This morning’s not-so-deep Thought: Do you think Thankful Thursdays came about because Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday? Are half of you saying, “duh, Maggie!”
On this quiet Thanksgiving morning, I have much to be thankful for just as I do every Thankful Thursday. But, somehow, Thanksgiving has a way of making me think about all the people whose basic needs are not being fulfilled on a daily basis…. And it makes me remember to be thankful that the most basic life-sustaining NEEDS are being fulfilled in my life and for my family every day.
 I am thankful that there is food for my children to eat. Every day! And, I’m thankful that we can choose, according to their likes and dislikes, which healthy foods to eat during our 3 daily meals. There are so many who will go without any food today… never mind having a choice or eating 3 times a day in plentiful helpings. I wish that I could literally just reach out and hand my food directly to those children with pleading eyes and distended, hungry bellies. I wish the bureaucracy would step out of the way so that we could share the abundance of food that exists in my home, and in our country instead of just throwing it away or tying so much overhead to its delivery that it barely makes a difference in the lives of those who TRULY need it.
 I am thankful for the comfortable beds my children, husband and I sleep in each night… complete with clean pajamas, pillows and warm blankets. Hearkening back to my working days, I can still see the beds of the homeless in my minds eye… boxes laid flat on New York City’s hard and cold sidewalks topped with one or two big boxes pushed together to house a person — A PERSON — who has nowhere else to lay their head to rest. Wearing every piece of soiled clothing they have just to keep warm as they sleep.
 I’m thankful for the clothes on my back and the clothes my family wears each day. Though my pants may be worn in the knees from playing with my children, I am thankful to have more than one pair of jeans. Thankful for every bag of beautiful hand-me-downs left on my doorstep by caring friends whose children have outgrown clothing items that have plenty of life left in them for my kids to try and use up. And thankful that I have the ability to share my children’s hand-me-downs with others who need them.
 I’m thankful for my home. Though it may not be a beautiful mansion to you, it does safely house my family. The lights are on in the dark and the heat is on in the cold. It gives my family a warm, safe and peaceful place to exist in a world that is not always so warm and welcoming! It is ours (and the banks, LOL) and we are grateful for it! There are too many people without homes today. I’m not talking about those who over-extended themselves buying homes far outside their financial means… though I feel for them too, individual responsibility is sometimes a hard lesson to learn! I’m talking about families living in shelters or on the streets or in abandoned cars. I’m talking about little children and the elderly living in houses without heat, without lights, without windows or doors. I have all these things in my beautiful, dilapidated little home and I do not take them for granted!
 I’m thankful for my husband’s job when sooo many are without jobs this holiday season… And for his ability to work and continue earning a living. Because of him and his job, we have the money to pay the bills — to keep the heat and lights on. We have the luxury of telephones and televisions. And, we even have a little extra this year to buy modest Christmas gifts for our children. I am so thankful for every penny he works so hard to earn so that his family can have these simple things.
Nassau County is a land of abundance and, unfortunately, greed. It also brags one of the highest costs of living in the country. My husband works hard to earn and I work hard to stretch the money he brings home just to maintain these simple needs so that I can be home to raise our children. And I am incredibly thankful for our ability to do so. Our basic needs are more than met. They are greatly surpassed! And I’m happy to be able to share just a bit of our good fortune through local soup kitchens and care basket collections at school. I am teaching my children to share what we have with others less fortunate than ourselves. It is such a pitifully small gesture in the realm of things… but every little bit helps!
I am sooo grateful on this day for my life and for every one and everything in it.