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Grateful, Ninth Annual Edition

Posted November 27, 2013

Some things I'm thankful for this year, as always in no particular order:

Just over EIGHT YEARS of at least a few people at a time coming here to read the things I post

Having found some friends in Okinawa

All the folks who traveled to Pensacola almost a year ago to celebrate with us at our wedding and the many more who sent us love and well wishes

That almost a year ago, I got to marry the best guy there is

The opportunities this year to travel around Asia and to Spain, as well as to live in another country, something that's always been a dream of mine

The many comforts of home we get by doing our living abroad through the military, like American-style grocery shopping and English-language medical care

Kona Hazelnut Coffee

Our base housing, which wasn't our first choice, but is wonderful for its spaciousness and big American appliances. And a garbage disposal! (Not common in Japanese housing and something I missed to a surprising extent during our stay in Barcelona.)

New food discoveries, including toasted sesame dressing, udon noodles, and tomato bread.


Champagne, prosecco, cava, and sparkling wine

Overnight oats, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I love thee with lemon and blueberries, with strawberries and blueberries, with blackberries and sugar, with apple sauce and pumpkin...

Individual screens with many movie and TV choices to distract me on long international flights


Bad holiday movies are on TV even before Thanksgiving and I DON'T CARE IF THAT BOTHERS YOU

Good health and really excellent health insurance

For once, my favorite fast food is actually not unhealthy - tuna sashimi from the grocery store outside my base, which is frequently my dinner when Raj is away

Hundred yen stores, which are basically dollar stores on massive doses of steroids

I'm almost done with my first three grad school classes. So far, so good.

Over a month off from grad school coming up when I can read whatever the heck I want


Skype, email, and an international cell phone keeping me in touch with Raj when he's far away

Amazon, where we can buy almost anything and have it here within a week or two

Dark chocolate chips (After dinner in our house "Would you like some milk?" really means "I'm going to have some milk and dark chocolate chips. I assume you'll want some too.")

What Not to Wear. I can't believe it's over, but I'm thankful for the many lessons Stacy and Clinton taught me and that it will hopefully air in reruns for years to come.

That when my mom told my brother, sister, and me that someday we'd be glad we had each other, she was right.

That both of my parents are currently cancer-free.

I'm thousands of miles from my family and my husband is in the Philippines working this Thanksgiving. But friends are coming over. We'll join up in the backyard with my neighbors and their friends and visiting family for a big potluck dinner. And if I hadn't had these plans, I had two other invitations to choose between.

And yes, I say it every year. Every year it's true: I'm thankful for the things I sometimes forget really are luxuries in this world. A loving family, good friends, a warm and dry home, clean water, sufficient food, access to medicine, reliable electricity, security and freedom, the vote, and the right to marry the partner of my choosing.

I'm loved, safe, happy, and oh so grateful. I hope you are too.

I encourage you to tell us some of the things you're grateful for, not because I'm a glutton for comments (I am) but because it really is a valuable thing to think about. Every year.


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Lisa Y says:

November 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Today when I was getting irritated about how long it was taking to get Allie's medicine at CVS, I suddenly realized how very grateful I should be to live in a time and place when/where scarlet fever is a matter of waiting 45 minutes for an antibiotic that will clear it up in a few days. Considering all the illnesses that have gone through our family lately, I am very thankful for access to good healthcare for my children. I can't think of anything worse than having suffering children and not being able to do anything about it.

Susan says:

November 30, 2013 at 03:27 PM

I am so thankful for the few family members I have left in this world. I love every moment I get to spend with them. I am also thankful you share your life with us. I love reading about your adventures and the people in your life. Somehow that makes me feel not so alone.

Sharon says:

December 06, 2013 at 01:53 PM

All the biggest dreams I had for my life have come true. I have everything. I am grateful for each new day I get to spend as the richest woman in the world. Thankful for another day of love.

Also the bar of dark chocolate with almonds and cranberries in my freezer. Hit the spot.

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My name is Lori. I write. I teach. I run. I enjoy intelligent conversation, professional football, big government and the public library. I married a libertarian. We live in Okinawa, Japan.


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