We are off to a good friend’s for Thanksgiving this year. It is the first time in close to a decade that I have not cooked the meal and my wife and I have not had friends or family over. We usually have over the folks my mom calls “strays”, those who are not traveling to visit their relatives or are otherwise stuck in town.

I like making the whole spread–turkey, stuffing and gravy (tofurkey for wifey), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, cranberry sauce, all of that. My wife bakes the pumpkin pie. This year it will be nice to sit back and relax, not have to cook, and, even better, not have to do the dishes!

So what am I thankful for this year? Family, by blood and by marriage, friends–old and new found–perhaps most essentially life, and the gifts life offers. I know that sounds hackneyed, but after reading this account by someone whose wife and two children were murdered in the Mumbai attacks, it really put things into perspective for me.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all, American or not.

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