My daughter Hannah is a vegetarian. She also eats fish. But she will not consume poultry. Soon I will be making an extra stuffing for our Thanksgiving feast that does not contain turkey juices or traces of turkey. This stuffing will be entirely devoid of turkey.
I am making a stuffing recipe that I've made before, but not for Thanksgiving. I served it one Christmas when Jeremy's cousin and his son joined us for dinner. This stuffing went over extremely well at that gathering. I still remember the unbridled enthusiasm and compliments.
It's officially a sourdough stuffing with apples and raisins, but I substitute dried cranberries for the raisins.
I also remember the mild smoke condition I accidentally created in our apartment that Christmas while roasting chickens. Jeremy's cousins said it was the best chicken they ever had.
I am thankful for this stuffing I am about to make. I am thankful about a great many things - my family, my friends, excellent heath, enormous quantities of delicious Thanksgiving foods, Thanksgiving leftovers, Stove Top Stuffing for when I haven't had my fill of stuffing, but don't want a lot of hassle.
But for today, I'm going to focus my gratitude post on Blogging.
First, I'd like to thank all of the technology related folks who include but are not confined to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. While I was busy socializing, doing what Temple Grandin calls yak-yak, you were hard at work. If it weren't for you, I'd still be using the phone for everything.
I could not have foreseen the Internet, Facebook, iPads or blogging. If it weren't for these things, I might still have a DayRunner – I always liked it more than Filofax - with people's phone numbers handwritten in it. I would then have my artistic phone call time. I’d leave a message on people's answering machines twice a week, reading aloud my various thoughts and musings. The only way to unsubscribe would be to change your phone number.
Back in the day, before all of this social media and sharing capability, I remember the isolation I felt, taking photographs that no one saw, writing things that no one read. Because it was all I knew, I didn't perceive it as isolation per se. It was more of an unnamed malaise.
Sure, sometimes my work got seen by a lot of people. I spent a number of years doing food photography for the NY Times magazine and everyone saw that. I still remember the excitement of opening the newspaper - the actual newspaper - and seeing my photography.
I'd invite all my friends to group shows I was in. I'd plunk my portfolio in front of an actual set of eyes as often as humanly possible. I'd write beautifully composed letters to photographers I liked.
But then there we what felt like droughts. There were tons and tons of gatekeepers. I'd spend a lot of time alone with my carefully crafted work.
So I'm really thankful for the gift of email, Twitter, what used to be called the worldwide web and what I still call my devices, much to the chagrin of my children.
Since I've established that I enjoy attention and dislike working in isolation - so many people who say they don't like attention are lying - I am thankful for the audience who reads my blog. Facebook and this blog are my new galleries, magazines and billboards rolled into one.
I am thankful that people use the vocabulary of social media to like, comment, favorite, share, re-tweet, friend, follow and subscribe.
I am also thankful for people who follow my blog, but for whatever reason, do not feel comfortable leaving comments. The same people who shy away from this often have no issue whatsoever yelling across Broadway as I walk down the street Hey! I just ordered that book you recommended! They scream.
Or I run into the shyer types at the drugstore and they'll say oh hi, how did things work out with the new high school? Like we are just continuing a conversation we started earlier, only it's me writing and her reading. It's new and old fashioned at the same time.
If I know you and you don't read my blog - you won't ever see this because you don't read my blog - I'm thankful for the fact that we know each other, but that you don't read my blog. That is because if you are not reading it, then I feel very free to write about you in this blog.
I'm kidding about that last thing. Okay, let's call it 50/50.
I am thankful to the people who paved the way and blogged before me. I love many of your blogs. The fact that you are blogging about the things you're blogging about means I don't have to blog about these things. Or if we share certain subjects in common, I do it my way and you do it your way. You blog this way, and I blog that.
The fact that you were out of the starting gate first meant that I got to experience certain things second hand. You getting into a little hot water with your blog. Trolls, haters, drama.
There are certain blog posts that will only live inside my head.
I am grateful for my iPhone camera. I received this iPhone as a gift. I take all of these photographs and it doesn’t cost a cent.
This idea is revolutionary. Photography was too expensive for me before. Film purchasing, film processing, contact sheets, darkroom time. I enjoyed all of it. I was a master printer. But I couldn’t afford to just take photographs whenever I wanted of whatever I wanted.
This business of wherever I want and whatever I want is amazing.
While we are on the subject of thankfulness and blogging, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jeremy. Even if Jeremy didn’t help me with my blog, I’d still be thankful for him a million times over.
Jeremy started his blog, AnEarful several years ago. He learned the ropes. Jeremy is the kind of person who no matter what his job description is, or where he is working, he is always helping people with their computers. Oncologists at work know how to treat cancer, but sometimes their computer problems will trip them up. Then Jeremy will help them.
Jeremy helps everyone here at home with their computers and electronics. And so it is with my blog. Jeremy helped me design my blog. He proofreads every post, which is another one of his talents. He knows when to make a suggestion on grammar or content and knows when to keep quiet.
Jeremy got me indoctrinated with Twitter and helped me until I got used to it. Turns out I enjoy the 140 character part now. Last Thanksgiving I wasn’t even on Twitter yet. Now I’m thankful for it.
I’m not on Pinterest or Instagram. My whole policy is to master one social media platform at a time. But now that I’m so comfortable with and thankful for Twitter, I think Instagram might be next. I’ll wade in with Jeremy and then before you know it, it will be like I’ve done it all my life. I predict that next Thanksgiving at this time, I’ll be thankful for that, too.