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Annual Thanksgiving Message

For 24 years, I have been running variations of the same Thanksgiving column, listing the things for which I am thankful. During the years when I had stopped posting regular blog entries, I started writing regular entries in a gratitude journal, which got me to thinking of the difference between thankful and grateful. Google isn't much help:

Grateful: feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.
Thankful: pleased and relieved, grateful

So, basically, it treats the words as synonymous. I do still give thanks for my health and my family. I am also grateful to have them in my life. I am grateful to be of use, to my family and others. [Turns out service is a Love Language] I am grateful for the love I get and the loving kindness I am now obliged to give everyone, since my heart Chakra opened.

 I am grateful that my medical problems are all treatable. Every day, I am grateful to be here, because every minute I have had since January 2007 has been a gift. I cherish that gift. I don't need Clarence the Angel to show me that this is a wonderful life; unlike George Bailey, I have never for a moment doubted that the world is a better place for my being in it. I give thanks for my blessings every morning, and expect to do so for the rest of my life. And, yes, especially on Thanksgiving Day.

Finally, if you feel life has been dealing to you from the bottom of the deck, I recommend the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. Write down one or two things each day for which you are grateful. Big or small, serious or silly. You may find it helps you keep things in perspective; I know it has had that effect on me. Going back and rereading it sometimes can be an interesting and rewarding activity.

Things You’ll Never See/Hear Again Redux

(length warning) You are probably aware that song lyrics stay with us much longer than text. The only reason I know the gender of the German word Hut is because of the song Mr. Knopf taught us: “Mein hut, der hat drei ecken.”

I learned a great deal of popular music and a few folk songs from my mother. When I was around six years old she went to college. She taught me a song popular at Portland State in the 50s. There are a few Internet citations, but not many.

There are multiple verses, but the ones I remember are:

For it’s beer, beer, beer that makes us want to cheer,
On the farm, on the farm,
For it’s beer, beer, beer that makes us want to cheer,
On the Leland Stanford Junior Varsity Farm.

For it’s gin, gin, gin that makes us want to sin,
On the farm…

For it’s vodka, vodka, vodka, that makes us feel we oughta

For it’s Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey that makes us feel so frisky

And of course what’s a college drinking song without a risqué ending:

For  it’s split-pea soup that makes us want a… crumpet.

This was usually combined with

We never stagger, we never fall,
We sober up on wood alcohol.
Send that freshman out for gin,
And don’t let a sober sophomore in.
And finally, from a different source

Let’s all drink to our misspent youth,
Three parts gin, one part vermouth.

This and That

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