It's a little early by some standards but today, I am waxing grateful.
It seems the whole of November is now set aside as a time to give thanks, as opposed to just that fourth Thursday in the 11th month - the annual date typically reserved for that purpose, of course.
Over in Facebook-land, folks have been posting daily blurbs about the things for which they are appreciative since the beginning of the month.
And while I don't think I need to state the obvious that we are all eternally relieved that campaign season is over, it certainly does make this year's list. As do the veterans of all branches of the U.S. military whom we honor officially tomorrow. That latter one does bear repeating daily, in fact.
Thank you to every man and woman who has ever donned a military uniform in the name of America and all for which she stands. Gratitude does not begin to cover what I feel in my heart for our soldiers past and present, near and far, young and old. Please know that so many of us pray for you every day of our lives because we know how fortunate we are to live in a free country. And we know it's only because of you and by the grace of God that we do.
I'd also like to thank the two people who started it all - for me, at least - my parents. You know, as I sat in their kitchen the other evening, having whimsically stopped by to visit them and my brother on my way home from work, it hit me: I like these people.
Do I love them? Unconditionally. Would I do anything in the world for them, especially given all they have sacrificed to give to me and my siblings the most wonderful life possible? Indeed.
But beyond that, I genuinely enjoy spending time talking to them, gleaning as much of their wisdom as my feeble mind can grasp. And I am so grateful to have them as my mom and dad.
Speaking of Mom, when I asked her what's making her heart sing with gratitude these days she didn't skip a beat citing her family, faith and friends. Mom is especially thankful for the joy brought upon by her wonderful grandchildren. And she's even grateful for her "grandpuppies."
As for her eldest child, my sister Gina, she's grateful for the good health of her family and friends. Nice one, Jean - very selfless. "Oh, and for having Black Friday off," she added, natch.
My other sister Kim - the one I gained when I married Kerry - is grateful for "my husband Bob who is my true soul mate and my amazing family that has now grown since my marriage this past September! I am truly blessed and forever thankful!" Aw, so sweet, Kimberly Dawn. We love you, too.
Then there's my soul sister Christine Ruggieri of Warren who, like Kim, is feeling fortunate. "I am thankful to have parents who are the ultimate role models. At 80+ they laugh rather than complain, still volunteer and are a joy to be around. I am incredibly blessed." And so is everyone who knows Chris and her parents; I ought to know.
As for my hubby, when asked why his heart is smiling this November he said simply, "Kyle, you and Monnie." Good answer, Kimerer. And in the right order, BTW.
Correspondingly, my son, husband and beloved boxer are truly my life; I thank God for them more than once a day, to be sure.
And my friend Bill James of Boardman put it succinctly and quite well, I might add, when he said: "I am thankful for my incredible family, great friends, enjoyable job, and the small things that the Good Lord has given me. Life is wonderful when the people you love surround you all of the time."
Amen, William; every day is - or should be - Thanksgiving.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Tell her why you're thanking your lucky stars this November at firstname.lastname@example.org.