Press "Enter" to skip to content

I hate to be sappy, but …

The simple fact is, I’m very, very grateful.

Last night I was talking with somebody who has a lot of the same problems in his life that I do. They grind him down and I think he’s becoming (or more likely long ago became) very bitter.

I was bitter when I was young. I’d be lying if I said things don’t get me down, even now. I’ve bled all over these blog pages often enough that you surely know I get depressed, frustrated, head-banging, angry, sad, and all the other dreary etceteras of life. More than once — heck, more than 1,000 times — I’ve wanted to chuck it all and become a hermit in a cave.

Okay, a warm, well-furnished cave with a harmonious color scheme, beautiful art, fabulous garage-sale finds, and a sufficient number of large dogs. But a cave, more or less. Where nobody could find me and nobody would ever hear of me again.

But really, when I’m not on one of Those Moods, I’m grateful. And — to my surprise — happier and healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.

It’s a relief to get this far and realize that (barring some bonk on the head that changes my personality for the worse) I’m not going to age into miserable curmudgeonhood.

Come to think of it, that’s one of the things I’m grateful for.

Along with:

A world full of friendly supporters and “friends I’ve never met” — not to mention some I actually have met

A sense of humor

The best comment section any blog ever had

Being able to work from home

Gewurtztraminer in an elegant ($5 for 4 at a flea market) glass

That the Bill of Rights still exists as a model and a beacon, even if it’s being battered to ruins

Backwoods Home

That we aren’t going quietly into tyranny

A couple of friends who recently got me through One Of Those Moods (you reading this, J and K?)

The dogs, of course

And even the cat, though grudgingly because I’m not willing to admit she could turn me into a cat person

Library books


The ‘Net, which makes so much possible

That when my old favorite actor, Johnny Depp, quit being a real original and resorted to just doing “Johnny Depp schtick,” Rhys Ifans rose to take his place

Pastels, colored pencils, and beautiful papers

Greenery, of which the NorthWET has such abundance

I could go on. And on. And that, too, is something to be grateful for.

Yeah, life sucks sometimes and government sucks most all the time. And sometimes our own temperament defeats us. But I am so glad this choice is here — to be grateful even in the midst of suckage. And to find that simple gratitude helps blow the suckage into mist. In my best moments, I suspect that gratitude and some of the inner strengths that go with it could even play a role in blowing government away.

And you are grateful for …?


  1. water lily
    water lily June 26, 2012 3:15 am

    Nice post.

    I have a lot to be thankful for, even though life can get discouraging at times. 🙂

  2. RickB
    RickB June 26, 2012 3:45 am

    Grateful isn’t sappy. Being thankful is as necessary to (really) living as is food.
    I’m grateful for Claire, though we’ve never met. And even if she isn’t (yet) a cat person.

  3. Pat
    Pat June 26, 2012 4:31 am

    Music, which sets humans apart from the rest of the world, but which brings the world together. (Even plants and animals respond to music.)


    A few choice friends to share the tea with.

    A questing (and questioning) mindset that prevents me from falling into the Conventional Wisdom trap.

    The internet which allowed me to find others with that same questing/questioning mindset. There’s hope out there…

    An optimism that raises its head even on despairing (non-hope) days.

    Poetry – humorous, profound, specific, abstract – that has the ability to stretch my mind and my emotions simultaneously, thereby keeping me in balance.

    Good health (currently)

  4. Karen
    Karen June 26, 2012 4:40 am

    At the drop of a hat I’ll tell people that I’ve had an absolutely blessed life. It has never been trouble free by any stretch of the imagination, but whenever I’ve had troubles, help has always been there in whatever form I need. For all of that, I’ve earned the nickname Pollyanna.

    I woke up this morning feeling more than a little put upon and tired of being a caregiver. I fussed mentally over my first cup of coffee then I came and read your always sage words. Now I’m feeling enormously grateful that, with all that’s going on right now, I have the physical, emotional and financial strength to deal with it.

    You Claire have given me what I needed, when I needed it. And for that I’m grateful.

  5. Nevermind
    Nevermind June 26, 2012 4:44 am

    I’m grateful for having survived a cancer operation and for a promising prognosis. I’m grateful to the 2 people who know of my condition and supported me through a difficult time.

  6. Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger June 26, 2012 6:26 am

    I guess I resemble that remark. I apologize; I didn’t mean to take it out on you.

  7. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal June 26, 2012 7:26 am

    I want to be a caveman. But not necessarily a hermit. I’d wear filthy buckskins and bear hides, sleep in a pile of furs, and squat around a fire, but I’d enjoy having visitors frequently. And, that’s a change from years ago, when I really didn’t like being around people. Maybe I’ve become less curmudgeonly as I age.

