By the time you read this, the turkey leftovers will be long gone, family will have returned home and the holiday push toward Christmas will officially be underway.
But as I actually wrote this column before Thanksgiving, let’s step into a time machine for a minute and pretend it hasn’t happened yet so I can share what I am most thankful for this season.
High-quality camera phones: Never again will we lose the opportunity to capture that memory because we never know when that moment might be our last.
Warm, fuzzy socks on cold days: There’s nothing better than the feeling of fuzzy cotton surrounding your frozen toes on a winter day. Bonus, if you’re also snuggled up with an equally cozy blanket. No points deducted if the socks are mismatched.
My family: For the endless supply of quirky personality traits that show up in our family tree — and then, may or may not, end up in my books.
A flushing toilet: Oh, the things we take for granted, until, say, they break, and then you realize you’ll leverage your kids’ future to pay for a plumber to fix the problem because you’re not going to do your business in a bucket like a medieval noblewoman hoisting her skirts to squat over a chamber pot.
Plumbers: See above.
A rice cooker: Don’t judge me, this is my list, not yours.
Modern medicine: I’m so grateful I don’t have to lick a frog, collect bark to boil, or snort cocaine to take care of a headache.
Pets: Cat, dog, lizard or fish, pets remind us not to take ourselves so seriously. They don’t care about your social media followers, your financial status, or what you’re wearing — they care about food. If you were miniature, they’d eat you, too.
Being top of the food chain: See above.
Sunsets: Hello darkness, my old friend.
Instacart: Because stepping foot in the grocery store reminds me of how much I loathe cooking. Also, my unmedicated ADHD coupled with my Libra brain is overwhelmed by all of the choices.
Binge-worthy TV shows: When I need to unwind or decompress, losing myself in a great show is the best way to recharge my batteries.
My readers: Whether you enjoy my books or my nonfiction work, thank you for indulging my passion — and for helping to pay my bills.
It goes without saying we should count our blessings year-round but we don’t so let’s take the time to be grateful right now as we barrel into the holiday season at breakneck speed and remember … anything encased in clear, gelatinous muck is not edible and should be immediately thrown into the trash.
Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.