Giving Thanks


This Thanksgiving, coming at such an unsettled time, I am trying to restore some balance in my life by deliberately focusing on things I’m grateful for. I’m also trying to follow the advice my husband frequently shares with me, to “Lighten up, Francis.”

My family, all four of my kids, are home and we are together. I’m grateful that warfare hasn’t broken out. Everyone seems to be getting along just fine, and cousins dinner Tuesday night was raucous. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a meal that much!

My proofreader and longtime friend Catherine, mother to three incredibly smart young girls, texted me this earlier today: C (who is five) has been accused of bank robbery. Her legal representation is a stuffed bird, and L (her slightly older sister) is the judge. Her chances don’t look good. 😆

She included a fabulous picture of the “courtroom” set up, complete with an enormous pink teddy bear who appeared to be a juror. Teddy looked very intent.

My good friend Barb McQuade reassured me earlier this week that Thanksgiving pie has no calories. I hope that’s also true for Marissa Rothkopf’s delicious Cranberry-Apple Upside-Down Pumpkin Cake, which I made shortly after she included it in her Substack newsletter. I’ve been snacking on it all day.

We still live in a democracy and we are gearing up to vote. I’m thankful and I try to continue to be an optimist and work hard to make sure I’m justified in being one.

And I am very grateful I have chickens to distract me and keep even the grown up kids laughing.

Leeda, who likes to get right up to the phone when I take her picture

While I was working earlier today, my daughter came downstairs to my office, and said with a confused but slightly amused look on her face that two “very nice young gentlemen” at the front door had “brandished” ears of corn at her and said they were for the chickens. She took them down to the coop. I think a good time was had by all. I’m so grateful for wonderful neighbors and good friends, and for all of you here at Civil Discourse. Hilary Clinton was right. It really does take a village.

I’m also thankful for this sweet face.

Miss Fig

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Whether you are in the U.S. and formally celebrating, or elsewhere, we all have a lot to be grateful for.

We’re in this together,


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Joyce Vance