend assured me no particular groups were organizing the gathering and that I would have fun. I assured her that I'd blame her if I didn't, so it seems only fair that Sue get the credit for my having a wonderful time getting to know these multifaceted, smart women I barely knew before. We just had our third such gathering, and the streak of energizing weekends remains unbroken. I'm already looking forward to next year.

During my extended years of school, I had some wonderful teachers who loved their subjects and conveyed that love to their students. They shaped some of my most enduring interests.

My family remains supportive of my writing ambitions, an invaluable gift for those of us AYU, and we're all healthy. So that's my "serious" list.

On the lighter side, I'm grateful for chocolate, music, super-hero comic books, genre fiction, dedicated historians who write comprehensible, as opposed to convoluted and confusing, sentences they build into interesting books, and whimsical moments with spontaneous laughter. Oh, yeah--and parades.

So what do you like about this particular holiday? For those of us in America, what spurs you to give thanks today? For those of us abroad, what would lead you feel thankful?

To help with holiday shopping, or maybe just to offer a bit of indulgence during the shopping rush, I'm giving one commenter a $15.00 Borders gift certificate.


Aunty Cindy said...


Donna MacMeans said...

Darn, that rooster slipped right through my fingers. Must have been the heat from the oven, baking all those pies, that alerted him.

This has been a wonderful year, and I'm grateful for far too many blessings to list them all here - but be assured the banditas are on that list.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, come on! You girls know that rooster is mine. He's had his little holiday. It's time he came home!!!

Nancy, lovely post. As you know, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Oz. Our turkey dinner is generally Christmas when it's about 100 degrees F outside! Groan!

I have so much to be thankful for. But something I'm thankful for every day is that I finalled in the 2006 Golden Heart and I met the Banditas. And through the Banditas, so many wonderful people who comment regularly on this blog. All right, Keira, yes, even though you're a rooster reiver, you're included ;-) You girls really brighten my day EVERY day. You're smart, you're funny, you're talented, you're perceptive and you're such fun to hang out with, I pine all year for RWA Nationals. Banditas rock! Oh, dear, I'm not normally so sentimental. I'm usually ruff and tuff and scruff. But I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your friendship!

Jennifer Y. said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

There are so many things I am grateful for, but number one on that list is for every moment I have with my family. We have had some scares with illnesses this year and have lost family members unexpectedly in years past so it has made me be more appreciative for the time I have with them...not just on Thanksgiving but every day.

I am also grateful for all the new friends and authors I have discovered online. It is nice to find people who share my love of romance and won't look at me funny when I start talking about heroes, heroines, and many of those in my "real" life do...LOL

Lots of hugs to everyone!

Christine Wells said...

Why is it that people get so excited about winning the Golden Rooster, they run off without saying anything but MIIIINE!! Come back, AC!

Nancy, lovely, thoughtful post. My serious thanksgiving would be that our family came through this year intact and kind of sane:) It's been a tough one and we did lose our beloved crazy dog, among other things, so I'm grateful we *seem* to have come out the other side.

Of course, Foanna said so eloquently what all of the Banditas feel. And believe me, we get *much* mushier and more sentimental in private. (Ruff and tuff? You're just a pussycat, Foanna) I'm also thankful for chocolate. Specifically, Lindt pralines and Woollies Home Brand scorched almonds:) And Cherry Ripe, because it keeps Foanna writing great books.

Helen said...

Aunty Cindy aren't you supposed to be writing not getting the golden rooster LOL.
A lovely post Nancy I am grateful for my wonderful family and all the good times we have together and the time I spent with family I have lost.
I am very grateful for the friends that I have and the friends I have met through reading wonderful romance the Bandita's are all such wonderful fun Ladies I must visit everyday and to all the fun people who drop by daily.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and big hugs.
Have Fun

Laura J. said...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I'm thankful for many things, but mostly my family.

Anonymous said...

Christine, I wondered the same thing about that GR. What do they do when they run away with it, and why can't they come back and leave us a real comment?! ;-)

I have so many blessings, I can't even begin to count them. As I told my dad once, I'm glad I get a lot of migraines, because otherwise I think the karmic gods would feel compelled to take something wonderful from my life, just to make it a little more even for everyone else! LOL.

