On Being Thankful

Yesterday was a beautiful day. And as I sat outside in the cool, crisp autumn air, watching the magnificent play of sunlight through the leaves, and enjoying the book I was reading, I thought: "These are not to be taken for granted." So I said - not out loud, but just to myself - I said, "I am thankful for magical days, for the wonders of the changing seasons, and I'm thankful for Al Franken."

Not to put any extra pressure on Al. I mean that's a tough spot in the line-up for any comic; "It's the Power of the Almighty, the Splendor of Nature, and then you."

But reading his new book, I was so aware of feeling gratitude. No irony here, just good-old "appreciative" for his work. He does his homework. He elucidates. He pushes back. For all of us who read the paper every morning and feel like our only two choices are to, (a) End it all and run naked, screaming off a cliff, or (b) Stop reading the news and just put up another piece of toast, Al offers a healthy alternative: Jump deeper into the news. Understand it. Try to do something about it. And - and this is the hard part - maintain a sense of humor. Not so easy. So I'm grateful for those who lead the way. That's all. Sometimes, you just want to say these things out loud.

In fact, this is my new rule: "Let us always give thanks for all that makes our lives better."

Next week: Particularly Good Soups, The Smooth Flat Part On The Top of Most Dogs' Heads, and Dick Van Dyke.