    I’m grateful that even though I live with the worst nemesis I have ever had, that I don’t (usually) allow her attitude to affect the ways I interact with other people.

    I’m grateful that I live far from any political center.

    I’m grateful that I have air-conditioning and running water.

    I’m grateful that my next door neighbors are liberty-oriented, and that he is a Claire Wolfe fan with whom I can actually have intelligent conversations!

    I am grateful that the nights are the perfect temperature for lying out and watching the stars.

    I’m grateful that I don’t look (or act) my age.

    I’m grateful for my almost 5 year old daughter, even though I wish I could convince her to continue unschooling rather than going to the “public” school across the street.

    I’m grateful that I can build fires without matches, and grateful that I don’t usually have to.

    I’m grateful that I get paid to write, tiny amount though it is.

    I’m grateful for the internet and my Kindle and cell phone, which keep me connected and informed.

    I’m grateful for all the liberty-lovers I have met in the 9 years since I discovered that I wasn’t the only person out there who valued liberty the same way I do- a way completely foreign to “liberals” and “conservatives” who use the word.

    I’m grateful that I can be grateful.

  8. MJR
    MJR June 26, 2012 7:54 am

    Hey Claire,

    Yet again you write a post to make me use that little gray mass in my brain pan.

    What am I grateful for? Well the biggest thing would be that I can read and in doing so gain other people’s views, be it in works of fact or fiction. This may be a little overlooked thing for you but if you talked with the folks I do on a daily basis…

    BTW Mr. Bussjaeger While I don’t know the specifics of what you are going through I feel strongly that there is always a ‘plan B’ if you look hard enough. I have read two of your books and loved them and I have read your blog and loved it, not so much. This week I am going to put in a little overtime at work so next pay I can contribute to your cause. Why, because I feel strongly about putting money where my mouth is regarding libertarian writers. I would love it if you managed to get a real publisher to get your books out there because they are every bit as good as Ms. Wolfe or Mr. Heinlein.

  9. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard June 26, 2012 8:04 am

    …grateful for Living Freedom and your refreshing, piercing, and courageous takes on life and the passing circus.

  10. Matt, another
    Matt, another June 26, 2012 8:11 am

    Grateful I woke up alive again this morning. After waking up alive, most everything else is gravy.

    Grateful to be an American, still proud of it too.

  11. Mic
    Mic June 26, 2012 8:15 am

    I am also grateful for many things, my family, being the biggest. They are probably the only reason I still have contact with the human race, because they force me to! I wish I had neighbors who were Claire Wolfe fans, but alas I don’t. Perhaps I can purchase some somewhere or import them or something. I am borderline to wanting to move to that cave Claire is speaking of, so to that end…

    Claire, if you ever decide to move to the well furnished and warm cave with excellent art work can you please let the rest of us know if there are any other caves in the same development available where the rest of us who are tired of the human race can also move in?

  12. Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger June 26, 2012 8:36 am

    MJR: “I would love it if you managed to get a real publisher to get your books out there”

    Tell Ms. Weisskopf ( at Baen (

    “…they are every bit as good as Ms. Wolfe or Mr. Heinlein.”

    Thank you. That means… probably more than you realize.

  13. 12bitphoto
    12bitphoto June 26, 2012 9:04 am

    Quite a few things perhaps….but I’m mostly grateful for my wife, my children, and dogs. I can’t even pretend to imagine how hard this world would suck without them, and without dogs.

  14. Scott
    Scott June 26, 2012 9:14 am

    Claire and Kent pretty much cover my list. I would add that I’m grateful to be physically and mentally able to do the things I want and need to do. My cat-O.K., a lot of people don’t like them, but he’s a lot of fun,friendly,playful and a good watch cat-nobody gets close to the house without him knowing about it. He’s a useful part of the household, and entertaining..the official Zombie Detecting Cat.
    Good friends that I get to see on a regular basis, others I don’t see often, but keep in touch with.
    A load of other things as well..

  15. Steve Matherley
    Steve Matherley June 26, 2012 9:38 am

    Claire, how true these words rang for me, also. It is a beautiful world out there, in spite of our government, with wonderful friends, and friends to be. One of my friends told me once, (he was a shiite muslim, back when the Iran hostage situation was going on), that no matter where you went in the world, 95% of the people you meet would be wonderful, friendly people. The rest are in government or on the news. I think he was right.

  16. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal June 26, 2012 11:08 am

    “Clan of the Cave Wolfe”. Hehe.

  17. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit June 26, 2012 11:28 am

    Oodles of stuff, but for purposes of commenting here I’ll go with the fun of being a welcome part of the lives of people like Claire (RickB – she’s even MORE awesome in person!) and Mr. Bovard up there. And the Curmudgeon With A Heart Of Flint, Brian Wilson, of course. It’s an absolute delight to have friends who put up with the goofy demeanor and oddball humor and who still take me seriously (despite my best efforts to the contrary). Along with the usual – wonderful wife, interesting career, fun toys, great (if undersized by Claire Standards) dog, usw. usw. usw.

