... for good health. Whatever other stresses may be going on in our lives right now, at least none of us is spending Thanksgiving in a hospital-- either as a patient or a visitor. I will never forget the Thanksgiving I spent as a very very sick cookie; every year this is my biggest thanks.

... for my amazing daughter. She has brought so much to my life, I don't know what I'd do or where I'd be without her. She is my guiding light. I want to be like her when I grow up: fierce and generous, loving and loyal and tough, smart and quick with boundless energy, a great sense of style, and a good sense of humor about everything. And thanks that she is healthy and cheerful and appreciative, that having a hard life has not made her bitter. Thanks that she is enjoying her life and doesn't dread school any more, and doesn't have to go to daycare anymore either.

... for my new husband. I am so blessed to live my life next to this man who is steady and true, who wakes up cheerful every day, who is furry and optimistic and makes me laugh, who loves my daughter, is utterly accepting of both of us, who is an amazing father, who always takes out the garbage and does the dishes every night, who never skimps on the foreplay and knows how to fix my car. Thanks for my new marriage. Although the first six months of said marriage have tested us severely with unemployment struggles and custody battles, we both figure it can only get better from here.

... that my relationship with Miss L has evolved so thoroughly from where it was at this time last year. We have managed to forge a positive foundation for ourselves and learned to navigate our lives within and around each other in a harmonious way--for the most part. And this in spite of multiple undermining attempts by external forces, making me even more appreciative of our new connection.

... for the rest of my immediate family. We're really only mildly dysfunctional, and we have a pretty good time together, all things considered. Thanks that my parents are blessed with good health and happy hearts. Thanks for the renewed closeness with my sister, and thanks for her baby daughter, who has softened her, opened her, and brought joy to her life and all our lives. Thanks that my brother is not living in China anymore and might decide to rejoin our family, and thanks for his fiancee who is largely responsible for this much-welcome shift.

... that I am working, even if it's just for the moment. Thanks that Dan is at the top of the out-of-work list at his Union, and will get the next job call that comes in.

... that, although we're eating an awful lot of hamburger and mac n cheese these days, we are not going hungry. Thanks that we have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs.

... that we live in a free, non-war-torn country, that our children have the right to an education and not be conscripted into a militia against their will. Thanks that we live in a country where they can live whatever life they can dream up for themselves.


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