Gratitude List (second installment)

6. Fried Chicken: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like fried chicken. It was my meal of choice from little on up. Whether or not we’re talking about KFC, Chicken Supreme, The Ranch House, Shells, or any of the hundreds of other places that I’ve eaten, fried chicken always brings a smile to my face. Old Country Buffet’s chicken is way up there and just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I just can’t be down while eating this tasty treat. Hooray for food!

7. My Father (Pop): Whether or not I realized it I really looked up to my father for the twenty-nine years we had together. He was a very difficult man to live with, given to cigar smoking, hoarding his money rather than paying bills, and living what it seemed at times was a secret lifestyle that none of us ever truly made sense of. That aside, he was a master musician and quintessential teacher and, above all, he loved me very much. Our time together on this earth was much too short and the years following his death have pretty much been defined for me by his absence and in discovering what ways I would choose to be who I am without him. For better and worse I honor him and his place in my life, and I’m grateful that we had the time that we did.

8. Bacon: This is another comfort food to be sure, but it’s just so damn fun to appreciate. Bacon goes well with anything and makes everything better. Whether or not it’s crispy or undercooked, honey or maple cured, smoked hard or light, it is fatty excess at its best and it makes every breakfast, lunch, and dinner just a little bit happier. How about a hand for the hog!

9. Dr. Wayne Dyer: In the years following my father’s death I was cast psychologically and spiritually adrift. I had moved to Philadelphia and had taken work at La Salle College High School, alone, isolated, and against the world. I discovered Wayne’s work one Sunday afternoon on PBS and he changed my life. I absolutely believe that without his teachings I would most likely have committed suicide somewhere in my early 30s. His teachings gave me the strength to move on, to grieve but grow, and to leave love back in my life again. My debt to Wayne and his work is one I can never repay and he will surely never know how much he has changed my life, but for all the above and so much more I am grateful to have him and his good work in my life. Namaste, Wayne!

10. Hyacinths: This simple, adorable, purple, fragrant flower always reminds me that nice weather is on its way, and the Great Outdoors is about to reawaken into all of Spring’s finery. I love its smell, and it’s terribly awkward appearance, its delicate nature, and its vibrancy of color. It is a God joke to be sure, but it is one that we can all appreciate.

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