It’s Thanksgiving Day, an American holiday that is a little less warped by commerce than most. Thanksgiving was always and maybe still is my favorite holiday, with lots of food, football, relatives and naps. These days there’s a little less of each, but the basic outlines are still there, intact.

There’s a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving 2021. First, I’m thankful that it’s not 2020, an absolute shitshow of a year. The pandemic emergency is winding down, the disease isn’t the death threat it was a year ago. We have vaccines and therapies for those intelligent enough to get them. It appears we’ll never be rid of COVID-19, but it’s not the mysterious existential threat it started out as.

As always, I’m thankful for family and friends. One of the only good things that happened (great thing, actually) in 2020 was Jesse’s birth, so the immediate family welcomed a new member. He’s a joy, and so is grandson #1. And on that subject, very thankful that the pandemic that’s taken 800,000 American lives (!) has so far passed by my immediate family. Knock on wood. Get the booster. Wear masks, wash your hands. Whatever it takes.

I’m definitely thankful to be healthy (mostly) and strong, not something every 65+ person can say. I’m not really doing my part to stay that way, so that needs to change. And I’m especially thankful that my mind is still sharp. Now that I have time to reflect on life (post retirement), reading, writing and thinking are a real pleasure.

I’m thankful that Kathryn and I have the resources to travel and enjoy retirement. We live a privileged life, in the literal sense of the word. We worked hard to get here, but so do many others who still struggle. We are fortunate.

2021 was a much better year than 2020, and 2022 looks to be even better. Kathryn and I will venture to the top and bottom of the world in 2022, crossing North and South polar boundaries. In between we’ll see the grandkids a lot and try to stay healthy. That’s a lot to look forward to.