Cory's 2008 List

Thanks to Karima, Gordon and all for creating space for me to consider what I am thankful for, a rare reflective treat these days…

In 2008 I am thankful for:
nephews and niece

a credible presidential candidate that I can believe in
volunteer time well spent in Ohio and Iowa

that people now have an idea what community organizing is and that the profession is even respected in some circles

friendly vegetarians




lake michigan

dance parties

friends that send emails from far off places

the everglades


lower rent

friends that help you move twice in one year

house plants

being challenged

Book: Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough
Movie: hmmmm.  I just saw quantum of solace

Music: Gutter Butter

Trip: PNW!!!![errr, I mean Geneva in November]
Futbol Team: Barcelona

Meal: Pumpkin Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage Sauce at Ante Prima

Greg's List

Things I am thankful for:

My children (they make me so proud),

My family,

My friends,

Work that is still challenging,

Travel, and the chronicling of same with my Nikon,

A partner that gets my craziness, inspires new travels, different adventures,
makes my children and friends hers as well and tolerates my experiments in the kitchen on Sundays and my quirkiness outside of the kitchen on most other days,

That two week period in the Fall where the leaves are just the right color and they seem to animate my way as I drive, walk or ride in their midst,

That untouched first snow that is oh so beautiful, which I saw much too early while on my way to Warsaw, N.Y. in early October,

Comfort food by and for comfortable friends,

Foreign movies that make you think, feel and appreciate a non-western industrial complex based point of view,

Jazz…. a beat….a vocalist that speaks to me… instrumental soloists…a melding that you can sometimes hear when the group is in a groove, finding the all but extinct small jazz club where the music is meant to be heard at, a rhythming that gets to you when you finally get it (not all jazz is meant to be got [at least by me]).

Art in its many forms…thanx to a partner that practices, appreciates and shares that art she makes, encounters and that seems to flourish all around her,

Computers and the things I am being exposed to as a result of them,

An opportunity to do something that I never thought I would be able to do in my lifetime…to not only see and vote for a viable presidential candidate of color but to be able to work for his election and to see him elected,

I am thankful for being a part of this history that is happening all around us right this very moment

Film:  There were a few, but my memory is poor.  Right now one of my favorites that comes to mind is the Paul Verhoven film Black Book with an amazing Carice van Houten, I am sure there are more, but….

Music:  Alison Crockett, Esperanza Spaulding, Gordon Webster, Sandra Nkake, Camille, Marcus Miller, SMV, Raul Midon, Kenny Barron, Don Byron… so much more music and so little time and money.

Books: As most of you know I am either into detective/mystery stories or sci-fi, but my most memorable read this year might have been A Thousand Splendid Suns, heart-wrenchingly sad yet beautifully written.

Mary Pichette

I am grateful for loving Albert and having been loved by him

For my children who keep me in the game

The people and circumstances that have challenged me throughout my life

The strength, courage, self awareness, and vision I have obtained from these challenges

For the beautiful Japanese maple tree I planted in my front yard in memory of Albert

The colors of crimson and gold which represent connection


People who have a good sense of humor

Being able to laugh at myself

Being in the company of friends who accept me for who I am

Support groups

My students

Learning how to make “greens” and actually eating them

Knowing that I have the ability to cook; just need the desire

An eclectic meal that someone else has prepared

Blues and Jazz music that sooth my soul

Memories and pictures

My mom who is ill, but provides me with purpose

Listening to the rush of the ocean’s waves

Collecting stones and rocks that are shaped like hearts

One of my favorite quotes: What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love becomes a part of us. -Helen Keller-

My Thanksgiving List

I appreciate the opportunity to put in writing this 2008 list.  It mirrors much of what I’ve appreciated all my life, but this year I feel a little more aware of that appreciation.  In no particular order, but as they come to me:

My wife Sharon, who I met 3+ years ago and married just this past July 12th.  She has taught me so much about being thankful.

My life in Asheville, though not as slow as I’d like, still has me noticing the wonderful mountains, weather, and people.

My friends, particularly those who have passed, who have given me the love and understanding that I needed and craved.

The excitement that democracy can work and can excite others.  Despite the problems we presently have and the fears that many, including me, feel, I have not felt this hopeful in a very long time.

To Buffalo, for being a unique place and holding a special place in my heart.  While I sometimes make light and kid about the city, I know it is my heritage and made me what I am.

With love, Ron

Mary's 1st ever Thanksgiving list, 2008

Definitley Obama, who I fell in love with many years ago after reading “Dreams of My Father”.  And I’ll have you know I told everyone…this man should be president!  I don’t think he was even a Senator at the time!

Thomas the Tank Engine (Sasha is obsessed!)

And now I’m drawing a blank.  After a truly life altering event at the end of September I’m sitting here thinking of what I am thankful for.  And I am truly not taking the “easy” way out, but my life has been turned inside out and upside down so my priorities are very different. 

