Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time to give thanks ...

It's Thanksgiving time. And in the spirit of the season, here are a few things I'm thankful for.

A's -- Report cards came in recently. And once again, I'm thrilled to report there were many A's in the bunch. From AP U.S. History to middle school family and consumer science. How great to see my can be blackmailed into getting the A's my parents never demanded from me.

CALL of DUTY, BLACK OPS 2: Because this much anticipated expansion to the ultra-popular game came out just early enough for my son to have to have it NOW rather than at Christmas. So he did. With his own cash, the boy sprung for Call of Duty now, which means we don't have to buy it for him for Christmas. Score.

The ABSENCE OF OLD MAN WINTER: For the second straight year, Old Man Winter is late. Normally, he barges his way into autumn like a drunk uncle, taking perfectly drive-able roads and transforming them into ice skating rinks (or so the old cliche goes, anyway.) Last year was the exception. The balmy winter we had last year was like the greatest gift I've ever gotten. I hate winter. And last year was the mildest one I've ever been through. This year looks like more of the same, at least up through Turkey Day. And that's a far cry from previous years. I remember spending Thanksgiving days out in the back yard, playing football on freshly fallen snowflakes, making that extra leap for a catch just so we could land in the snow. Those were the day, back when snow didn't even feel cold, when it was nothing to grab a gob of snow with my bare hands, mash it into a ball and hurl it at my buddy's head, then get ready to dodge one coming back at my  head because, hey, that's how guys roll -- you chuck one at my, you better look for one coming back at yours. But now I'm old and gray and just get really crabby about having to live six months of every in sweatshirts and Columbia jackets. I'd still rather live no where else. Minnesota is home. Even if I hate it half the year.

BRUCE: He came through. When the Springsteen tour was first announced, the Twin Cities wasn't on the list. A few months later, it was added. This year I got a chance to take the kids, which was a thrill for me and, hopefully, for them, too.

JUSTICE: The marriage amendment failed. As it should have. That's all I'll say about that.

PIANOS: Because I'm super lucky, I know a guy who had a piano and didn't mind dropping it off at my place. So now I've got a pair of kids banging away on piano keys in my house. And even though they don't really know how to play it yet, every minute they try and feel their way through it is an adventure that's fun to listen to. Truly. No, really.

SECOND JOBS: We're going to have a decent Christmas this year because of one thing: my wife has taken a second job. Without that? I don't know. For another full year, the company I work for has withheld a month of our pay. But I guess I should feel lucky, they say. If they didn't, they'd be letting people go, and I'd be stupid to think I wouldn't be the first to be let go. But I'm not bringing this up to say "woe is me." I'm bringing it up to mention how thankful the family is that Amy is working a second job. Oh, and by the way, so am I. To put a dent in those lost wages, I'm donated my plasma.

BEAGLES: I just smile every time I look at Henry. He's awkward and a social misfit, but he's part of the family and I love him. But dude, do something about that breath.

MOMS: 'Nuff said.

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