Giving thanks for…

English: 1 North Grove Street, Tarrytown, NY, ...
English: 1 North Grove Street, Tarrytown, NY, USA, a contributing property to the North Grove Street Historic District (Photo credit: Wikipedia). This is one of my favorite places in Tarrytown!

Today is American Thanksgiving, a day for eating too much, family squabbles and friends’ doors lovingly opened to “orphans” and “strays”, those of us whose families are too far away or dead or don’t like us very much.t

It’s my favorite American holiday, and it took me a few years living here to figure out why. It’s the one day no one argues over, the one day that everyone — Muslim, Jew, Christian, atheist, Hindu — celebrates with relief that we all made it, relatively unscathed, through another crazy year.

I love how it begins the holiday season, at least for those of us who celebrate Christmas; Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October, which always felt a little early to me.

Every year, newspaper and magazine editors offer a gazillion ways to prepare side dishes. Brine the turkey or roast it? Host, guest or skip the whole shebang? The decisions are all comfortingly familiar.

Jose and I are heading next door to a lovely hotel, in a castle, for our 4:00 meal. No shopping, cooking or cleaning!

Here are some things I’m thankful for this year:

You! Broadside is growing every day, with an array of readers that astonishes me, men and women of all ages and ethnicities, from Australia (hi Charlene and Nigel!) to Vancouver, my birthplace (hi, Rian!) to India, Indonesia, Spain (hola, JPP!) and dozens of other places. I know your time and attention is a rare resource and I’m honored.

My husband, Jose. We’re heading into our 13th. year together. We met online, when I was researching a magazine story about on-line dating and he saw my ad and profile, with the headline “Catch Me If You Can.” We’re very different people in many ways, but we laugh our bums off and work like dogs and I’m lucky to have gotten a good husband on my second try.

The view from our top-floor apartment. We overlook the Hudson River, facing northwest, with a clear blue sky full of jet contrails and military helicopters thudding home to West Point and soaring red-tailed hawks. We see snow and rainstorms sliding across the water and, if we’re up early enough, glittering pink and gold jewels on the opposite riverbank as the rising sun reflects in the windows there. Huge barges glide past every day. On July 4, we can watch six towns’ fireworks at once.

Our town. Tarrytown, NY, named one of the nation’s ten prettiest recently by a major magazine. I love the 127-year-old Tarrytown Music Hall, its oft-filmed Main Street and Goldberg Hardware, still owned and run by the grand-son of its founder. I’ve lived here since 1989, and now run into friends and neighbors everywhere, from my former physical therapist at the grocery store to my dentist at the gourmet shop to my dance teacher at the cafe.

— My work. Journalism has been my world since I was an undergrad at the University of Toronto, so eager to get started, in my first year there, that I showed up at the weekly campus newspaper before classes even began. Through my work, I’ve had the most extraordinary adventures: I spent eight days in a truck with a French-speaking driver going from Perpignan to Istanbul, met Queen Elizabeth, climbed the rigging of a Tall Ship 100 feet to work on a footrope, visited an Arctic village and a remote Quebec commune, and have interviewed everyone from a female admiral to convicted felons, Olympic athletes and the female cop who kept New York’s mayor alive on 9/11. I have been privileged with others’ trust in order to share powerful, compelling stories.

— Supportive editors and agents. I may finally have found my next agent, and this week will finish up my fourth major feature for The New York Times Sunday business section. I need talented people who believe in my skill, willing to tether their own reputation and limited attention to me, to keep moving forward in this competitive and rapidly-changing industry.

— Good health. My mother, at 76, lives in a distant nursing home in extremely poor health. My father just arrived in Hong Kong, after a 16 hour flight, at 83, ready for his latest adventure. I’m fortunate to live in a safe, clean place with easy access to lovely spots in which to walk, hike, bike, golf, kayak, sail, canoe. I have strength and flexibility and my full faculties. I take none of this for granted.

— A new left hip. On Feb. 6, 2012, I had a new artificial hip implanted, a procedure that still awes and amazes me, and which gave me back my life and mobility after 2.5 years of extreme pain. Thanks to Jose’s job we have excellent health insurance and I found a young surgeon I like and trust.

— Friends. Funny, smart, wise, their love and intelligence sustain me.

What are you thankful for this day?

21 thoughts on “Giving thanks for…

  1. Nemesis

    All of the above, Ms. Malled… And “BroadSide”, too… Of course.

    A small indulgence, if I may be so bold, as it’s been bugging since the inception of your Blog… Were you aware that a BroadSide, nautically speaking, was the NavalGunnery equivalent of a FullOnFusillade?

    Just wondering. I rather cherish the thought that you did/do.

    [My HeartyRegards to your LensMan, too. Natch.]

  2. Congratulations for your life. You have everything one needs to say the most beautiful word in this world straight from the heart. ‘Thank You’. I am sure you know, not many have even one reason to thank the almighty for their life. Indeed, it is a wonderful festival. I am thankful for visiting this blog and reading your post. I have a new story idea now, which might go as a new post in my blog. πŸ™‚

  3. I am grateful for health…or I will be, once over a month-long flu bug that knocked out our family has dissipated. I’m also grateful that I’ve “met” so many people through the blogosphere and occasionally, in person. So glad to have met you, Caitlin and I wish you a wonderful year ahead, personally and professionally!

  4. Thank you for sharing this! All of those things sound like wonderful things to be thankful – that apartment sounds STUNNING! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday too. I love how it kicks off Christmas and brings us all together. I’m very thankful to be in Paris right now, enjoying experiences that I am so lucky to have. I’m even more thankful for my family, however, who have loved and supported me all the way – nurturing me and letting me go as I needed to grow into who I am today. Can’t imagine life without them!

  5. That answer could go on forever, depending on your tastes and budget. As you probably already know, it’s a great city to just walk. I do like the offbeat flea markets (Vanves and Porte de Montreuil), several tearooms (A Priori The, for one). Have you been to the ballet? The theater alone is so worth seeing! On the Ile St. Louis, on the rue des Deux Ponts (south side) is a resto whose name we cannot remember, with a gorgeous room filled with designs of roosters and very good food. The Marais…anywhere…esp. Rue du Vieille du Temple, with 17th century buildings…

    The Cluny Museum is wonderful (medieval) as is the Guimet (Asian.) My heart aches even describing Paris I miss it so much!

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