Happy Thanksgiving from the Gratitude Nazi

I know that this blog isn’t exactly a “happy place”–most days, it is devoted to discussions of thorny problems, counterproductive policies, and the various disabilities of an aging republic.

But today is Thanksgiving, and this “Gratitude Nazi” (my children’s not-so-fond description of me on turkey day, when I insist that everyone at the table tell what they are grateful for) wants to acknowledge some of the blessings for which I am incredibly grateful:

  • a wonderful family–including a husband who puts up with me, children and stepchildren who have made me proud, and PERFECT, WONDERFUL grandchildren.
  • a fantastic network of friends. I lost two who were very important to me this year, but I remain incredibly grateful for the time we had and the gifts of their friendships.
  • Thoughtful and collegial co-workers who are always willing to help me analyze issues and identify new approaches, and who are smart and funny and supportive and just good companions.
  • the community that has grown up around this blog–a group of people composed of both real-life and virtual friends, whose commentary never fails to illuminate a subject or teach me something new.
  • the fact that all of my problems are “First World” problems.

So happy Thanksgiving, everyone. While we enjoy our turkey and all the “fixings,” let’s take some time to recognize our blessings and be thankful for them–and let’s resolve to redouble our efforts to work for a society that provides everyone with reasons to share that gratitude.

See you tomorrow.


  1. You are truly a blessing to us all, Sheila! All my best to you and your family from Lafayette.

  2. The only thing I can possibly add to this message is to thank you for sharing your knowledge, information we wouldn’t otherwise have access to, your time, effort and energy providing all of the above…and more on a daily basis. My Thanksgiving blessings include your leadership in the chaos in this country today. Thank you, Sheila, and bless you and yours today and throughout the coming days.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Professor. I’ve grateful for the civic lessons you’ve taught me through your blog.
    Life is good. Cheers!

  4. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. You have a beautiful loving family and I enjoy all the photos.
    Everyone looks so happy! I like all the daily information you impart and have learned a lot. I think you must be an outstanding teacher. Enjoy today and every day and thank you for all the good information!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Sheila. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously with your community which has no limits.

  6. In the spirit of the holiday and giving credit where credit is due (and you are due much credit for providing a forum for fleshing out views and ideas), it’s hard to believe that this holiday of Thanksgiving was initiated by a Republican. How things change! Oh well, I would have voted for Lincoln had I been around at the time, but the parties have exchanged places since. The old guard racist right wing Democratic Party of that day has since morphed into a far more liberal and people-oriented party of today while the newly-organized Republican Party of that day as successor of the Whigs was largely anti-slavery and vibrantly alive to the very large issues of that day, a party which has since become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street banks and corporations. I am thankful to be a lifelong and unapologetic liberal Democrat this day and every day, as I suspect many of your contributors may number. Let’s hang tough on behalf of people over money, of their well-being over the greedy grasp of the few. Happy T-Day to you and to all!

  7. Sheila, I start my day with Lavazza coffee and your blog. I am grateful for both and all of my First World privileges. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you this past year. Happy Thanksgiving. Now it’s off to the kitchen.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don’t forget to give thanks for all of the problems we don’t have. We could have gotten up this morning Syrian refugees.

    It’s a great if imperfect world we share. We can leave it better.

  9. Thanks to you also, Sheila, for the insights you share all through the year. “Thankful that all my problems are “First World” problems.” I will definitely be sharing that this holiday season when I hear complaints about crowded malls and stores. Persimmon Pudding is in the oven. I had to substitute a bit of whole wheat flour for regular as I ran out. I will NOT shop on Thanksgiving!

  10. Jerry Stinson: Perfectly appropriate posting. Let us not forget our duty on Election Day.
    A non-Republican in the White House will help us control a wildly vindictive saber-rattling Republican majority in Congress.
    Happy Thanksgiving today and in 2016
    Sacred Christmas always

  11. I am thankful I am able to join with all of you in giving thanks for many blessings and wishing that you are also find yourselves blessed by your thoughts this day.

  12. We are all thankful to you, Sheila, for all you do to stimulate thought and action to make things better.

  13. Grateful to you and the contributors to this blog (most of them) for the interesting and thoughts you share and the predominantly civil tone in which they are presented at a time when civil discourse is a rare and treasured commodity.

  14. Thank you, Sheila, for all the enlightening perspectives and information. I hope you and your family spend this day together enjoying all the love.

  15. Happy Thanksgiving all! I am thankful for Sheila and you, all her followers. We are so lucky to live in a country that, although it could use some work, is a far cry from some other countries we could be living in.

  16. Happy Thanksgiving, all, from me and my friends and a beautiful lunch at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR. I appreciate all of you!

  17. Thanks for being thankful! I’m thankful that our youngest son and his wife are orchestrating the huge dinner for 19 about to happen and all we have to do is show up with cornbread dressing and yeast rolls and that sort of thing. I’m thankful for my friend who works nights for the Austin Police Dept., answering 911 and deciding who needs to handle the emergency and then after a short sleep she tutors teenagers and cheers them on. I’m thankful for corn meal and pumpkin and all the wonderful ingredients that we mix with them and the farmers who make it happen. Blessings on all of you.

  18. Again, to all I missed 🙂 . I am thankful that I was born in the United States 86 years ago and that my wife and daughter enjoyed the same good fortune. And for all others who enjoyed such like good fortune, Happy Thanksgiving!! And Goober, sorry, Gopper have some turkey on me.

  19. If you get into the habit of gratitude, it’s one of those behaviors that will lead you to happiness and keep you there. Happy Thanksgiving.

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