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Gratitude attitude

The story of Thanksgiving. (And those reportedly communistic Pilgrims.)

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays I celebrate. So many holidays just feel like manipulation (You vill honor veterans! You must love your father. You’re going to consider this the start of the new year, even if the day doesn’t have the slightest astronomical significance.)

You could say that about Thanksgiving, too. (You should be grateful, damnit, even if life is in the proverbial handbasket!) But as a born-and-made pessimist, I welcome the reminder to uplift my thoughts. I fix the big dinner every year and share it with my dogs — for whom I’m very grateful. I’m thankful for a week’s worth of delicious leftovers (and no cooking).

And it’s true. Even if we are in that handbasket, we always have something to rejoice in.

So even if you’re reading this after the holiday … what are you thankful for this year? The comments section awaits …


For me:

New-old house
Roaring fire in the pellet stove
Freedomistas kicking ass
Readers (all of ’em, but esp. the ones who share bright ideas and experiences and the ones who’ve made this season brighter by buying my books)
California dried apricots
Logging roads
Terry Pratchett Discworld books
Worcestershire sauce
The upstairs cat
A good, honest auto mechanic within walking distance of home
Netflix and great movie makers
Backwoods Home and all connected with it
The great people of Paladin Press and S.W.A.T. magazine

I could go on …


  1. Fred
    Fred November 25, 2010 9:36 am

    I am not much for celebrating holidays either. I particularly dislike Xmas. We are having folks over for dinner of smoked turkey breast today. It is a good excuse to over indulge in my favorite foods and drinks. Thanksgiving is rather bittersweet for me because my best loved dog, ever, died on the day before Thanksgiving at 3 1/2 years old. Never a day goes by that I don’t think of her.

    The things I’m grateful for:
    My three rescued dogs and all the others that came before them.
    A home in the woods on a dead end dirt road.
    My rampant curiosity and my innate lack of restraint while pursuing it.
    My collection of junk that allows me to create useful things out of castoffs.
    The internet and all that it bodes for freedom.

  2. Pat
    Pat November 25, 2010 10:10 am

    I’m thankful for:
    The freedoms that I do have and the ability to make freedom work in my own way
    Computer, the Internet, and the people I’ve “met” on it
    Books and poetry
    Innate curiosity and the persistence to ask Why?
    Tea and its accoutrements
    Living in a small town
    Back roads to drive
    Special close friends
    My son and his family
    A good electric dehydrator
    Cranberries and apples

  3. Carl-Bear Bussjaeger
    Carl-Bear Bussjaeger November 25, 2010 10:27 am

    That my books are finally getting published.
    That Benner/Near Space Press is finally paying me.
    That the economy is booming, and I have a good job.
    That I can fly again without sacrificing all rights and dignity, and being irradiated and molested.
    That all our wars are over.
    That Obama closed Gitmo by the first of the year, like he promised.
    That Obamacare will bring perfect health, sunshine, and unicorns to all, practically free of cost.
    That we all learned the Pilgrims’ hard lessons on collectivism/communism in time, and avoided nationalizing major industies.
    That my new congresscrittters are noted for decency, honesty, restraint, and protecting the rights of individuals, rather than protecting big money interests at the expenses of individuals.

    Hmm, well…

    Oh, I know: Without income, I don’t have to worry about the burden of income taxes.

    On the other hand, I still have food from the garden stored, and the tomatoes are still producing. My landlord is still being very patient with me. My family hasn’t completely given up on me.

  4. Mac the Knife
    Mac the Knife November 25, 2010 10:53 am

    From one Freedom Outlaw to another – Happy Thanksgiving Claire!

  5. Claire
    Claire November 25, 2010 11:33 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Mac the Knife. 🙂

    And Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. Anybody who would like to brighten Carl Bussjaeger’s Thanksgiving … Here’s his website ( where you can buy downloads of his SF novels or toss a few bucks in the Amazon tip jar.

  6. bumperwack
    bumperwack November 25, 2010 11:34 am

    dogs,guns,air,water…in that order

  7. Claire
    Claire November 25, 2010 11:40 am

    LOL, well, bumperwack, it’s good to see you have your priorities straight.

  8. Carl-Bear Bussjaeger
    Carl-Bear Bussjaeger November 25, 2010 12:13 pm

    Actually, Claire, the novel downloads are all free now. I figured if I’m not going to get paid anyway, why help the Benners/NSP make money off my stuff? I’m actively looking for a real job now.

    I may or may not get around to posting the stuff from The Anarchists anthology. But I encourage everyone to not purchase the NSP version from Amazon. It’s riddled with formatting errors and misspellings, the stories are out of sequence, and 15-20% of the material that was supposed to be there (including a story written specifically for the anthology) is missing. (And I really hope Disney doesn’t decide that one title change, which I didn’t know about, is an infringement.)

    (Hmm. Or maybe I do, if they go after NSP and Benner’s estate.)

    If anyone really wants to brighten my day, let me know if you hear of a company, willing to give as much loyalty as it demands, that needs a very experienced electronics/telecommunications technician. Or a caretaker position that’ll pay the bills. Or tech writer. Or anything else.

  9. Claire
    Claire November 25, 2010 12:23 pm

    Or go to Carl’s site and drop some money in the tip jar — especially if you download a book for free. Carl’s got jars set up for anything from a $1 contribution to $250.

  10. bumperwack
    bumperwack November 25, 2010 12:39 pm

    umm… I forgot…God,Corps,& Country…in that order…

  11. Winston
    Winston November 25, 2010 2:10 pm

    Thankfully, today it’s a quiet dinner of steak and salmon with my immediate family instead of eating somebody elses dried out turkey and pretending to give a damn about football.

