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.