Friday, December 24, 2010


It’s that time of the year. December 21st, the shortest day of the year has come and gone. The New Year is approaching, and the season of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas is upon us. Firstly, I want to say thanks to everyone and everything for help and support, for gifts seen and unseen.
There are a bunch of people out there I need to thank, because, garbage doesn’t pile up in front of my house but gets carted away and somehow dealt with intelligently. I want to thank the men and women who make that miracle happen.
Last I checked, my house has clean running water. I want to thank whoever is responsible for that. My family and I greatly appreciate it.
Oh yeah, and the people at Trader Joe’s and Ralph’s, I’d like to thank them for having all this amazing stuff on hand, fresh, clean, friendly, so that my family, friends, and I could have wonderful things to eat during the holidays.
It was a pain at times to do all that Christmas shopping, and there wasn’t as much money as years passed, but, my gosh, what a complaint to be blessed with! I get to complain about having too much shopping to do for my family, friends, and loved ones. Please forgive me for complaining. I want to thank all those responsible for me having such a thing to complain about.
For a few days it rained like a son-of-a-gun, but someone—obviously a whole group of someones—had planned for this and so the torrents of water were not much problem. And with all the wind and rain and fallen tree branches, I barely noticed a flicker from the lights in my house. I want to thank the men and women who make that kind of thing happen so seamlessly.
And the gas, thanks for the gas that magically gets piped into my house so my vintage 1940’s stove can be fired up and we can cook all that great food I mentioned earlier.
Heat, can’t forget heat, the gas that flows to my house kept my house toasty warm during those wet, windy days. Thanks for the heat.
And in the midst of it I caught a cold. Poor me. But I had herbal tea, vitamin C, aspirin, soup, and a comfortable bed. I want to say thank you to all the people I will never meet who made it possible for me to have a pretty bad cold with such ease and comfort and without serious risk of getting pneumonia or dying. I always knew if things got really out of hand I could run down to the med center and get antibiotics if I needed them. I want to thank the local docs and nurses who I knew were out there if I needed them.
I want to thank all those people at all those disease control centers around the world who track outbreaks wherever they are and try to deal with them rapidly and intelligently so that we don’t once again have tens of millions of people dying from the flu like we did early last century in this country and around the world.
I want to thank the wine makers out in the valley, the farmers who grow and sell such wonderful food in the local farmers market, the masters of the baked good, the people who design all the window displays and put up the lights and decorate the shops and public places in my town and all the towns and cities around the world.
I want to thank those make things beautiful. I want to thank those who teach, those who raise children well, those who inform, those who care, those who work for justice, those who protect, those who study, those who learn new things, those who preserve old things worth preserving, those who amuse us, those who surprise us, those who transform us, those who remind us of the sacred, those who inspire us.
I want to thank the plumbers and the electricians and the handymen and handywomen, the makers and the builders, the maintainers, the cleaners, the sweepers, the sanitation guys and women. I want to thank the doctors and the lawyers, yes, the lawyers, the ones who keep the system straight even with all its kinks.
I want to thank those who pray. I want to thank those who sing. I want to thank those who dance, those who write, those who paint, those who film, those who photograph.
I want to thank them all.
I want to thank you, for everything, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing, for caring, for teaching, for appreciating, for being there, for the laughs, for the insights, for the friendship, for the help, for the mutual life we co-create here on this wonderful crazy planet.
May you find many things and many people to be thankful for. May you be thankful for yourself, for who you are, and for what you’ve been able to give. May you be your own greatest fan, appreciative of your gifts and your insights and your contributions, grateful for the love, kindness and service you have been able to show others.
            So, go out there, do your best. I know the Holiday Season can be hard in ways, but shine your light. Give as much thanks as you can and make it as wonderful and joyous a holiday as you can. Give us the gift of you. And again, thanks for everything.
            All the best, John 
            I can be reached at and 805/680-5572.

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