    So I’m thankful for: Costco, and the good ole Sega Dreamcast that I’m going to plop down in front of until dinner’s ready. Enough Arete for one month…time for some sloth and gluttony!

  12. bumperwack
    bumperwack November 25, 2010 2:46 pm

    that’s Country, not gummint…

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 25, 2010 5:15 pm

    Time travel

  14. naturegirl
    naturegirl November 25, 2010 5:19 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Claire, and everyone else who reads around here….

    I’m pretty simple with my list: I’m thankful I wake up each day (the older I get the more meaning that takes on), and thankful that my adventurous spirit makes the rest of the day interesting, and that no matter how many days go by I still remain the rebel I’ve always been…..:)

  15. Teresa Sue
    Teresa Sue November 25, 2010 6:34 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Claire.
    I am thankful for my family. The roof over my head, the food in my belly ( I’m also thankful for all those leftovers and less cooking this week ; P). I’m also thankful for a good cup of tea, especially if I have a cookie to go with it, lol. I’m thankful I don’t have to wear a burka. I’m thankful for good books. I’m thankful to the gun range I found in Post Falls. I’m thankful that my 5th great grandfather fought the british and helped win the revolutionary war. Too bad he isn’t here to help us now. Life is good, even if humanity has to keep fighting the same battles over and over.

  16. capt gooch
    capt gooch November 25, 2010 7:29 pm

    Happy Turkey Day to you Claire and all here who read your postings.

    I’m a lot like naturegirl in that my thanks list is pretty short only mine is pretty self centered ….

    I wake up every day [so far],
    I am physically fit beyond my years,
    I can still see to use the iron sights on my rifles [although that is gradually changing]
    I am not in a wheel chair or an iron lung,
    I am ambulatory and capable of living alone without care,
    I have friends [though most are online],
    I have a refrigerator full of food [plus shelves as well]
    I have cash, frn’s, in my pocket
    [more than the two nickles my mother worried so about when I was younger. She used to say “You don’t have two nickles to rub together.” I was always the Happy-go-lucky guy with no worries.]
    I have cash, frn’s, in the bank [and some Real Money in the dresser drawer]
    I owe no one and no one owes me

    SEE ? pretty simple [and self-centered]

    Just your average crusty curmudgeon ?

    A Pleasant Turkey Day Nap to All

  17. Ellendra
    Ellendra November 25, 2010 9:15 pm

    That I can walk unassisted
    (couldn’t do that the last 3 Thanksgivings)

    That my psychotic ex-sis-in-law lost the custody dispute, and that Darling Nephew is recovering nicely from her influence.

    That I have a kind, loving mother has been both willing and able to support me during the last few years when I was so sick. (And dad for more or less putting up with me. That’s another story)

    That my friend who was in an accident Tuesday got discharged from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving.

    That my land is still patiently waiting for me to regain the strength to start building and caring for it.

    For my 2 pumpkins and 14 jars of green-tomato mincemeat that I still have from my garden, and for all the tomatoes we already ate from that garden.

    That I DON’T have to work at a retail job on Black Friday!

  18. Karen
    Karen November 26, 2010 4:09 am

    I could spend the day listing things I’m thankful for and hardly make a dent. The thing that rises to the top, though, is the love of family and friends, both real and imaginary(internet). This has seen me through good times and bad and shaped the person I’m growing up to be.

    And a special thanks to you, Claire, and all the wonderful commenters who give me so much to think about on this quest we’re all on.

  19. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty November 26, 2010 9:19 am

    I’m thankful for so many things I don’t even know where to begin. I guess the first thing on the list is the fact that I’m self aware and able/willing to be a self owner – and that I know so many good people who share that consciousness.

    And gooch… I never could figure out what was gained by rubbing two nickels together anyway. LOL

    Thank you Claire, for everything you do.

  20. capt gooch
    capt gooch November 26, 2010 11:04 am

    MamaLiberty says …
    “And gooch… I never could figure out what was gained by rubbing two nickels together anyway. LOL”

    ML …
    I never could either.
    Maybe it had something to do with her growing up during the thirties when the economy was in the toilet and a nickel could buy a [half gallon] bucket of beer or a huge home made sandwich or a dozen eggs or a loaf of bread et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
    I always just smiled at her and blithely ignored her paranoia.
    [May have something to do with why I never tied myself to any grindstones ?] {shrug}

    Happy Harvest Celebrations to all.

  21. Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins November 26, 2010 4:18 pm

    I celebrate holidays at my convenience. This year Tday was a travel day for me. Tomorrow is when my friends gather and gorge and share. I’ll be frying a turkey and making lemon/graham squares and enjoying my friends, even the pain-in-the-neck ones. We generally don’t celebrate Christmas either, but exchange gifts on the winter solstice, a day with true significance.
    As for what I’m thankful for, well…

    That my cat Harley chose me (cats aren’t the in thing here, I know. I don’t care. I love him.)

    That my daughter broke her arm (She has every reason to be dead after the horrific three-car crash she was in last week.)

    That everybody involved in said accident will make a full recovery (even my daughter’s “sorta” boyfriend who caused it by way of stupidity.)

    That I have a few very good friends (even if they don’t all “get” me.)

    That I’m intelligent enough to not make the same mistakes twice (though I’m often foolish enough to find new ones to make.)

    and finally…
    That I have access to such a diligent and articulate watchdog for Liberty as Claire Wolfe. Thanks be to you, Claire (and Radley, too.)

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