There aren’t many days when I’m unhappy to live in Japan, but this is one of them. I don’t hear anybody bustling about in the kitchen at 6:00 a.m. getting the turkey ready to start the long, best-smelling stint in the oven. I don’t smell the aroma that has filled my memories since I was a tike growing up in the Colorado Rockies. Finally, I don’t get to sit down to a table filled to the edges with dish after dish prepared by my mother and sisters and even myself here and there, if you can count mashing and stirring under Mom’s watchful eye as cooking. It’s just another day here.
What I do get to do, though, is express thanks. I’m grateful for wanting very little in the way of material goods. I’m blessed with enough money to live my life the way I want to live it and to be able to pass along a few lessons of careful money management to my readers. I’m grateful to be from a wonderful country and to have been welcomed with smiles into another wonderful country. I’m grateful to be able to see through daily headlines to the truth: the world is a beautiful place with more good people than bad. I’m grateful to be healthy, and loved, and just plain alive after having nearly died of cancer at age 12.
I’m grateful that my mother decided to adopt two sons when everyone around her said that she lacked the means to do so. On the adoption form that she filled out twice, she checked that she would take any healthy child. In America, that means you’re going to get black boys because they are the least desired of the children up for adoption. So into our lives came Daniel and Charlie Kelly, my two youngest brothers, age 12 and 10 respectively. What a courageous mother I have. What a fine pair of young brothers I have. What a fine community I’m from in Estes Park, Colorado where not a single one of the oft-predicted incidents has occurred.
One more thing before you rush off to that aromatic kitchen, you lucky dog: I’m grateful for you. Yes you, the one who reads what I write here, buys my books, subscribes to my newsletter, asks me challenging questions, thanks me for helping out, calls me to task for an occasional mistake, and even sends me photos of your family events. It’s an honor to work for you, and a pleasure to know you.
Happy Thanksgiving, America. Now send me some turkey, would you?
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