Greg's List

Whenever I sit down and try to cogitate on the many things I am and should be thankful for, I look at the other contributors on this site and the various things they have listed they are thankful for, and I feel deficient in my ability to express my thoughts on this issue.  Am I just that short sighted, self absorbed and missing a philanthropic gene that might permit me to think more globally and not like such a short sighted locavore.  If that gene were to miraculously be implanted somewhere in my essence and cause a metamorphosis in my personality, I might acknowledge my being thankful for this country being a little more blue than red, a Senate that did better than holding its own, and a House of Representatives that is  not quite so frightened and susceptible  to the bullying of John Boehner (hopefully) and a Tea Party that appears to be drowning in its own insanely illogical rhetoric.  I might also be talking about being thankful for the young people who are politically active and voicing a real concern about the environment, feeding the poor and affordable housing and affordable medical care and reigning in an economy that makes a college education more like a dream deferred than a right that should be accessible to anyone capable of attending, no matter the contents of their wallet. While I am appreciative for all the above and hopeful for growth and enlightenment in those areas, my selfishly short-sighted Thanksgiving listed consists of the following:

Wood burning fireplaces when there’s a chill in the air

Homemade rice pudding

Jazz Festivals

Seattle in the summer

Dinner with Friday Friends

Sweet Potato Pie during the holidays

Date Night

Sunday Dinners at our house

Real books

My Kindle, Ipad and Samsung Galaxy for those times when you just don’t want to carry around Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Parents that are still around and able to drive me a little more closer to Crazy Town every day

Being referred to as Grandpa Greg, that is the best!!!!!

Our being able to host Xmas Dinner every year, but especially this year

Financial Planning and the countdown toward the next phase of our life

The joy of a daughters’ weddings, back to back!!!!!!!!!!


Book: Imperium by Robert Harris (Thanx Gordon)

Meal:  Veal & Lobster Medallions at Daniel’s

Films: Argo, Searching For Sugarman and the latest James Bond

TV: Luther on BBC TV originally aired in 2011 but I didn’t see season two until early this year

CD: Listening to Branford Marsalis, Four MF’s Playing music, as I compose this and its hot.  Also Cassandra Wilson, Another County; Catherine Russell, Strictly Romancin’; Christian McBride, Conversations with Christian; David Byrne & St. Vincent, Love This Giant; Donald Fagan, Sunken Condos; Elle Varner, Perfectly Imperfect; Manu Katche, self titled; ZZ Ward, Til The Casket Drops; Gregory Porter, Be Good; Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough; Roberto Fonseca, Yo.  These are all late 2011-2012 releases, which I made a favorite for one reason or another.  And I just switched  to the Vijay Iyer Trio, Accelerando, percussively rhythmic piano jazz.

Laila's 2012 List

This is not an exhaustive list, I have so very much to be thankful for this year.

conquering fears

Sunday morning bike rides

exploring new neighborhoods

looking at my car and not knowing when I last drove it
the weather finally being nice enough to walk/run/bike to work
getting to go on business trips to San Francisco and Puerto Rico
my glorious wedding week and everyone who made it so damn spectacular
being a stone cold Fox-kidding, but seriously, thankful for a 3-letter last name (and the man I share it with!)
oyster season-that it’s here and that we still have them
rhubarb cocktails and rhubarb yogurt- thank you Finland!
rented houses full of people I love
an ever-growing family
successful international road tripping (Nika-nu and Laila-lu take on the Czech Republic!)
realizing my baby sister is a grown-up, real adult and having grown-up, real conversations with her
blue states
birthday cards from my father-in-law
Meal: The sausage on the banks of the Elbe river. The Alcron in Prague.  Our Jazzfest crawfish boil/oyster roast
Movie: I’ve only seen two, The Hunger Games and the Descendants. Both enjoyable.
Book: The Tattoo Artist
Music: Danay Suarez

Gordon's Thanksgiving List 2012

As I recall the year I feel thankful for:

