Donna's 2011 Thanksgiving List

* small kindnesses
* natural light filling the house
* my reading chair with soft afghan, cup of tea, and book
* listening to Bob on the piano and ukelele
* our garden and the hummers that live in it year-round and who delight us with their acrobatics
* Karima’s emerald kale salad
* returning to Crescent Beach (OR) after 20 years
* my favorite new plant: pineapple sage that is still blooming and going strong
* getting to know our little neighbors Zain and Sami and watching them play endlessly in the fallen leaves
* camping and hiking at Crater Lake NP again
* golden light and autumn crispness
* my neighborhood walks in this beautiful place
* red maple trees (ah, the flaming beauty!)
* puddles
* leaf collages on the lawn and sidewalk
* walking one block to the store
* favorite places to return to
* new places to discover
* visiting old friends and the feel of instant and remembered closeness
* hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and finding new trails and vistas
* old-growth trees
* the breaching of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River
* the people we deliver Meals on Wheels to and for all they have taught me
* beeswax candles
* reusable grocery bags and composting food scraps

the song: “You are Royalty to Me” by Ellis

CD: We’ll Never Turn Back by Mavis Staples

Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (F), “the past is vacant but it is not empty”

Born to Run by C. McDougall (NF)

Travels with Herodotus (NF)

The Known World by E.P. Jones (F)

for seeing the A. Wilson play, Gem of the Ocean

the movie: Midnight in Paris

the movie: If a Tree Falls (documentary)

* Occupy Wall Street and marching with Occupy Portland
* Winter squash, homegrown tomatoes, basil, and peaches
* returning of our family to be with us for this Thanksgiving despite a very long road trip
* good times and food to share together
* health and Bob’s recovery – a truly grateful Thanksgiving

Bob's Thanksgiving 2011 List

I’m thankful for:

* Life. I’ve learned not to take it for granted. And I’ve lived long enough to see a lot, and to understand some of what’s going on.
* My Donna, my life’s traveling partner since 1969. How lucky can I get?!
* Our children, who have shared so much with us and taught us so many things we would never have learned otherwise.
* My extended family, mostly in Buffalo. They love me, I love them.
* All those who went before, starting on the plains of Africa. Thanks for not giving up. It’s great to be part of this.
* My near-term ancestors, especially my mom. She loved her children so completely and died way too young.
* Friends on the journey. My Rust Bowl buddies John and Will in Pittsburgh and Pete in Detroit, all friends since the 1960s.

And there’s more I’m thankful for:
* Living long enough to hear the Thanksgiving message delivered by an African-American president.
* Mavis Staples, Neil Young, James Taylor. . . Oh hell, all those who share their music and lyrics with us.
* All those great writers who thankfully were motivated to share with us.
* Little kids who remind us how cool it all is.
* The birds in my backyard who let me watch them living their little lives. Little creatures who do amazing things.
* And the beauty of nature, everywhere. In the Pacific Northwest part of nature – the beautiful waters; the incredible lives of salmon; volcanoes rising on the eastern horizon; wildflowers; rain. All of it.
* Greg and Karima and their magnificent obsession with food. I’ve benefited.

That’s a start. There’s so much. I’m thankful this exercise got me thinking.