Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Thanksgiving

Last time I shared some thoughts about Thanksgiving and what I’m grateful for (the original post is at the end of this article, for those who missed it). Readers shared what they are grateful for as well, and it’s a wonderful, thoughtful, uplifting read. Comments ranged from the quotidien…

“Thankful for Brandon Brown winning his first NASCAR race this year”


…to the epic:

“I am thankful that my parents managed to escape Hitler’s Germany in time to have me born here in the USA. If they hadn’t I wouldn’t be here to celebrate Thanksgiving.”


Many readers, like Ernestine, Rita and  Barb said they were grateful for their health,  especially during the pandemic.

“I’m simply happy to be alive. It’s been a long and difficult time coping with the pandemic. Look forward to when we could all see each other again.  Until then, wishing everyone a “Happy Holiday Season.”

Rita R. 

Some readers, like Bella, remained grateful despite a list of challenging circumstances (look it up in the comments) and others, like Geraldine G.  listed an array of reasons for gratitude that were uplifting and hopeful.

“…the many things I have that money can’t buy. Breath in my nostrils…eyes that still can take in the beauty that my Creator provides. My children whom I don’t have to worry about…nice clean place to live. And a God who promises to be with me in old age and so much more.”

-Geraldine G.

A special shout out to readers who mentioned Senior Planet…

“Grateful for life, love of family & friends, Covid19 vaccinations & staying free of the virus (knocking on wood) and this fun, fantastic Senior Planet community!”

-Bernadette S.

And a very personal ‘thank you” to Katherine M, who made it all worthwhile.

“I am grateful I read this article !!! Great ideas!!

-Katherine M.

We’ll keep the comments open, so feel free to add your own!

For those who missed it, the original column is below:

Gratitude is, to me, an antidote to resentment, fear, anger and anxiety.  I pray when I go for my morning walk, and I always include a prayer of thanks and list about ten things. Sure, there are some mornings when I have to dig really deep into the barrel to complete the list. (One time I was thankful that I have good hair.)

Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because my mind is running on the anxiety treadmill like a deranged hamster.  I think of my gratitude list, then, too.  I find I have better dreams when I do.

I think I almost take for granted to be thankful for the Big Things, like health and my work, so sometimes it’s fun to think of the small, even silly things. I’ve got good hair. My electric blanket. That I finally found someone to fix my stereo.

I’m especially grateful – more than anything else – for the hidden blessings: the close shaves, the narrow escapes, the long shots that came in, the lucky accidents.  Sometimes I can tell what they were (the job I didn’t get at a company that turned out to be a horror show or the negative blood test).

Somehow, though, even when I don’t know what they were, thinking of my hidden blessings consoles me in a special way.  They make me feel grateful because they affirm my belief that Someone is watching out for me and wants the best for me.

But that’s my gratitude list – which of course includes the chance to do these Open Threads! What’s on your gratitude list – big or little, silly or serious? Let us know in the comments!!


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at


23 responses to “Open Thread Update: Thanksgiving

  1. Today I am grateful for a husband who puts up with my late nights and my subsequent late mornings. Also for my health. It is not great, but it could be much worse considering my past behavior. And my son, the light of my life who grew to be a most sensitive, generous, kind and loving person.

    I am grateful for my relationship with family and friends, and the guidance that I am given by them and my guides. I am grateful for friends who remember to call me and share their thoughts with me. Who are still thinking of me after many years and are far away.

    I am grateful for technology. My health has benefited by technology and it entertains me. Technology has made my life much easier that it might have been. After all, the electrons that technology has put to use are enabling me to make this statement.

    Thank you to my Creator and Guides who make all things possible.

  2. I need a new well because the quarry that resides behind my neighbor’s property across the street collapsed/destroyed my well in June, along with all the other wells in my neighborhood. The quarry, who’s responsible for the cost of installing my new well, just got around to begin drilling it on Monday. While I was waiting almost six months for my new well, my roof started leaking. I know I should’ve called the roofer sooner but I couldn’t conjure money out of thin air because my Fairy Godmother’s been MIA since 1984. So I had to figure out a way to pay for the roof repair before hiring someone.

    The roofer came yesterday and after he checked things out, he declared that I don’t just need the roof repaired, I need a completely new roof! He also told me there are no vents in my roof then said because of that my roof isn’t up to code. He said it’s absolutely necessary to properly vent the roof! I did have the original roof replaced about twenty-five years ago but had absolutely no idea it wasn’t up to code. The roofers who did that job got away with it because how the heck would I know?

    That’s bad enough but that ain’t all, there’s more. I also need new vinyl gutters/downspouts to replace the metal ones I have that they don’t make anymore … and I need to replace some stripping that runs along under the gutters that won’t match what I have because they also don’t make it anymore. Sigh. Some siding is coming off on the side of the house on the wall under the roof that he’s going to try to preserve by carefully removing it so he can reinstall it and it will match what’s already there. If not, my house is going to look like a patchwork quilt! AND because of Covid only three colors of shingles are available. Fortunately there’s one that’s close to the color I already have. Got all that!? I sure don’t, lol. It’s all too much for my little Mexican jumping bean infested mind to comprehend. I thought I just had a few leaks!

    So as I’m trying to recover from the shock … my heater crapped out last night. No heat and no hot water. Holy Mother Of God. Just kill me now. I’m too old to find a Sugar Daddy, I need to rob a bank! So why am I grateful? I’m grateful that I’m still standing. I’m grateful because despite the fact that all of this is happening at once, I’m not on Prozac and drunk all the time! I’m grateful that I don’t have to prepare Thanksgiving dinner and all I have to do is show up, stuff myself full of turkey, chased with some Beaujolais, and then pass out. Here’s hoping that when I come to my Fairy Godmother will have miraculously rematerialized holding a sack of cash, lol! Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. I’m simply happy to be alive. It’s been a long and difficult time coping with the pandemic. ‘Look forward to when we could all see each other again. Until then,
    wishing everyone a “Happy Holiday Season”. Rita Russo

    1. Happy holidays to you also. Isn’t being alive wonderful. The pandemic has put a lot of people down and at odds with each other. I managed to get through so far unscathed. Living in gratitude helps. I don’t think I would be as well as I am now without doing my gratitude journaling and meditation.

      Be well.

  4. I am grateful for family and friends who have supported and sustained me in the past few challenging years of COVI D. So grateful for Zoom classes and friends to keep me entertained and challenged

  5. I am grateful to be living in a warm, cozy apt., with a wonderful family nearby, having enough to eat, clean water to drink and be in a position to be helpful to those around me. Also to be active and pretty healthy at the age of 86.

    1. Mary Tompkin,
      Mine is similar, l’m thankful for the sunrise most mornings. sometimes l get up not expecting anything great. l look out the window and there’s this fire red sky smiling back at me.
      I turn off the lights, pull my balance ball up to the window,
      and think of the many thing I have that money can’t buy. Breath in my nostrils, that’s priceless, eyes that still can take in the beauty that my creator provides.
      My children whom I donot have to worry about, my needs are met. Nice clean plalce to live. And a God who promises to be with me in old age and so much more.

  6. I am grateful for my family. My husband, 3 adult children and their families. Also my pets for giving unconditional love as pets do. I’m grateful for the few friends I have as they are the best! I’m grateful for opportunities as some people don’t have them. I am grateful for my health as I turned 70 this year. And lastly I’m grateful for the lesson as I age, that being grateful is what it’s all about.

      1. I chuckled when you said you are thankful for your electric blanket. Every night when I get into my bed that has been warmed by my electri. Blanket, I say “thankyou for my bed, comfort and peace and comfort those who don’t have a warm bed”

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