Happy New Year!

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Before we get into the foolishness of New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d share a short list of what I’m grateful for in descending order, but all are gifts of one kind or another:

  • My daughters—nothing comes close to them in terms of being grateful. My brother and my shared housemate Violet, the ultimate kitty, run a close second. Friends are right up there. Thank you all for being in my life.
  • I have time to write and on some days, believe that I’m improving.
  • Books, the kind made of paper that you hold on your lap when you read in bed.
  • Used bookstores and the challenged independent bookstore in my neighborhood. I confess to using Amazon more often than not, but not that often for books. I have a good public library—another gratitude—and when I visit my friend Carolyn in Corvallis Oregon, I go to the world’s best used bookstore. The Book Bin’s website is dire but here’s a shout out to them proving that you can’t judge a bookstore by its website: http://www.bookbin.com.
  • I love The New Yorker when Barry Blitt is the cover artist. His latest of Pope Francis making snow angels is funny and sweet at the same time. His cover for the ACA disastrous launch was perfect—a nerd (with his tongue out the way nerds do when they’re working math problems) with a floppy disk in his hand; Secretary Sebelius with her fingers crossed, and Obama on a cell phone from the late 1980s. See what I mean? Perfect. Not grateful for their short stories.*
  • Without dish or cable television (I’m stumbling over the nomenclature) I don’t really know much about America’s first family—the Kardashians.*
  • Ignorance can be bliss! I have no idea what the Duck Dynasty is or why it bumps Syria, Egypt, or the Sudan off the news.* See gratitude above.
  • When I told Santino, the charming Italian who cuts my hair, that I hated it, he said, “No one should hate their hair,” and fixed it!

* These are blessed time-savers – can skip them and have more time to write, read, stay fit, and knit.

Finally: I’m alive, happy on most days, in good health, and of relative sound mind. I wasn’t sure what the phrase meant and checked to see. Here are a few definitions I like: All there (Yes!), Both oars in the water (is that a good thing?), Commonsensical (a treasured benefit of growing up in the Midwest), and Compos mentis (a good thing unless you’re called for jury duty!).

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