I'm thankful for:
- the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. I expect their games on TV just as much as I expect the sun to rise in the east.
- brown sugar pie made by my mother. For 364 days of the year, its a toss-up between my two favorite desserts made by her - this one or her banana pudding. But on Thanksgiving Day - its brown sugar pie hands down.
- the beginning of Christmas show season. From childhood to adult age to parent age and beyond, I still enjoy watching shows such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon narrated by Bela Lugosi - not the Jim Carrey movie), Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase, and of course all the Rankin-Bass Christmas episodes. And as much as I cringe to admit it publicly, I even bought The Homecoming on DVD last year. I never much cared for The Waltons TV series, but I think this movie is a classic. (12-02-2009 edit: It was Boris Karloff not Bela Lugosi who had the Grinch voice over. To quote Bugs Bunny, "what a maroon". DOH!)
- four cups of coffee in the morning.
- a day with immediate and extended family on Thanksgiving Day. The meal was overwhelming, the discussions were great (except for that annual, awkward, under his breath rant from my mumbling, bigoted, racist uncle), and multiple vintages of homemade wine made by a non-bigoted uncle were tasted-tested by folks from Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida who gathered under one roof today.
- John Irving's novels.
- Americana music and its fan base. I've listened to this type of music for the better part of 20 years. Yet until recently, the type of music I've grown to enjoy really didn't have a genre label. Also, my immediate circle of friends didn't know about and/or particularly care for artists such as Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Blue Rodeo, Townes Van Zandt, Wilco, Roger Miller, etc. The web has helped me realize, however, how many others do enjoy this type of music.
- NASCAR and Nashville Predators hockey. Can't get enough of either.
- the four distinct seasons and three grand divisions of Tennessee.