Thanksgiving is here! It is my favorite holiday and I am so thankful. For so much.

And sometimes it almost feels like too much.

Sometimes thoughts run through my head like this…

What if I was born in 1621 – the year of the first Thanksgiving? Would I have even survived? How would I have ever managed without my glasses? I am so near-sighted I can barely see my alarm clock (yep – it’s the one with the giant numbers, too).

So I am so thankful for my glasses. And my contact lenses. And for my husband who bought me the clock with the giant numbers. And for my warm bed. And my home office. And my two cats that keep me company while I sip coffee and work in my bathrobe and my glasses until noon on most days.

What if I had been born in 1848, the year my mom’s family headed west on the Oregon trail? I’d like to think I would have signed right up for that adventure, but then I think about how hard it is for me to even go to the gym on a rainy night. Would I have been brave enough to take that trip?

I am so thankful for my hard-working, adventurous ancestors and for their ambitious journey west. I am thankful for my all wheel drive car and my bike and my comfortable New Balance sneakers and my waterproof boots and my skis. I am thankful for trips on airplanes and rides on motorcycles and paddling in a kayak. Grateful for the Travel Channel and surround sound and Netflix on-demand and Skype. For an airport just 15 minutes away. For the chance to take a journey to the other side of the world and come home two weeks later. I am thankful for my cameras and iMovie and Facebook and for my friends who actually enjoy reliving my adventures.

What if I was born today in Nepal or Uganda or Haiti? Would I get to go to school? Would I get enough to eat? Would I be safe? 

I am thankful for wireless internet in my house. And the six different grocery stores in my neighborhood. Reliable electricity and our ice dispenser. Clean, hot running water and my bath tub. The mail that gets delivered to our house six days a week. The fire department. 911 and ambulances. Free public schools. My dentist. Ibuprofen. Mammograms.

The more I think about it, the more I am absolutely overwhelmed by the abundance in my life… it is truly overflowing with good things – including the beautiful meal I will enjoy later this afternoon.

Joy and I are both so thankful to all of you who have taken time to read one of our posts, try one of our recipes, or share your thoughts with us here on A Passionate Plate. We wish you all a very happy thanksgiving full of delicious food and abundance.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Jeannie says:

    That’s a beautiful post Mary. We truly are blessed and it’s so important to count our blessings and share our blessings with others this time of year. I am thankful for you and for Joy and this great website!

  2. Jim says:

    What a thoughtful and creative post! It brought tears to my eyes, not just because it was written by my first-born, but also because of the thoughts it evokes about our history and how lucky we all are to live in this marvelous country, which has afforded many of us opportunities that no other peoples in history have had. I’m thankful for Mary’s two grandfathers, who both served in WWII, one in the European theater and the other in the South Pacific. They both came home, worked hard, raised their families, and gave us the values that have sustained us through ups and downs to this day. I’m also grateful that part of our summer garden harvest is featured in this blog!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all.

  3. Caroline Ellison says:

    What a lovely tribute to this often under-appreciated holiday! Thanks for reminding us of the myriad blessings we enjoy in this country.

  4. Elise Knight says:

    Thank you Mary and Joy for all your time spent on this beautiful sight. I never take the time to respond but look at every post. As does my sister in SanDiego who just sent a quick note saying how your thoughts this morning Mary, mirrored her own. We are very lucky indeed for our rich lives and this time and place we have been born into. Wishing you a delicious day! Elise

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