Happy Thanksgiving...

As per family custom, we made our annual trek to St. Louis this week to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Dad's extended family. His cousin, Candy, was kind enough to host all 50 odd people in her brand-new home, and as always, there was enough food spread across the two meals and dessert table to feed a small army. I took a few photos from the day, which I am sharing below, while I talk a bit about what I am thankful for this year:

First of all, I am thankful this year for my support network. No man is an island, and I am grateful to all the people in my life who share their strength with me in whatever form they can. The older I get, the more I realize the paramount importance of love in my life, whether it is platonic, familial, or romantic, and in the past year, I have felt love and encouragement from all sides. The Beatles may have been onto something when they wrote, "All you need is love..."

Dad, getting into the annual game of "Rob Your Neighbor," which I continue to boycott in the belief that it doesn't foster a very loving environment on a day that's supposed to celebrate family and togetherness.

Secondly, I am thankful this year for all the blessings in my life. I have a job, which, given my age group is truly nothing to take for granted; only 41% of 18-30 year-olds have full-time jobs. I'm more or less in good health, and I have health insurance to help me take care of any problems that might arise. I lead a comfortable life, free of debt if not all monetary concerns, and I enjoy enough disposable income to maintain hobbies and interests that enrich my life. Life is good, and I'm not taking it for granted.

Cousins from both halves of the family engaged in conversation at the post-Thanksgiving dinner table.

All in all, I feel very fortunate for the past year, and can only hope that I'll be able to say the same when it comes time to give thanks next year. What were you thankful for in 2010?

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