I'm so thankful for an incredible soul mate/husband and amazing kids. I'm thankful for blessing of a brain that allows me to have a good job and write, and the will to do both. I'm thankful for Susan, my amazing friend and CP (who I swear is going to sell ANY DAY NOW) and the fantastic Banditas and readers who always put a smile on my face, no matter what the day has been like.

Thank you everyone, thanks Nancy for the great post, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

hugs and kisses,

Buffie said...

What a wonderful post, Nancy! Thanksgiving is a great day to reflect on the blessings in our lives. This year I am thankful for so many things -- my hubby, my two boys, my extended family, all of whom are heathly this year. I'm thankful for my home, my car, and my job. I'm thankful for my church, which helps me to grow every day. I am so thankful for all the wonderful people I have met this year online, to seeing that all you wonderful authors are "real" people too. I'm thankful for meeting people from all walks of live, who share their experiences with me and help to broaden my horizons. And I am thankful for all those service people who risk their lives to keep me and my family safe.

I hope you all have a fabulous day today and enjoy your family and all the food. We are heading to my inlaws today -- my MIL does all the cooking (I have never cooked for Thanksgiving!). So needless to say, I'm thankful for her too ;)

Joan said...

That's it, Helen. You get on Anna too. She. Must. Write. More. Now.

Nancy, I'm "kind of" watching the Macy's parade now except it has struck me how "different" it is from my childhood. It has seemed more a staging of performances rather than a parade. Though, right now I do hear a marching band.

I LOVE marching band music btw. Especially the drums! I love drums!

I'm thankful for my brother, for my family, for my friends. And the Banditas? Despite being a writer who uses words, words are difficult to find to explain the synergy we have.

I'm going off to my friend's for turkey...and stuffing...and rolls...and sweet potatoes...and stuffing...and gravy...and apple pie...and stuffing.

Um, I like stuffing :-)

Wendy said...

Hi, Nancy!

I'm thankfull for everything in my life, my parents, my friends, how well school is going - Everything! :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Keira Soleore said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Congratulations, AC. Foanna, you've been far too busy examining hen's teeth.

Nancy said...

So AC snatches the rooster! Congrats, auntie.

Anna, we once spent Christmas with my uncle's family in Florida. I ate my turkey outside, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I guess it must have been sort of Oz-like.

Jennifer and Helen, I know what you mean about those losses. My father had his fatal stroke just before Thanksgiving and lingered a couple of weeks. His absence at the holiday meals was so hard to face. Even though we didn't set an empty place, we felt as if we had.

Christine, we had a crazy dog. She was just zany, part Irish setter and part golden retriever and an amazing rat-killer, and we adored her. When she died of cancer, our other golden was inconsolable. So we adopted, as company for him, a sweet, bossy yellow lab who thinks she's a person. That's okay, though, because each of our four dogs has had that idea. When the golden died, of old age and arthritis, we were grateful to have the lab's warm, furry presence to keep our house from feeling so empty.

So many of the comments today are about people, which I think says a lot about what we really value in our lives.

Joan, watching the parade today reminded me of one drawback. After the first, learning year, I always checked the lineup to see where we were relative to the Budweiser Clydesdales. When you're marching along and the person in front of you takes a flying leap, you have about one step's warning to do the same or else have to clean your shoes. One of the more challenging aspects of parade participation. *g*

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

pearl said...

I am thankful for good health everyday and for my wonderful family whose love and support is always there for me.
Happy thanksgiving.

brownone said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!For me its the family time that is so important. Its a way for us all to take the time and reconnect and really get to know each other. We are all so busy and absorbed in what is going on in our own lives so its nice to actually stop and be thankful for each other.

Shari C said...

I am thankful for so many things including my wonderful family, great friends, good health, good food and lots of it on this happy Thanksgiving holiday and all the terrific opportunities in our great country and the freedom to pursue them. I feel so blessed to be living in our country and I am thankful every day for the many brave and wonderful men and women in our military who are serving near and far from home to protect our freedom and all of us back here. They are the best!

Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

anne said...

Thanks for this wonderful Bandita Hideaway. Just love it. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

diane said...

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy.

I am so thankful for good health, happiness, wonderful family, friends and this country where I live which I love and appreciate.

Aunty Cindy said...

