More Things to Be Thankful for in 2013 Continued

My great niece is getting an early start in the kitchen.

My great niece is getting an early start in the kitchen.

It’s been so long since I added an item to this list that I had to reread my own blog to see what I’d already covered. I was surprised to find I had not yet mentioned food.

I love food. It’s a bold statement in a culture in which food is often vilified, but I don’t hesitate to admit it. I love everything about food — eating it, cooking it, thinking about it, even shopping for it. I don’t even mind exercising because it means I can have more of it without feeling guilty. And guilt is something I rarely indulge in too much of, though I can’t say the same about food.

In fact, I once took third place in a coed meatball eating contest by consuming 21 golf ball-sized meat treats in five minutes. My prize?

Contemplating a raw egg appetizer

Contemplating a raw egg appetizer

Two Blues hockey tickets and $100 in steaks. I don’t know whether I should feel proud or embarrassed to admit I didn’t even feel that full after the competition, a fundraiser for a local food bank.

And, though I obviously love food on a personal level, I am particularly thankful for the role it plays family, culture, and friendship. Almost every family has favorite recipes that are passed down, serving as edible heirlooms that help both preserve and create memories at every special occasion or on any typical Tuesday.

So, rather than demonizing food for all the negative things it can do to my waistline and wallet, I choose to make shopping, cooking, and eating a shared everyday celebration for the mind, body, and soul.

Homemade fried rice made after a phone consultation with her 81-year-old mimi and a little hands-on help from mom.

Homemade fried rice made after a phone consultation with her 81-year-old mimi and a little hands-on help from mom.

More Than Thirty Days of Thankfulness

I didn’t participate in 30 days of thankfulness during the month of November, but began composing a list in my head as I read friends’ Facebook posts and blog entries about the many good things in their lives. While I was thinking of the things and people who should be on my own list, I was also brainstorming for a way to extend the new technology-driven tradition beyond the month of November.  So here are a few of the things, animals and people I am — or at least should be — thankful for each and every day. I plan to add to the list through the new month and new year and revisit it in thankless times to come.

1. I am thankful for my boyfriend. He’s paid for more than his fair share of beer, burgers and bloody marys over the past few years so I could pursue part-time professoring and full-time freelance writing.

2. I am thankful for my so-far successful return to professional writing and reporting after a decade-long detour into teaching.

3. I am thankful for my mom who is in good health and good spirits after a life-changing move to a retirement home this summer.

4. I am thankful for my sister and her family. They have provided countless hours of logistical and moral support to both me and our mom before and since the move.

5. I am thankful for my cat Lucy. Lucy Cat, who has been a faithful and fun companion through one failed relationship, three states and nearly a half dozen moves, even decided to stay close to home this summer rather than yet again answering the call of the wild while we were on vacation.

Although, as made evident by this video, she was less than happy about it.