It’s that time of year again.
The time when social media buzzes with “I am thankful for....” lists, and some people post every day with a different thing they are grateful for. I think that’s a cool thing, I wish we did that more often.
I dont visit social media on a daily basis, so my list is “all the things,” all at once. Actually it’s ten things, because I am lucky they let me have any space at all in this newspaper, and I don’t want to be greedy. Certainly I’ll miss some things, I’m only human, but I’ll try to list them all. These things are not in any particular order or ranking.
1.) My family. Both those who have passed on and those I can call up right now, my family has literally and figuratively made me what I am today. They’re not perfect, and neither am I. My sons, Justin Thor, Jake Tiger and Jared Thunder, are my favorite people on the planet, along with my granddaughter Zadie Ramona Danger and Miles Alexander Wolfram. My grandbabies were both born May 20, Zadie in 2012 (under a supermoon) and Miles in 2014. It may be a coincidence that Joey Ramone was born May 19, but I choose to think otherwise.
2.) Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Tommy Ramone, C.J. Ramone and Marky Ramone. I could have just said “The Ramones,” but that would not have been as much fun. These guys made it okay to play music for the sheer fun of it, whether you actually knew how to play or not. Their songs werent message-laden, political, complicated or even serious, mostly. I’m grateful for their courage, attitudes, silliness and their uncanny ability to just keep trying. Joey and Johnny both quietly displayed great bravery and spirit when dealing with terminal illness, and I am grateful for their example. Also “Blitzkreig Bop,” “53rd & 3rd” and “We’re A Happy Family.” And also Joey’s version of “Wonderful World,” recorded between radiation and chemotherapy and just before a hospital stay he would not return from.
3.) Every pet I’ve ever had. Mostly cats, but also a fish or two, a turtle, snakes, lizards, an iguana and, after a drunken party at a farm, a chicken. They all (except for the fish, the reptiles and that jerk of a chicken) gave me unconditional love, companionship and a laugh or two.
4.) My health. Knock wood, I’ve been pretty healthy. I’m grateful to have had the years I have had, and of course I hope for several decades more. Even after the discovery of a tumor in my noodle, I was lucky enough for it to have been benign, grateful for that beyond words.
5.) Anybody who ever hurt me. My greatest source of learning has been from people who have somehow hurt me. At least I learned what not to do, in most cases. I think life is a series of lessons, and to all those who became my teachers, thank you and namaste.
6.) My job. Wait, I meant MY JOB! See how the capital letters made that cooler? Where do I even begin with this one? For starters, my editor somehow saw potential in me that I did not. She just knew I could do this job and that I would love it. I may always be puzzled by that, and I will always be grateful. I do what I really love. I get to learn about and listen to people, I get to utilize one of my favorite obsessions, the english language. I get to find interesting events, amusing and sometimes tragic stories, and I get to tell you about them. I get to work with a group of people who, mostly, get me, and the one who doesnt seem to, well, I don't get her either, and that's okay. The personalities in this building run the gamut from almost-completely-normal to almost-as-weird-as-me. All of them are unique, interesting and good people. I enjoy almost every single one of them, in different ways but equally fervently. When I first started, my editor said this would be the most frustrating and rewarding job I would ever do. She was absolutely right.
7.) Sharpie markers. Who isn’t thankful for markers? Sheesh. Also the things I draw on like sketch pads, random
objects, my shoes and my bedroom walls.
8.) Word games, logic problems and jigsaw puzzles. I am convinced that figuring things out, in whatever way you choose, keeps your brain healthy. I know we cannot grow new brain cells (yet), but I believe the scientists who say we can create new synapses between the cells we do have, when we present ourselves with something to figure out.
9.) The color purple. Not the book, the actual color. It makes me happy, okay? Thankful.
10.) John Danner. Duh. The only guy who I can be exactly who I am with, and is still my friend.
Okay, thats ten. I am so thankful for so many things, it’s impossible to get them all down in print, and who wants to read all that?
I am grateful for you too, you know. Yes, you. The one reading this. Because you are reading, I am writing. Thank you.
Patti is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.