* distance being no object for the big events
* the means for distance to be no object
* and thus, the big wide world and people we care about in it, letting us live where we want
* feeling home in many places
* that you can still get a good curry in Glasgow (when so many other things are different)
* being able to pay cash for medicine and medical services in Mexico
* medical insurance that works abroad
* D getting better
* Woodland Park Zoo, 5 years and counting
* Lego
* surviving another year in the corporate jungle
* home insurance and it’s ability to cover stupidity!
* an end to an ongoing 2 year nuisance in our new house
* girl one, girl two and girl three, not to be confused with Trouble 1 and Trouble 2 most of the time
* wise people, even if they are only 2 and 5
* video calls
* good friends, wherever they are
* netflix streaming, somewhat surprisingly


Meal: every Besalu morning with the girls and butter (although there have been others I don’t suffer from food-related memory recall)
Novel (courtesy of my goodreads log): Hydrogen Sonata – Iain M Banks
Non-fiction: Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman – Yvon Chouinard
Movie (heavily filtered by what I’ve seen and remember): Skyfall
TV: Sherlock Season 2 beats out Downton Abbey Season 2 beats out Doctor Who 2012. Looks like British TV to me, ok I don’t actually *watch* TV….
Music: Of Mountains and Men – My Head is an Animal, Garbage – Not Your Kind of People, fun. – Some Nights

Gene's 2012 Thanksgiving List

My drive down South every year in April:  from St Paul, Minnesota, to Beaufort, South Carolina.  I move from tired, cold ground and dirty ice to azaleas and sweet magnolia blossoms!  Gene Yates.

Cricket 2012

Cricket’s list 2012


loving caretakers

a steadfast, buddha father

a mommy who loves me – even though she can’t remember my name

caring and dependable siblings

my children settling in Buffalo

Marzel’s feisty laugh and saying: “Again, Gigi. Again.”

my husband’s ZEST for life

my amazing dream group

Westminster Church

old friends

new friends

encouraging teachers

renewed energy

Dorothy Fogelman, my intuitive physical therapist and healer ( thank you, Audrey)

lipstick that stays on

lavender salts in the bath

bracelets that jingle




and, of course, …. …. ALWAYS

love, sweet love

Sandra's Thanksgiving List


Sandra’s 2012 Thanksgiving List

Feeling my fingers finally hit the right keys in the right order with the right beat and hearing music

A bride who invites neighbors (who are strangers) in for leftovers (you are something Laila)

Sisters, by blood and other bonds

Lessons learned – Recognizing when NOT to give advice (see, K, all those self help books DID help!)

The ability to block information:  Caller ID (solicitors exposed); privacy settings

The variations of orange/purple/pink sky out my front window at sunset

Living on a hill

Keeping traditions alive








Mary Beth's Thanksgiving List 2012

So grateful for so many things:

-for being able to stay home with my children while they are little

-Pinterest and foodgawker; so many great vegan, gluten-free and dairy free recipes

-for discovering the wonders black beans and coconut oil bring to baked goods

-a renewed love for running; hand in hand with a renewed commitment to training

-Waldorf early education, and Eliot’s amazing school and teachers

-good writing and stacks of books full of it

-Eliot’s interest in baking, especially bread

-Oliver’s sense of humor

-a husband who challenges me to consider all sides to an argument, especially since we do NOT share political leanings

-old friends who, despite time and space, still maintain relationships

-the farmers’ market, and being able to support at least one CSA

Best of the year:

Book: The Art of Fielding

Album: The Carpenter, Avett Brothers

Movie: Moonlight Kingdom

Accomplishment: a new PR at every race distance except the marathon

Laura's Thanksgiving list

Lot’s of things to be thankful for this year, here’s my list:
  • Unions
  • Specifically the Chicago Teacher’s Union and it fight against corporate takeover and the privitasation of our public schools
  • My travel partner
  • National parks
  • Chicago Public Schools and my principal for granting me a sabbatical and the ability to travel around the world with my love
  • Elections that don’t get stolen
  • Hatchbacks
  • Fancy buses
  • Chicken buses
  • Bicycles
  • Dirty hands
  • Hot showers
  • My grandpa turning 90
  • Flat Track Roller Derby
  • Taking the boys camping for the first time, seeing bears and not being eaten by bears
  • Family and friends traveling the world to visit us

