Hi Kids…..Hey….Its here….first of the big 3 right? Thanksgiving. The other 2 of course being National Pop Tart Day and Dick Clarks Day.(for those under 35, Ryan Seacrests Day……..Please lets leave Carson daly out of it!)

Ok so this post is gonna be semi-random, and maybe inappropriate, and somewhat scattered. So…..Pretty much like all the rest!   well….first of all, the title of this blog….I wanted to make it longer, by adding or do we just find different thinks to be thankful for?…..which may be more accurate.   For some of us, Im sure not all of us.

My wife often reminds me, I have so much to be thankful for, when compared to say…..an ant. Or Amanda Bynes.   And I do, intellectually i know this : My 2 sons are in their 20’s , with great, great girlfriends, and great ,great futures…..and If I had any small part in making that happen…..Well, Thats something to be damn thankful for, and I am. I am thankful for my wife, who has remained my wife, what will soon be 30 years. I dont know what would have become of me, had I not found her. I shudder to think.

I am thankful, all the time, for the gift of having so many friends, for so long, and so eternally…..I think its amazing….and I know Im in the minority. I have to especially mention….not just my friends , who had always been my friends from High school…..Division Avenue, In Levittown, Long Island…..but especially to the ones who thru social media, have become even closer to me, decades down the road, when we were at best just classmates in the 70’s. there are some of you, I hope you know who you are , that I really cherish and always brings a smile to my face, when I think of our friendship now…..and i say to myself……why didnt we spend more time back then, throwing away the high school shit and just getting to know each other. I want to name some names, but I wont….I just hope the couple of dozen of you know who you are!!

Altho, I miss New York, with emotions I couldnt possibly put into words, I am thankful I finally have started to feel like there are people down here, who I CAN relate to, and there are some beautiful things in Georgia….not the least of which , is living and being so close to my Brother , Mart…and his family. They have been saviors for Gloria and I down here, continually helping us make the physical and emotional adjustments. And you just wont get this , unless youre from down here, I am thankful for Publix(our supermarket) where shopping TRULY is a pleasure!!!!

So now that Ive made everything all warm and fuzzy, i question how much i really want to let the other shoe drop……..maybe not as much as when I first conceived of this post, but I never ever want to write this blog, where i promise to be forthcoming and honest and then become submissive to “lobbyists” and hence become disingenuous.   (BTW, thank you to Theresea greifenberger, who I knew in High School as Terri Ward….for commenting what a great idea she thought this blog was, i hope I dont ever disappoint you theresa….and I want you to know that meant alot to me….and youre one of the people I was talking about earlier!)…..so anyway…..since we;ve been down here and it is just 2 years and 1 month ….this will be our third thanksgiving here, and tho its still befuddling not to have my boys here(tho they , without fail are here for xmas)  we spend it with My Brother, and his wife and my nephew, and my sister-in laws, sister. And before we eat every year, tho they are not “over the top” religious, a grace, or prayer is always in order , and tho i am not shy when it comes to public speaking, I tend to leave this one to my brother……and I sense , it becomes harder every year to keep a straight face for every thing we are thankful for…..because lets be honest…..theres alot to be pretty pissed off about too, isnt there?   Especially as we get a little older each year? Most of us , my age and older….dont have our parents anymore…..and thats always sad, no matter how old we get. Ive not had my mother since i was 17, and my wifes mother , for the past 5 years……It sucks….its always sucked, and lets be honest, not having your mom at the holidays is just sad. I know friends who have lost their parents this year…and I am so sorry, you guys…….but because its how we are programmed, we just march forward…….

Health….My health, my familys health, my friends health…..tends to take on all kinds of new terms and phrases as time passes….Its no secret, I became truly unhealthy for the first time right after turning 40…Heart attack…..which stamped me forever with someone who has and always will have CAD (coronary artery disease) Im still here 17 years later and I swear to you….i really am thankful for that…..because Ive had relapses….and I didnt quit smoking cigarettes until 9 months ago….But yknow…your hearts kinda the organ youd pick on any game show, if they asked you….”name the organ you would least want to have a problem with”?

so theres that and theres the aches and pains and tiredness and exhaustion that just comes now, with going and coming to work. They suck….they can be mildly annoying to “what did I do to deserve this?, but either way they start rearing their ugly heads and we grin and bear it….because again….thats just what most of us do.

And then….and Im sorry if Im starting to delve a little too deep down now……theres the whole “invisibility” thing. Maybe this isnt happening to all of us quite yet, but you become an age, or you reach a point where you cant deny it anymore……you have become “invisible’ to a large section of the population. If we are lucky enough to still have jobs, alot of us deal with not being the most important person at work anymore….thats usually someone closer to your kids age now, than it is someone your age(oh yeah, yeah there are those exceptions….I know). But its humbling, and frustrating, and sad, and infuriating, and confusing, and all in all just doesnt seem right or fair…..im sure some of you know what Im talking about. Alot of my friends have already been let go, or laid off, or offered an early retirement package……and a card…that may or may not say “happy irrelevancy”

If youre feeling well, if you have the time on your hands, if youre a go-getter still…you wake up every day and damnit , you dont let any of that keep you down!!   You go to the gym, you have lunch with friends, you go out to dinner(if you can still afford it)….and life is still a bowl of cherries….You were smart, you put some cash away….and as long as you have your health and your spouse and family….this chapter of your life could be the best and most liberating ever….and you guys definitely have no trouble being genuinely thankful on Thanksgiving!!!!

So heres hoping that is more of you, that thats most of you, rather than the mall majority….that later today, youre gonna be in high spirits…singing the great refrain from my friend Donalds song “Its great to be alive, Its great to be alive!”

and for thos e of you who may not be quite so genuinely cheery……theres Pumpkin pie baby!   And you woke up today!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!!

Alan

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