Archive for Monday, November 21, 2011


River City Jules: Plenty of gratitude to go around

November 21, 2011


In my mind, I am sitting on the beach in Maui, ready to follow last night’s luau with cheering the Jayhawks on to victory over Georgetown tonight. The gentle breeze off the Pacific blows ever so slightly, cooling me off after my morning run along the shoreline in my bikini.

In reality, I am still in Kansas, ready to follow last night’s pizza with a nap so I can stay up late to cheer the Jayhawks on to victory over Georgetown. The gentle sound of the dryer hums ever so slightly, warming up my yoga pants (I don’t actually run), while my bikini waits in the bottom of my closet with hopes that 2012 will be the year it gets to be seen in public.

Either way, KU wins.

While eagerly awaiting tipoff here at home, I am once again grateful for Thanksgiving’s annual, though seemingly sudden, arrival this year and the opportunity to count my blessings …

As always, I am grateful for my brother-in-law, Chris, who works his poultry magic on some poor, unassuming turkey every Thanksgiving and hope he appreciates this shameless, public brown-nosing enough to set aside a little more leftover turkey for his No. 1 fan this year than he did last year.

On a related note, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Pilgrims and Native Americans holding the first Thanksgiving far enough ahead of swimsuit season that the bikini can camp out somewhere behind the winter boots until I am ready to put it on.

Getting back to family, I am grateful for my grandfather, who did not hold back when telling my mom about a nice-looking boy with a fish-shaped head he saw at church the summer before her sophomore year of high school. I am equally grateful my mom was into fish-headed men enough to marry one and, together, raise me and my siblings (The Pretty One, Banana Walk of Shame and You Can’t Plan Crazy) with an unrivaled reverence for Frankie Laine and a collective resolve to never make anyone ride to Colorado backwards in a station wagon, no matter how good the music might be.

I am also eternally grateful for my in-laws, who kept to themselves any concerns they may have had about their son marrying a girl who knew all the words to “Rawhide,” and instead embraced her and showed her how to make lasagna, the way to their son’s heart.

And I thank the Heavenly Father for my nephew and nieces, who always make their aunt feel whatever the opposite of nerdy and frumpy is. We should all greet each other with the enthusiasm of an Oprah audience; the world would be happier that way.

Most of all, I am grateful for the piles of the dreaded, aforementioned laundry waiting for my attention. For the task of washing it is as endless as the blessing of those who wear it.

Whether you’re waving the wheat on the beach or on the Plains, may you never have to look far for a reason to be grateful.


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