Wednesday, November 27, 2013
With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I'm devoting my column to naming some of the things I'm grateful for.
I've read many posts on Facebook where people listed something they're thankful for each day during the month of November.
Some of it was pure fluff — I am thankful for green grass.
Others were quite moving — I am thankful for my paycheck (even if my wife does spend most of it on new shoes for her.)
OK. That last one was from Russell, but I was able to delete it before it was posted.
For starters, I'm grateful for 15 steady, continuous and fabulous years of writing this column for Georgetown Times. Woo-hoo.
Who would've ever thought on that fateful day when John Burbage allowed me to show him eight sample columns that he would offer me this fabulous gig.
To Jesse Tullos, Jason Lesley, John Carr, Tommy Howard and others, especially Zena Altman, who is the most patient, forgiving, understanding soul I've ever known in the publishing business, I say thank you.
I'm extremely pleased for this month where I broke records in book sales and presentations.
It wasn't easy to do eight speaking engagements and/or holiday shows in three weeks; but it paid off in more ways than one – new friends, new readers and new adventures.
I'm grateful for two beautiful daughters who give Russell and I so much love, joy and happiness.
And two precious granddaughters who do the same.
I'm so appreciative that both of my parents are still living.
At age 85 they are relatively healthy, all things considered.
And we're fortunate to live only an hour away, so that means lots of visits.
Though I'm grateful that our daughter, Katie, has a job she adores in the nursing field and a husband she is madly in love with, I am sad that they will be moving to Charlotte, N.C. (four hours away) to further both of their medical careers.
On the plus side, we'll get to visit the biggest city in N.C. pretty often.
I'm very grateful that both Russell and I have reconnected with old friends; me, through Facebook with my BFF, Carol, from high school. Though we grew up an hour away from here, we are now neighbors living a half-mile apart.
We've traveled twice to Destin, Fla., with Carol and her hubby, Frank; and had countless meals and adventures.
And though we don't see each other every day, when we do reconnect, it's like no time has passed.
Russell has reconnected through Google with an old ECU college roommate from the mid-70s named Matt.
Other roommates have all joined together (with their wives); namely, Mark, Bill and Allen.
And now, we've attended ECU ballgames and had dinner visits together.
(In fact, we were at the game this past Saturday when ECU stomped N.C. State.
Someone asked me if I enjoyed the game. This was my answer, “Well. It was a long, cold, loud day and the metal bleachers — with no back —were killer.”
Y'all know I'm not into sports.) But on a more positive note: most of these folks live in Raleigh; so we can visit Kelly and her family and spend the night.
I am thankful for the many friends we've made in Wilmington through our church, our neighborhood, Russell's job; and also my writing, speaking and selling books.
If we had to leave S.C. seven years ago, I can't think of a better place to live, work and play.
And though Thanksgiving Day is the time to share food and fun with family and friends, some of our Thanksgiving pasts – meals, that is—have not turned out so well.
I wrote about the Thanksgiving Hex once, recalling the poor, inedible turkeys due to my catching the oven on fire, undercooking the meat, and even desperately securing a restaurant to cook our turkey, only to find out it was botched due to their leaving the giblets in paper inside the cavity, by mistake. (Good thing we also cooked a ham.)
But on this Thanksgiving day, I am especially grateful for Katie's in-laws, Doreen and Nick, who are cooking the meal at their beautiful home on Bradley Creek, here in Wilmington.
I'll be bringing a few of my favorite dishes – but thankfully, for everyone involved, turkey is not one of them.
Ann Ipock – “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” firstname.lastname@example.org www.annipock.com.