All right, all right... Helen and Joan! I'm working, really I am.

I didn't post before because I was only sneaking out of the deadline cave for a quick breath of air. It's soooo lonely down here all by myself (AC delicately shoves Eric B. back behind the door) that I needed the GR for company!

So BUSTED! What more can I say? Like everyone, I'm VERY THANKFUL for friends and family (esp. the Banditas and all our Bandita buddies) and VERY HAPPY and THANKFUL that I have contracted revisions to work on! My long held dream of being published is coming true and I'm thrilled to be able to share it all with you.

Now, back to Eric and the GR (very evil grin),

ruth said...

Thnaks for this place to enjoy books. Happy Thanksgiving. It has been a tough year for me, but I am thankful for my two wonderful daughters, great friends and a secure and productive job.

jenna said...

The romance Bandits have provided me with much needed book sustenance. Happy Thanksgiving. Health, happiness and a wonderful family is what I am thankful for.

ChristyJan said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

My husband proposed to me on this day ~ 30 years ago. I'm thankful to have him as my best friend, and I'd love to have another 30 years to grow older together.

ellie said...

I am thankful for so much but great health is at the top along with family and your wonderful blog which is uplifting and entertaining.

jo robertson said...

AC -- You're a GH hog!!! I'm here to tell you :-D. Actually, we should give our GH a presidential pardon on this day. Hey, if George do it . . .

Nancy, thanks for reminding us to be grateful for our blessings. I'm thankful for my husband of many, many decades. When I married him at the tender age of twenty-two (my gosh, I knew NOTHING then!), I had no idea that decision would be the single most important factor in my life.

Today also is a sad memory for Americans -- the assassination of Jack Kennedy. I'm grateful for his too brief leadership and wonder often how the fate of our county -- and possibly the world -- would've changed had he lived beyond the short few years of his presidency.

And for my youngest grandchildren -- Annie and Ezra, the most delightful two-year-olds in the world -- hugs and kisses from Jammy Jo.

jo robertson said...

Oops, sorry, AC, I meant GR hog, but still a hog, girl!

annie said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for my wonderful husband whose love, support and endless patience has given me 2 wonderful sons and a fabulous life.

Cassondra said...

I'm cooking turkey (thankful for that INCREDIBLE SMELL) and reading a manuscript for a friend at the same time. (thankful for a GREAT story and that I get the priviledge of reading it before it has a cover--thankful for a friend who values me and my opinion)

I was sitting at the kitchen counter a bit ago and I glanced up at our (not very neat, desperately needs picking up and raking) back yard.

It got cold here today. We put out bird food this morning--we feed all year but when it gets cold we splurge on a huge buffet--sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, suet, the works--even corn on the ground for the doves.

When I looked up there must have been 20 cardinals out there in that dreary grayness, and a ladderback woodpecker, a bunch of chickadees, a wren. The air, the trees, the ground and the tables were FULL. I thought, who needs Christmas ornaments? It struck me that I'm thankful for beautiful little things, like the flash of a cardinal. There are evergreens in the field behind us--all interspersed with splotches of bright yellow leaves that haven't fallen yet.

Then my cat jumped onto my lap to give and get some love.

Of course, I'm thankful for the big stuff too--the ability to drop $125 at the grocery last night and not worry about it, but just toss it in the cart--that's pretty darn blessed compared to how it could be. I'm relatively healthy, and I have a group of friends here who are pushing me along when I can't push myself toward writing and publishing.

But it's those little things that are striking me today. At the grocery last night, everyone was NICE! Polite and trying hard to not let the crowds get us down. AND they were playing great old Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin carols--the ones you don't hear too often.

Hope you are all finding beatiful little moments in the stress of the the "fixing" and the craziness of family gatherings.

It's just me and my husband today, and I'm LOVING that. Thankful for the quiet, low-stress holiday.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy, what a wonderful post on this special day.

At our house we have a lot to be thankful for. My daughter is having her first baby in January, which makes this week her 30th week of pregnancy. To me, the OB nurse, it is a very significant week, so I'm very happy we've made it this far, only 10 more to go! And according to her sonograms, my grandaughter is doing very well. YIPPEE.

We also have two new members to our family, my son is engaged to a lovely girl and my oldest has a new boyfriend who obviously loves her! Yippee!!

