In case I don’t see you during Thanksgiving…

Lately I’ve been reading an ugly idea: that Thanksgiving dinner is an ideal place to argue politics — as if we don’t have enough fertile ground for shouting matches with relatives. I just can’t partake in Thanksgiving politics, although I admit if I see that photo of Al Franken one more time my stomach will empty for another plate.

On this holiday, I prefer to feel gratitude — as old-fashioned as that sounds — and I have a lot to appreciate this year. It was an unusual year for me, in that I had four major goals. I accomplished them all. Despite that, I went through a three-month period of misery. It’s startling to achieve dreams and still be dreadfully unhappy.

Those three months were my last in Florida. I know what caused it. I prefer not to go into it.

So for openers, I am thankful for the people who sensed I wasn’t happy and reached out. They know who they are. I am thankful for you. I hope you have a most joyous holiday season.

I am thankful for the friends I did make in Florida, too. It is a fun state, fascinating and gorgeous. Regrettably, I didn’t make many lasting friendships there. The ones I did make? The people there I appreciate their humor, their intellect, their quirkiness. Sorry the rest of it didn’t work out for me.

Living on the east coast afforded me the chance to see most of the country at a slower pace. I am thankful for what I learned about America. What an amazing nation. My senses overloaded on the hues of our culture, which varies from state to state. It would take months to fully recall and appreciate what I’ve taken in. I savor those memories daily. The music of Nashville. The art museums of Philadelphia and Chicago. The architecture of Baltimore. The alcoholism of Kansas City.

I must admit, though, that I am extremely thankful to be closer to my friends and family here in Las Vegas. I’ve already made road trips to Los Angeles, Arizona, and I can’t wait to see my parents tomorrow. Thanksgiving is a time for overloading on comfort food, but eating all of that grub is merely a symbol. Thanksgiving dinner is a metaphor of how our lives can be delicious and bountiful. My life is abundant for the friends I have. The relationships you create lead to lasting comfort and joy.

My best friends? They know who they are. People I’ve begun to cultivate relationships with, I hope you know I value you.

Finally, I am grateful for those of you who have purchased my latest novel, “Assumption Day.” I want to keep that brief because I don’t want to make this blog post sound like a sales pitch. Thank you.

Let’s all have a warm holiday season. There are far more beautiful things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in political philosophy.

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