  18. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard June 26, 2012 1:25 pm

    Lawhobbit, I think I can safely speak for Claire & Brian — we appreciate you even more than do the miscreants who appear before your bench.

  19. denny
    denny June 26, 2012 1:38 pm

    be grateful even in the midst of suckage : you make life sweeter , ty

  20. naturegirl
    naturegirl June 26, 2012 10:50 pm

    Claire, you hold the magic to rise above anything – and that’s inner strength……nothing ever runs smoothly all the time, and nothing (good or bad) ever stays the same either…sometimes it’s tiring having to deal with one thing after another, but what counts is conquering it…..and life is more complicated for sensitive people, we have to work harder to not get eaten up….

    I tend to measure my life by weighing the things to be grateful for vs the opposite…..when one is greater than the other, I hope it’s the gratefulness…but life doesn’t always work to the plan…..Most of the time I’m just grateful to wake up and be able to tackle another day….

    I’m patiently looking forward to being a hermit in a cave one day. I’ll get there eventually 🙂

  21. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty June 27, 2012 11:27 am

    I was born legally blind, yet I see. I’m grateful to the people who made that possible.

    At the age of 3 I lost 60% of my hearing. I’ve found ways to communicate, even though no hearing aid will ever be of any use to me. It has made me more observant and aware of my surroundings and the nature of the people I talk to.

    My father died when I was 4. I have a loving family in spite of the struggle. My mother was my best friend, and I will miss her until the day I die.

    I fell down stairs when I was 15 and broke my back. I wasn’t supposed to walk again, yet I went on to a long nursing career. Sometimes you just luck out.

    A man tried to kill me and I was able to defend myself. I’m grateful to be alive.

    I married one of the best guys in the world and we had an incredible relationship… He died 5 months later. I’m grateful to have been loved and to have had the opportunity to love another so deeply. He changed my life, even though we had such a short time.

    I’m grateful to be able to see the beauty of the world, and comprehend both the good and the bad of that world as well as I do. I’m grateful for my family and friends, who put up with my curmudgeon ways and literal mind. I’m grateful to be able to walk and work and enjoy all of the things that would have been so much more difficult from a wheelchair. But I truly think I’d still be grateful for life even then. I do not fear either life or death at this point, and that’s something I’m really grateful for.

  22. winston
    winston June 27, 2012 9:08 pm

    Well, first of all I’m alive and I’m not in prison.

    I’m thankful that even though I’m never anywhere near my close family and friends and pets, I have good phone servic, and a phone that does skype so whereever I go I can see my family (and the hilarious bewilderment my dogs get as they’re dangled in front of a webcam.) And I’m thankful that it also allows me to catch up on my blogs and stuff out in the middle of nowhere.

    Thankful for sharp skates…I still get screwed all the time and that probably won’t ever change but I’m getting damn good at avoiding it. And I’m thankful that I do still have that drive for self improvement which ties in becuase when some dumb crap needs to be done are they going to grab the guy reading a book or off lifting weights…no, it’s usually the guy playing videogames during work.

  23. winston
    winston June 27, 2012 9:33 pm

    I have mixed feeling about how the tyrannical buffoons in the office up the street overshadows the ones in DC. At least here you get one that’s a little less of a tyarnt or a little less of a buffoon…rarely both though.

    BUT I laugh my ass off at the lot of them, and that’s always a relief. Not that long ago my ass was chewed for sleeping in my own sleeping bag in my own room, and threatened with negative paperwork if I didn’t go buy some bedsheets that I was supposed to have provided when I got here. You have to laugh at that…and nothing says ‘I find you to be incompetent to the point of being funny’ like the rediculous childrens cartoon themed set I’m gonna get. I’m thankful for my bad attitude.

    On a slightly less serious note I’m thankful that my new girlfriend works at my favorite bar. I can’t get over how awesome that is.

  24. Plug Nickel Outfit
    Plug Nickel Outfit June 28, 2012 12:18 am

    Both your post, Claire, and the comments make for a good read. Another angle on this is that one can have the capacity and understanding to be grateful – and that has a high value in so many ways. It bespeaks a mindset that can carry one far.

    Besides – who would want to be considered an ungrateful SOB?

    Quality crowd here!

  25. Claire
    Claire June 28, 2012 10:47 am

    PNO — Great point that the mere capacity for gratitude is valuable. I hadn’t thought of that.

    I s’pose I do know a few people who would like to avoid seeing grateful just to preserve their edgy reputations, but what the heck; inwardly even they probably have a hidden little gratitude pocket.

Leave a Reply