At this time of year, I like to consider the things for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for my memory—-though seemingly as full of holes as Swiss cheese these days—is still intact enough for me to remember not to end my sentences with a preposition. This grammatical giftedness is a result of my education, another thing for which I am truly thankful. My education relied heavily on old-fashioned, low-tech items called books, that taught me a quaint skill called spelling. This skill makes it impossible for me to decipher the text messages of my teenagers, and for this I am again most thankful.
I am not immune, however, to the benefits of technology. I am very thankful for the Internet that allows me to do my Black Friday shopping online while I sip a steaming cup of coffee and enjoy wearing my warm and roomy pajamas.
Speaking of loose and comfy PJs, I am also most thankful for flexible, forgiving elastic like the kind that seems to increasingly be found in the waistbands of my clothes. Elastic hides a multitude of flaws and is surely one of man’s greatest inventions. It doesn’t get the gratitude that it deserves.
Speaking of a multitude of flaws, while I am definitely not appreciative of cellulite, I am thankful for those tasty substances that cause it. In particular, at this time of year, I am grateful for gravy. This is a much more profound statement than you realize. I am certainly thankful for the surface glories of good gravy, that warm, luscious sauce that coats my taste buds and then goes on to coat my hips. But I’ve come to realize lately that gravy is much more than that. Gravy is actually a symbol for my life.
Sometimes my life flows along smoothly, a rich, flavorful stream of goodness. Other times, it turns into a lumpy, gelatinous mess in desperate need of a sanity strainer. Perhaps when my life gets lumpy, I should sift it with thankfulness the same way my grandma used to strain her gravy. Perhaps then my life wouldn’t be as strained as this goofy metaphor I’m beating into the ground here. Perhaps you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention. Perhaps I’ve said “perhaps” once too often.
Anyway, speaking of gravy, I am thankful for my mother, who is a gravy grand master. People come from miles around to sample my mother’s gravy. And this Thanksgiving, those people will be going to her house instead of mine, a fact for which I am deeply thankful as it means I won’t have to clean my house. It also means that the cranberries will be expertly jelled, the green beans and sweet potatoes beautifully dressed for the occasion, and the pies mighty with meringue, all with very little effort on my part. Just about the only thing I’ll have to do is show up wearing my elastic pants. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning freelance writer and editor. Her humor writing has been featured in several books, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, as well as in numerous publications in the United States, Canada and India. You can read more of her work at www.jackiepapandrew.com