Urban Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was bragging over lunch to a group of fellow writers that he could compose a novel in six words (referred to as “flash fiction”).  Someone wagered a $10 bet, and he won when he wrote, “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

I tell you this fabled story in order to lead into my blog post about gratitude during 2020.  This season of the year, I always deeply feel gratitude, and 2020 is no exception.  In spite of the pandemic, and all of the special miseries and challenges we have faced, I am grateful. Gratitude resembles hope in this sense: it is resilient. You can count on it rising up and echoing in your soul, even during trying times that break your heart.

This Thanksgiving we stayed home; we followed the advice of Dr. Fauci to “hunker down” and to avoid crowds, restaurants, traveling, while celebrating the season inside our bubble.  We shared and delivered our meal to another couple who also stayed home  We each ate well, separately, and modestly.  The traditional menu was pleasing and there was no “groaning board” or buffet as in past years.

I didn’t find it a great sacrifice to stay home; it was a meaningful day because I had a chance to cook for and talk with a dear friend I love, and to reflect on our many blessings over the thirty years of our friendship. Uplifted by our visit, we decided to plan a memory party in 2021, post vaccine hopefully, when we can rejoice, laugh, cry, and actually hug one another as we reminisce about the amazing journey of life we have shared.

I came home from our brief visit, feeling inspired. I sat down to write my blog for this month, using a six word approach. Here is list of things I am grateful for as 2020 comes to a close:

Cooking endlessly, eating healthy, smiling often.

Teaching inspiring, authentic elders. Resilience grows.

Thankful for Winky, God’s little angel.

Bringing food gifts, my heart purrs.

Watching a friend heal from grief.

Getting massages again.  Heavenly healing hands.

Healthcare workers.  Delivery people.  Deep gratitude.

Seeing a friend bravely face cancer.

Americans waited in long lines. Voted!

Vaccines coming, new day dawning.  America.

Democracy is still alive.  Grateful. Poignant.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Once more, love conquers hatred/fear.

Thankful for caring readers, faithful family.

All hearts come home for Christmas.