anne mikolay 2012 120The 2015 Thanksgiving episode of the ABC sitcom, Last Man Standing, featured “The Gratitude List,” the fictional family's annual enumeration of that which they were thankful for. Following ABC's lead, I composed a “Gratitude List” of my own. At the top of my current list, of course, are those whom I love: my husband, my two sons, my father, my sister, my extended family of nieces/nephews and in-laws, my dear friends (MaryLou, Lynn, and Andy), and my darling pets (one dog, two cats, one bird). While family and friends are the great loves of my life, little things comprise my days, small trinkets of simplicity, like the following, for which I am thankful.

  • I am grateful for words, without which I cannot express myself or do what I love to do, which is write, write, write.
  • I am grateful for art, for pretty pictures, for colors vibrant as well as subdued. Art is the “wallpaper of the world” and grants joy and commiseration.
  • I am grateful for trees, most especially those rich in autumn color.
  • I am grateful for a winter sky, potent and complex.
  • I am thankful for the birds that sing in the pre-dawn hours. Their song is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.
  • I am thankful for a good black and white cookie from J&M Bakery in Middletown. Park me on the sofa in front of the television, give me a black and white cookie and a cup of lemon tea, and I'm happy.
  • I am thankful for Sicilian pizza from Villa's in the Kohls Plaza in Middletown and plain pizza from Napoli's in Toms River.
  • I am thankful for Gettysburg National Military Park where history combines with nature to inspire peaceful reverence.
  • I am thankful for prayer – not the lofty words recited in a pew, but the “upward leap of the heart,” as St. Therese called it. Prayer is fuel for daily living.
  • I am grateful for little, bright eyed babies. Therein lies the future.

          While my meager list of thanksgiving may bore you, I urge you to mentally comprise your own “Gratitude List,” for as author/historian Alice Morse Earl once said, “Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.”