Here comes Thanksgiving, somehow, already. The end of November. Almost the end of the year. On Thanksgiving we're supposed to count our blessings and be grateful and all that.
Counting blessings is always difficult for me because I always seem to come up with a "but."
Yesterday as I climbed a
mountain little hill near my house, gasping for air and "glowing" profusely (someone once told me ladies don't sweat) I marveled at how fortunate I am to live in Jersey where, contrary to the popular perception of outsiders, we have miles and miles of woods available for hiking, very pretty scenery, and lots of lakes, rivers, and beaches available for swimming.
Alternately, by the time I crested the second hill I considered the feasibility of installing escalators in the woods. We'd still have the benefit of being out in nature, right? I pondered the possibility of just sitting on a rock to wait for some nice forest ranger to come along with a stretcher. Or maybe I could just flag down a helicopter. There are no Ubers in the woods.
We have wonderful views in New Jersey. In so many places we can climb to the top of a mountain and be rewarded with the sight of the New York City skyline. This is a feature often mentioned in hiking guides.
But you know, you can ride down Route 3 and gaze at the New York City skyline from the comfort of your own car or your seat on a bus without having to go home to ice your knees.
In the other direction you can enjoy vast vistas that allow you to see bordering states.
But the only sight you'll see are treetops with nary a boundary line in sight.
With my usual swimming pools closed for most of the year, I was thankful to be able to join a local lake, and I was so happy to be able to swim! I'm also lucky to be within an hour's ride down the shore.
But those little fish nipping at my ankles! That never happens in the pool. I also never worry about sharks in the pool.
People who foolishly move away bemoan the lack of good bagels, Italian bread, pizza and Taylor Ham/pork roll elsewhere. I've heard ugly rumors about the scarcity of goodies like Devil Dogs and HoHo's and the like in other parts of the country. In Jersey I can get the best of all of those things.
But they do have a certain unpleasant effect on my waistline.
Of course I'm grateful for a happy and healthy husband, and children, and grandchildren, and all the other members of my tribe: friends, family, co-workers, and fellow writers.
And most grateful of all, that Thanksgiving means it's almost the end of the year, and there's never been a year I'd be so happy to see end. No buts about that!\\