Waiting isn’t always a bad thing.
Example: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving we publish the Times-News a little earlier than normal. The reason is two-fold. One, we like to give any of our people who need to travel for the holiday the chance to do so. And second, the paper is usually a whopper in terms of Black Friday advertising. It’s a bear to deliver.
So Wednesday night I was waiting for our desk to finish the final pages. I used the time to jot down a list of things I’m thankful for this year. I continued to do so while waiting for my family to arrive for a most-excellent turkey dinner on Thursday, while waiting for pumpkin pie and when the Pepto-Bismol kicked in.
Apparently, there’s a lot of waiting on Thanksgiving.
Here, then, is a tweaked version of what I came up with, under the heading “Things I’m thankful for in 2011, in 25 Parts.
1. The opinion pages are finished for Thanksgiving Day and Friday.
2. Stories like the one about the naked guy rambling around Fountain Place.
3. My mom getting over her fear of becoming lost on the way home and agreeing to let my brother drive her to our house for Thanksgiving dinner in Burlington on Thursday.
4. That I have a good job that offers me a creative outlet and the opportunity to not only meet new and interesting people but to occasionally be screamed at and abused by complete strangers each day.
5. Pizza, because, you know, it just doesn’t get enough credit for being the all-purpose food it is.
6. Reruns of “30 Rock” at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Jack Donaghy is my newest hero.
7. Our hot off the presses Wednesday night sales for the Thanksgiving Day paper went very well, nearly 300 sold and cars lined up for more than two blocks to buy the newspaper. Where’s my cut?
8. “The Walking Dead”, the only show on TV that makes me say “wow” at the end of nearly every episode. But are the zombies really moving faster this season?
9. Cookies for breakfast!
10. Nobody wants to kick my ass today — so far anyway.
11. Great memories of Thanksgivings at the home of my late father-in-law Papa Joe, which were working holidays in every sense of the word. He always said I would miss setting up the Christmas tree lot. He was right.
12. Two Thanksgivings, this year. One on Sunday with my Papandrea family and one on Thursday with my Taylor family.
13. Two great Woody Allen movies with Thanksgiving themes — “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Broadway Danny Rose.” The latter is most highly recommended for the helium scene in the warehouse where the Macy’s parade floats are stored.
14. My mother’s license plate. The first three letters create a rather crude internet shorthand statement. I haven’t told my mom about it because it would simply upset her for no good reason. Every time I see it, I laugh. I’m sure those driving behind her do, too.
15. Two words, crescent rolls!
16. Post-feast walk hits the spot almost as well as the feast itself.
17. That my hard-working spouse finally allowed me to do something for her, bring her precisely one cookie.
18. The Detroit Lions lost again on Thanksgiving Day — a tradition like no other. It was an added bonus that it was the Green Bay Packers doing the kicking this year.
19. A cat sleeping on my lap.
20. Pie for dinner!
21. No lousy NBA games to clutter up what is otherwise a good college basketball night. (Then the NBA went and spoiled Christmas by ending their lockout and scheduling three games on Christmas Day. There is no justice in the world.)
22. I can already tell that Wake Forest will be substantially better in basketball this year. Not great, not even very good, just substantially better. They really had no place else to go.
23. The myriad people I know, vaguely know, reconnected with or who remain largely anonymous on Facebook. As rides go, it doesn’t stink. It really is a whole new world out there to explore.
24. About the best autumn I can remember in a long time. Near perfect weather, great fall colors and a ton of interesting things to do. Goodbye autumn, I look forward to your return.
25. Last and certainly not least, I’m thankful for my spouse — just about the best partner I could possibly hope to meet in a thousand lifetimes. Another Thanksgiving down, and every day I’m more thankful I met her.