The purpose of Thanksgiving is to take time and give thanks for all of life's blessings. With that in mind, here are a few things I am thankful for . . .
* My kids, Elizabeth, Jake and Jeremy: That they're willing to let me hang out with them is one of the great joys of my life. And they drink beer.
* My dog, Rudy: The very definition of unconditional love. And she drinks beer.
* My adoptive parents, Earl and Billie: They will always be my Mom and Dad although, as they get older, they may not always remember that I am their son. They don't drink beer but probably should have when I was growing up.
* My brother and sisters - Connie, Jane and Dan: While this has been a tough year for our family, I think our bond as a family has never been stronger. But that may be just the beer talking.
* My new biological family - my other brothers, Jeff, Tom and Joe AND especially my other sister Connie: Not to mention the eight zillion others I got to meet this summer for the first time. No outsider has ever felt so welcome walking into a family reunion.
* Books! I love to read and I added a new one to my Top Five All Time Favorites this year. The top five are: 1)Lonesome Dove, 2)The Brothers K, 3)The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, 4)To Kill a Mockingbird and 5)Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. (#3 is the new addition, by the way.)
* Reality TV Shows: I'm a junkie for this kinda stuff. Especially The Amazing Race, Survivor, Top Chef and my all time favorite guilty pleasure - Big Brother!
* College Football: Watching the Beavs, most of all but also the Ducks, Broncs, Golden Bears, the red tree thingy team, the Fighting Cardinals of Ball State and more . . .
* College Basketball: Is there any sporting event more fun than the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament? I submit there is not!
* Major League Baseball: Jeremy says baseball is for fat kids but I love going to games, drinking $9 beer and eating $6 garlic fries (especially with the slice of apple at the end) and enjoying America's greatest pastime. I've been to nine MLB ballparks so far (and Safeco more times than I can count) and want to hit the rest before I die. Which could be at any moment, so I better get started.
* Music: I love all kinds of music but jazz most of all. I also love rock, country, big band, alternative and who knows what else. So, you might get Miles Davis one minute, the Jon Butler Trio another, then Jurassic 5, Blake Shelton, Linkin Park, G. Love & Special Sauce, Diana Krall or James Taylor. You can only imagine how painful this must be for for any of my co-workers who are within a five mile radius of my office.
* Beer: Did I mention the beer thing already? There are tons of great beers out there. Black Butte Porter, Dead Guy Ale, Terminator Stout, Guinness, The Abyss, Dissident, Tricerahops, Juniper Ale, Red Menace and on and on . . . Just don't try to give me anything with the words "light," "Bud." "Coors" or the letters P, B and R in the title. By the way, wine is for snobs.
* All My Future Ex-Wives: They know who they are but my hope is to be able to thank them all personally someday. (That doesn't sound too creepy, does it?) Former ex-wives are, by definition, excluded and cannot be referred to without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.
* Good Friends: In spite of my hermit / loner / loser lifestyle, I have been blessed with a number of really great friends. They know who they are (I hope) and they can be grateful that I won't be stalking, er, coming around to thank them personally.
Happy Turkey Day!