It's Thanksgiving eve.
Well, since it's after midnight, technically it is Thanksgiving Day.
In just a few hours I will have to rouse myself from my soft, fluffy bed, get myself beautified, then spend the morning slaving over a hot stove, cooking seven different dishes we each will take one spoon of and then eat one bite of before we're full.
But, we gotta have it all. The turkey, Grannie's rice dressing, Jane's sage dressing, the cranberry sauce that comes out of the can with the little ridges on it, sweet potatoes with burnt marshmallow on top, mashed potatoes with lumps.
And peas, dammit. I want my peas.
They should call this "Starch Day" instead of Turkey Day.
I also bought a frozen Mrs. Smith's apple pie and a pumpkin pie -- because Lora Leigh has never had one and she wants to try it.
I'm so thankful to have a child willing to take a bite.
And that's what this holiday is supposed to be all about. Thanks. Giving it. Expressing it.
I'm thankful for my wonderful family. My supportive husband who stood by me as I hemmed and hawed over this buyout decision and promised to support me no matter what I chose to do.
I am thankful for my adorable, special child, who came to me in the most wonderful way and lights up my life every second.
I am thankful for her birth mother, who chose me.
I am thankful for my stepchildren, who have let me call them "mine," and made me so proud so often.
I am thankful for my sisters, even if I only talk to them on Facebook. And I am thankful for the nieces and nephews (and grand nieces and nephews) they have given me.
I'm thankful that I had a brother at all.
I'm thankful for my friends, the ones I've known forever and the ones I've found along the way.
I'm thankful that I still have my health.
I'm thankful that I still have my mother.
I'm thankful that I once knew a man named "Pappy."
I'm thankful for my beautiful house, even if it is old and creaky and drafty and falling apart.
I am REALLY thankful for my pool!
And I am thankful that the Saints are winning!
And I am thankful for my dogs, my Durango, my computer, the Internet, Facebook, my iPod, my iPhone, my hair straightener and Oil of Olay.
I'm thankful for the talents that God has given me -- my ability to put together words over and over again, my ability to create a little out of nothing, my determination to do and to finish.
And my ability to beat my sister in Scrabble.
And I am thankful that I have a place to use my talents -- still.
I am thankful that I did not take the buyout offered to me by my employer. I am thankful that I will get to continue doing what I do, what I LOVE to do.
I am thankful that I will continue to get paid for that.
I am thankful to be a Times-Picayune sports writer. After this week, there are fewer of us. And there are fewer reporters in the news room and fewer photographers in the lab.
One by one they've disappeared from our ranks, going off with fear and hope to try something new -- or try nothing new.
And we gather together to pat them on the hiney, and thank them for all that they have done, and send them off to their futures, while we stay behind and eat their cake and hope for the best.
But we're really starting to hate cake.