Truly I am so very thankful for my wonderfully supportive family!  Words can not express, I’m writing this with tears in my eyes and a choke in my throat.

My husband home with me no matter his state of mind and the strength of our love.

 My inner strength that I didn’t know I possesed, especially my ability to be the happy upbeat mommy most of the time, when all I want to do is sink into self pity. 

 My Son, my son, my son!!! 

My pregnancy, although many times I have been anything but thankful, but as this little bean pie grows and becomes so much more a part of me with movements increasing daily, I am falling in love!

 Laila, Tiffany, and Amy, my only friends who I can burden with my troubles. 

Karima for always thinking of me and my family and for her prayers.

All the new women I have met in my support group.

The holidays, because no matter what is going on I still get that warm fuzzy feeling during the holiday season.

My life, my husband’s life, my son’s life.  We are here, together, alive, and in love.

Hoops' 2008 List

This year, I am most thankful for:
1. My mother, for watching my children every single day that I work. What an amazing and generous gift.
2. Memories of my grandmother, and for the opportunity to eulogize her, with my sister Val at my side.
3. The opportunity to observe the family of robins we had in our climbing rose this year–from egg to flight.
4. Maria Montessori and our Montessori school. I am inspired by Griffin and Harrison’s teachers and classrooms every day.
5. Barack Obama, being able to take part in a historic election, and the American people for making the right choice.
6. Children’s books which are not painful to read over and over and over again.
7. Letchworth camping with Harrison and Doug, snuggling them in the sleeping bags on a 30 degree night, and sharing hot cocoa with marshmallows in enamelware mugs.
8. The Twilight series and the guilty pleasure of being singularly absorbed into reading 2,000+ pages of such earnestly awful (yet titillating!) prose in a few short weeks.
9. New dahlia bulbs and blooms, which were spectacular this year.
10. Being able to go to the Rochester Public Market or Greece Farm Market every free Saturday, which is the bright side of being woken up at 6:30 AM by the hellions
11. Girl talk over the Thanksgiving Tasting supper at Hurd Orchards
12. Harrison’s growing appreciation for The Beatles (even though I may go mad if I have to hear ‘Revolution’ on the ride to school again tomorrow)
13. Picking and eating so many sweet cherries that our bellies hurt and our fingers turned red.
14. Having a progressive/feminist husband who is a true co-parent and partner.
15. My new sewing machine and the fun (fantasy?) of planning winter projects
16. The best of this year’s thrift store treasures: a cherry-red metal roller skate case repurposed to store train-set tracks; teacups for Val which match Gram’s dessert plates; and vintage juice glasses perfect for small hands.
17. The few days when the kids and cats all sleep in and it’s actually light out when I wake–like today!
18. Love, love, love, love. Crazy love.

Laila's 2008 List

New Orleans and a sense of hope
Barack Obama and a sense of hope
peach season in Georgia
paying off my car
youtube and subsequent early 90s dance parties
running into people you thought you had lost forever
crab boils and meeting friendly neighbors who hold them in your honor
premier’s coffee bean selection
Monday night sewing club/crochet club/all-around crafty club
my KitchenAid food processor, thanks pops!
getting to see my niece three times already this year!!!!!
hearing Lucy call me Yaiya
hearing Donovan call me Teetee Laila
Italian cashmere, specifically the sweater I bought in Florence
jars of pear sauce and dilly beans preserved from my garden and lining my shelves
oysters; on the half shell at Redfish, fried at Casemento’s and chargrilled at Drago’s
Books: Mudbound by Hilary Jordan and Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Memorable Meals: El Quenepo in Vieques with the most incredible grilled meats and passionfruit creme brulee, Il Fagioli in Florence with Florentine steak, fagioli ucce’letto, tortelli di spinaci and torta di fichi with vin santo
Movies:  None come to mind but I have enjoyed watching the series Mad Men on Netflix
Music: Santogold

tall and stout

how milk sweetens on heating just the right way

earplugs – did I say this last year? I think these are perhaps the most bang for your buck in any manufactured product ever


lengthy sunshine hours

eyeballs that continue to function with minimal deterioration

school, learning, dialogue, discourse

soup-to-nuts open source OS & software

a generation and culture that is increasingly ecologically sensitive

wireless internet… everywhere…

my own little space to live in


metacognitive ability, coping

care packages

persistence and progress observed in others

porters, stouts, cream ales, …

greek cuisine

hand-me-down hiking boots worn every day that last years

flexible deadlines

My best of’s are not new:
best food:  big rock trad on tap
best music: mgmt

best movie: farewell my concubine

best book: cognitive processing of chinese and related asian languages (–joke; I don’t read anymore)

best words: ludic, phatic, co-constructed, comity, problematize (could also be worst word)

Thanksgiving 2008

I am thankful for:

big rivers
old trees
high winds
disorganized gardens
a growing family
and always…. love, sweet love.