Merci Beaucoup

by chuckofish

My dual personality’s post yesterday so captured my imagination that I was instantly tempted to continue the pet peeve theme today. I can’t deny that I have plenty of them. I can get really, really annoyed by women who toss their paper towels carelessly on the floor of the bathroom, guys who spit on the carpet,  colleagues who feel superior to benighted fools who actually believe in God, and people at church who loudly alter personal pronouns and change Father to Creator in hymns and prayers. Okay, yes, I could go on and on. But I won’t, because it occurred to me that this habitually negative dual personality (most unlike her sister in this respect) could use an exercise in gratitude. Also, with Thanksgiving  looming, gratitude is seasonally appropriate. Leaving aside the obvious ones like family, friends, God, country, and health, here we go in no particular order.

1. Touch. The feel of warm blankets and sheepskin. I live in the North Country and we keep the house chilly or, more accurately, the house keeps cold whether we like it or not. But if you can get tucked up cozy warm, a fine rest awaits.

Tim fast asleep in front of the fire at our camp

Tim fast asleep in front of the fire at our camp

2. The sight and sound of the seasons (so much alliteration!). I love to hear migrating geese honk and watch their wavering Vs as they fly overhead.

Snow Geese. Photo from

Snow Geese in flight. Photo from

3. Words. They’re like friends or favorite authors. It’s as wonderful to find new ones as it is to rediscover those with which we have lost touch.

Gormenghast…Withdrawn and ruinous it broods in umbra: the immemorial masonry: the towers, the tracts. Is all corroding? No. Through an avenue of spires a zephyr floats; a bird whistles; a freshet beats away from a choked river. Deep in a fist of stone a doll’s hand wriggles, warm rebellious on the frozen palm. A shadow shifts its length. A spider stirs… And darkness winds between the characters. (Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast)

4. Smell. Fresh bread, cookies baking, a wood fire…


5. Taste. Really good coffee or tea; excellent cheese; a fine glass of red wine…and, yes, my latest addiction, gum drops.

gum drops

6. Music. What would we do without it? Even German heavy metal has it’s place, right boys?

but if you’re feeling less Teutonic, you might want to try this blast from the past I recently rediscovered

Surprise, surprise…I have discovered that I can more easily come up with things to be grateful for than I can things that annoy me! There’s hope for me after all. Now I feel ready to start my work day. I’ll be writing, so wish me fluency and the ability to formulate my argument well.

Have a great and grateful weekend!