A little giving of thanks

Time now for the second annual gratitude post.  It is going to read a lot like the first.

I love Thanksgiving.  I love all that it stands for.  Gratitude.  Food.  Family.  Friends.  It does make me miss my family back in Illinois, but I am always so glad to be able to spend it with this family I have married into out here in beautiful California.

Here is what I am most thankful for from this year:

1. Teaching--I so enjoyed team teaching a class on Steinbeck and the history of the 1930s with a friend this year.  We took a group of students to Monterey, we rifted off one another in class, we learned a lot about our own craft of teaching, and we lightened the heavy load for each other.  It was great fun as well as professionally satisfying.  

2. The Road Trip:  I love road trips.  I just do.  I love being trapped in a car and singing at the top of my lungs and telling the same stories and stopping at diners and putting my feet on the dashboard (when I am not driving, of course).  This year, the husband and I went to see the Avett Brothers four times.  Yes.  This year.  Four times.  And our only regret is that we didn't drive to Oregon to see them again (and I regret not seeing them in Iowa, but the logistics there would have been absolutely insane).  That meant we had to do a lot of driving around California.  And it was grand.

3.  Discovering the art museum with my niece:  This summer, my niece and I went to the  Art Institute of Chicago together.  We walked through the modern and postmodern art wing and explained what we saw to each other.  That kid has an amazing eye, and I would say she even taught me a thing or two about art.  Plus, we got to rush through the halls of the institute, giggling and pointing and getting really (too) close to the art.  

4.  The Beaches:  Oh, I went to a lot of beaches this year.  I love the ocean.  To think, I hadn't seen the ocean until I was 14, and I didn't see the Pacific Ocean until I was 24.  I love me some ocean. Always.  Everyday. All day.  Anytime.  

5.  Yoga Teacher Training:  I had a lot to say about that here. And I have so enjoyed teaching yoga to my students. They make my Mondays and Wednesdays so wonderful and full and happy. I especially love when we get to be outside.

6.  Health and my family:  Not everyone in my family is fully healthy right now.  But we're all here; we're all celebrating the day of the turkey.  For this I am so glad.  They are crazy, but they are mine.  And I love them.

7.  Our new girls as well as the tough, old girl.  They live somewhat peaceably together, although the old girl would be happy if the new girls would just pack up and move out.

8.  Friends:  I miss my best friends so much.  They live all too far away.  But I think of them often and love them immensely.  And I am so happy to have them in my life.

9.  Rome:  When I am rich, I want to live in Rome forever and ever. And ever. And ever.  Until then, I just want to keep going back to Rome.  I think the Romans will have me.  

10.  Writing: From this place to my journal, from some poems I am working on to some vignettes I have been writing.  I love it.  Now if only those letters of recommendations would just write themselves.  

I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving.  We're heading to the husband's parents' house.  There will be turkey.  There will probably be pumpkin pie.  And there will most certainly be macaroni and cheese.  I am not sure why there will be macaroni and cheese, but there will be. Don't ask.


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