Nope! No politics. Nada. Nyet. Not gonna mention you know who. Despite the upheaval in our nation right now, no, because of it, it is even more important that we center ourselves, that we dial down; that we consider the holiday that is just around the corner in a real and vital way. And maybe we don’t think there is much to be grateful for because so much of what has happened and is happening isn’t something we are smiling about. Which makes it even more important to remember that there are still reasons to smile.
If a typical Thanksgiving for you is pass the turkey, turn on the football, fight with your cousin, wear your fat pants, belch and complain about black Friday, I gotta say you are missing out on the best part of the holiday. Yep, I love me some turkey and dressing. But I love me a lot of other things as well. Like the good ole US of A. Nope, no politics! What do we ‘Mericans have to be thankful for in the midst of chaos and uncertainty?
This is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Sure Europe’s got old buildings, but we have the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Napa Valley, the Rocky Mountains, the Hawaiian Islands, the Gulf of Mexico and, one of my personal favorites, Crater Lake. (Have you been there? You should go.) We have deserts and lakes, mountains and valleys, prairies, swamps, volcanoes, farmland, waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, sequoia trees and rain forests. This place is freaking amazing.
We have our manmade wonders too – the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, the Gateway Arch, the Space Needle…we’ve got Vegas, baby.
We invented the Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Bluegrass, Big Band, Hip-Hop, Rap and Rock and Roll (trash can ending!) Elvis! Aretha! Jimi! Ray! Prince! Duke! Charlie! Bruce! Smokey! Roy! Johnny! Michael! Frank! Bo! Paul! Marvin! Billie! Cole! Jay Z! Nina! Justin! Drake! Brad! Louis!
Chicago pizza, Buffalo wings, Philly Cheesesteaks, Key Lime Pie, Georgia peaches, Idaho potatoes, Iowa sweet corn, Kansas City barbeque, Louisiana shrimp gumbo, steamed blue crabs from Maryland, Massachusetts clam chowder, Michigan cherries, Mississippi Mud Pie, lobster rolls from Maine, New England boiled dinner, Ohio buckeyes, South Carolina shrimp and grits, Texas barbeque brisket, Virginia ham, Wisconsin bratwurst, Tennessee Dry-Rub Ribs, Vermont apple pie, Alaskan salmon and Indiana popcorn.
You can thank the USA for lightbulbs, masking tape, post-it notes, crash test dummies, the microwave, QWERTY, super glue, GPS, the safety pin, the bar code, corn flakes, Philips head screws, rolled toilet paper, dental floss, chewing gum, soft-serve, peanut butter, escalators, the PC, Kevlar, Teflon, nylon, acrylic paint, electric guitars, sunglasses, dishwashers, phonographs, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola.
We have (mostly) clean water to drink, indoor plumbing, paved roads, public education (working on it), free enterprise, libraries, a national park system, freedom of worship, central air, central heating, free wifi, the USPS, and us ladies got the vote!
Barely scratching the surface here…so forget your bucket list, start a gratitude list. And in between the gravy, the touchdowns and your turkey nap, talk with your family about all the things that are good, because there is plenty of talk about what is bad. Remind them that being a citizen of the USofA is nothing to take for granted. We can express opinions, stage protests, sign petitions, march on Washington, and demand our constitutional rights because this is where we live. Most of the world doesn’t have this luxury. And to top it off, we have the annual Presidential turkey pardon…birds, folks, I’m talking about birds. While you are munching on that turkey leg, rest assured that one turkey got saved from a platter, compliments of the US Government.
In the words of one of our former presidents who I may or may not have voted for and who shall remain nameless to prevent squabbling…
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
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