And Rocky the wonderdog is thankful for the large bird in the oven my husband dutifully basted while I slept today. (I worked last he bastes, Rocky sniffs, I sleep)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Aunty Cindy said...

Jo-mama, calling someone a "hog" on Thanksgiving is just plain ole REDUNDANT! (SNORK! SNORT!)

Off to my turkey dinner prepared by my bff, for whom I'm very thankful,

Sue A. said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for my best friend, my mom, for her unconditional support and love.

flchen1 said...

Thank you, Nancy!

I love that Thanksgiving is time to be with my family, and I'm truly thankful for them :) This year, we're enjoying our new Wii, and it's very funny how we can all enjoy it together.

A big thanks to all the troops not at home with their families who are making today safe for the rest of us.

And thank you to all you writers who make wonderful worlds for us to enjoy in our spare time :)

EilisFlynn said...

I'd forgotten you played the clarinet! I think we should be grateful that we have the ability to learn every single day of our lives -- and that's what I like best about this holiday, that, as you commented over on my blog, that it lets us see the good side of things.

Deb Marlowe said...

Happy Thanksgiving Banditas! Hope you have all had a beautiful day filled with family, food and blessings!

Nathalie said...

Happy Thanksgiving… with all the ymmuy food!

jo robertson said...

Oh, Cassondra, what a lovely sight your back yard must have been!! Cardinals, how beautiful.

Stacia said...

Hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I spent a nice day with my parents & siblings. I am so grateful for my family. They've helped me through some tough times this year.

Nancy said...

Books and people and nature seem to dominate the comments in the lair today. For those of you who said such nice things about the banditas, thanks on behalf of us all. We're so glad you stopped in today.

Cassondra, I love cardinals, too. They're the state bird of NC.

Christyjan, congratulations on such a landmark anniversary! I hope you do have those next 30.

Shari C. and flchen1, thanks for reminding us that a lot of families are apart this season who'd rather not be and that they have family members in harm's way.

Suzanne, I hope the romances go well and the OB good reports continue. How exciting!

Kirsten, I'd forgotten this was the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination until I saw a column about it in the New York Times. I still remember how scary I found hearing, as a third grader, that someone had shot the president.

We had a great meal. Company just left, and we're all feeling a little . . . heavy. Thanks to everyone who dropped by today. I hope you all had as great a day as we did!

AC, you'd better watch that rooster. I see Anna Campbell lurking near her keyboard. *g*

Skylar Masey said...

I think my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is that for me it's a time to reconnect with my family. And some of my grandmother's home-cooking can't be beat. (BTW, she plucked her rooster off the table to replace it with a paper turkey, after the ribbing my aunt and mom gave her earlier in the week.)

I still recall when I was in college and how I wished for Thanksgiving to hurry up and come. I think in some ways because it meant I'd get to go home (though I still had work up to my eyeballs.)

The past few years there have been tears during the blessing of the wonderful food, but everyone there understands the loss of loved ones, so it's like we have a sense of camaraderie.

Much like the Bandits:0) Happy Thanksgiving all!

Dianna Love Snell said...

I was no where near a computer yesterday, but knew this would be an upbeat place to visit on Thanksgiving. Loved all the posts. I saw something this morning on a dry erase board in a restaurant that said to "Count your blessings, not your worries." So true, but often overlooked when we're in the midst of worrying.

In addition to being thankful for my family, great husband and health, I'm thankful for all the wonderful new people writing has brought into my world - like all of you.

Wishing you all the best, Dianna

tetewa said...

I'm thankful to all the new authors I've discovered this year. Thanks for taking me to places that I wouldn't usually be able to visit.

kim h said...

spent a good tiem with family and watch football

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Nancy! I'm unforgiveably late but wanted to say how thankful I am that I get to hang out with this amazing, hilarious and brilliant group every day. You're all insane and wonderful. :-)

I'm also thankful for a few quiet days I was able to spend with my mom over Thanksgiving--internet-free, obviously!

I wish everyone a joyful holiday season and a Golden Turkey--er, I mean Rooster--in every pot!

Jane said...

Thanksgiving brings together great food and great company.

Gypsy said...

that the turkey finnaly is gone