Favorite book: “Skippy Dies” by Paul Murry and “Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende
Favorite  meal: Peruvian ceviche and Maine lobster cooked with bulgier wheat on our camp stove
favorite concert: Emmylou Harris in Grand Rapids and Billy Bragg in Ann arbor

Cory's List

This year I feel incredibly blessed to have much to be thankful for.  I will try to focus on the highlights lest I write a list that is too long for reading:

  • A romantic ally that enjoys travel as much as I do and is willing to take a year of our lives to travel together
  • Fresh fish eaten by the beach and fresh lobster on the bay
  • Chicago Public School teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union for providing the world an example of a strong well intentioned union
  • The ability to speak spanish and the fun of learning new words like “barbaro” and “beastia”
  • The Chicago Public Schools for honoring Laura with a sabbatical
  • Violence prevention programs like Reentry Support Services for youth and Ceasefire Illinois –
  • Community based power organizations like National Peoples Action –
  • Long flight schedules that go off as planned and airplanes with personal media screens
  • The Organization of the NorthEast – my employer for the last eight and a half years that provided me with great experience, tough lessons, and the opportunity to win real victories for our community
  • The financial stability to leave my job and travel
  • Surfing lessons
  • Incan stone masons
  • Bike lanes in New York City
  • Cruz del Sur – the pleasure of traveling by bus
  • Marriage Equality
  • Eating meals with family and close friends
  • Social Movements that confront neo-liberal economic policies and win


Annual Favorites:

  • Book, Fiction: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • Book, Non-Fiction: The Price of Fire by Benjamin Dangl
  • Meal: Ceviche de Pescado set lunch at Surf Ceviche in Barranco, Lima Peru
  • Movie: Moonrise Kingdom, but still waiting to see the Hobbit
  • Music: Diplo – Express Yourself featuring Nicky B
  • Concert: Billy Bragg in Ann Arbor Michigan
  • Visual Artist: Oswaldo Guayasamin –
  • You Tube Video: Thrift Shop –>
  • President: Barack Obama!!!

Karima's 2012 List

I’ll start with my two perennials:
  1. The Public Library
  2. Clotheslines/the smell of fresh line-dried laundry
and the rest…
  • True Leaders: People who work tirelessly to bring us together/strive for equity
  • Election Parties and those who host them (Thank You Mark & Cricket)
  • Bells (non-electronic)
  • Over-the-fence gifts (rhubarb! rocks!)
  • Whale watching  with my granddaughters (Orcas on San Juan Island)
  • Skype
  • Feet-up Time
  • First figs harvest from our fig tree (Thank you Laila)
  • Corner mailboxes
  •  Brick & Mortar Businesses (small/independent ) esp. book/yarn/fabric
  • Real letters received (Thank You Lucy!)
  • Candlelight
  • Rituals/Rhythms
  • Dream Group and all its expansions
  • Car-pooling
  • Family Walks/Bike-rides
  • Living near a large body of water
  • Good, simple designs that keep things together (clothespins, paper clips, safety pins)
  • Events that bring us together (Weddings! )
  • a husband who makes me laugh, EVERY day (also feeds me spectacuarly)
  • Children who teach me/amaze me/keep me humble/keep me PROUD
  • Babies
  • Love, Sweet Love
 (Just noticed the frequesnt use of the word ‘together’ in this post)
Best Fiction : THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich
Best Poetry: THE LAST UNCLE by Linda Pastan
Best Movie: SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN and UP ( a PIXAR film)
Best Event: LAILA & BEN’S WEDDING!!!
Best Music: Still loving Irma’s LETTER TO THE LORD
                       and Rebecca Furgeson’s HEAVEN (esp. “Mr. Bright Eyes”)
Best You Tube: Sweet Brown (original)