For the last six years, since I married a man who breathes gratitude as naturally as air, I’ve been intentionally working on being more thankful.
To be truly thankful requires many of the same skills necessary to be a writer, after all. Pause. Observe both the subtle, fleeting things around you and the obvious, steady ones. And later, as a ritual, take out these pebbles of your life you’ve been collecting and try to see them for what they are. I’ve been learning that these steps will produce good writing and also real gratitude.
So today, Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for many things, high on my list this Narrator job and the chance to observe some pebbles from your lives.
The Pfister does Thanksgiving as you expect it would, with all the beloved trappings of the meal done up in style, housed in gleaming silver domes. Ice sculptures, a vast array of desserts, a pianist playing jovial favorites, and a station where smiling staff carved a perfectly roasted turkey for guests were the setting of the fanciest Thanksgiving I’d seen in real life.
We mark each Thanksgiving by those we spend it with. If we’re honest, what we’re most thankful for is probably the people sitting right next to us.
Today, Ken was thankful to be with his two children, Michael and Kylie, who were thankful to be almost done with college and to be on track for another decade of school, respectively.
Gabriella and Chloe were thankful for meaningful experiences with their friends and family, including this first visit to Milwaukee to visit their aunt Wendy, who said she’s thankful for “everything that happens today, all of it.” James was grateful to bring his family here from California and his wife Kim was glad for the chance to explore the place her husband grew up.
Carlie and Craig’s family was the largest in the room. They hailed from all around the nation: Detroit, Chicago, Missouri, the UP, and Connecticut, and they’d gathered in Milwaukee because of Carlie, who works here. She said she’s thankful that no matter where in the country she happens to be working, when Thanksgiving rolls around her dad comes to her and chooses to celebrate wherever she is living that year.
Kathy and Victoria were on a mother-daughter date for Thanksgiving. After bouts of difficulty with health, they were both grateful that this year had been better. Kathy was thankful and proud that Victoria is coming into her own and her goals have been crystallizing.
Tom, Steve and Laurie have been celebrating their gratitude for good health and good company at the Pfister for many years.
This family was deeply appreciative of one another. Alec was thankful for all the help and kindness his grandmother Maria has shown him throughout his life. Maria told me how much she loves her children and grandchildren and wants all the best for them in their lives. Her son Al was thankful for Alec growing into such a helpful, responsible person. Sister-in-laws Katie and Gloria were thankful that they’ve been grafted into this family together.
Grandparents and parents were thankful to be making memories with their adorable children, of course, and the children were thankful for the desserts that had been promised if they ate their dinners, of course.
So a happy Thanksgiving to you, whether you shared your meal today at the Pfister Grand Ballroom or a kitchen table. May we all take time to look around us and clearly see the goodness stashed there.