In a moment of reflection, I wanted to share the things I'm most thankful for this year. Below is my list. Some of these items may ring a little familiar and certainly my "Top 5" are the viturally the same as last year - click here to see my list from 2008 - but I'm sticking to them.
So, with no further adeu, here are the things I am most thankful for in this, the 2009 Thanksgiving season...
My Wife - simply put, my everything. I always joke that I don't push my luck on everyday matters because I spent all my luck in meeting and marrying Diane. I love you Diane.
Our Health - we both made it through the year healthy and in good shape. The cliche is, "without your health you have nothing." Well, mabye not nothing, but for sure we're both thankful to have our health. Here's to another year of that!
Our Families - on both sides. Our familieis are wonderful and we share good times with them. Mothers, fathers, siblings, nieces, nefews, cousins and in-laws...we love 'em all and are thankful they are in our lives.
Having a Job - all jobs have their stresses and 2009 certainly was a challenging year in many ways at work. But, in this economy I am thankful for the job and pleased to work with good people. Going on 3.5 years now at my current gig.
Our Friends - Diane and I have a great group of friends that we've met in so many different ways - from childhood, from school, from work, from travel, from mutual interests and from other places. In their great diversity, this group of friends adds so much to our lives and our perspective on the world. Thanks everybody!
Our Cat Josie - even cat lovers will admit that cats can be impersonal at times and some even avoid people or are perpetually "scaredy cats." Well, not our cat. Nope, Josie is a sweet natured and great "friend" for Diane and me. Mark me down as thankful.
Where We Live - I've said it before and I'll say it again...I don't think you can beat Seattle as a place to live. Sure, Portland and maybe even San Francisco would be right up their, but for the combination of mountains, sea, lakes, desert, mild weather (compared to most places in the U.S.), skiing, biking, hiking, proximity to Canada, a great wine region, sports teams (admittedly most not doing too good right now) and much more...you can't really beat Seattle in my book. And then, I am thankful for living in the Ballard neighborhood. We're close to all the good stuff Ballard has, and just a few minutes to downtown Seattle.
Live Music - there's nothing like seeing a band live. If it can be done in a small club right up close, that's even better. The vibe, energy and thrill of rock and roll delivers every time. Here in Seattle we're blessed with a number of great clubs that attract top notch rock bands. In 2009 I was able to catch a number of shows in places like this. Bands seen include Glasvegas, Manic Street Preachers and The English Beat. Of course, the big spectacle type of shows are fun too for different reasons. In this vein, Diane and I saw U2 and Pet Shop Boys in 2009.
Completing the Seattle Rock n' Roll Half Marathon - we did it! 13.1 miles is a long way to run and I'm pround of both Diane and myself for getting it done. I did it in my personal best time of 1 hr. 43 min.
New Restaurant Discoveries - every year we find new places that we like to eat. Sometimes they're only new to us. Here are some highlights of places we at for the first time and will go back to: Chez Shea, Medina Cafe (Vancouver, BC), Moshi Moshi Sushi, Delancey's Pizza, a whole host of restaurants in Charleston, SC (click here), John's Pizza of Bleeker Street (NYC), Plaka and Frank's Oyster House.
The Hot Summer We Had This Year - yep, I liked it...a lot. Sure, there were a couple 100+ days that were not great, but overall I LOVED how warm our summer was. Growing up around here, we would normally have temps in the 70s, 80s, and 90s in the summer. Over the past 5-10 years, however, it seems like our summers have become cooler with fewer days in that temperature range with more rain. Last year, for example, I declared the summer a "bust" the second week of July. Not this year though! It was hot and I loved it.
Our Trip to the South - instead of going overseas this year, we visited a few places on southeast coast of the United States. We had a real good time seeing a part of our country we've never been to before. Click here for a review of our vacation.
Sounders FC - I'm really pleased that Seattle has an entertaining MLS soccer team to root for. The Sounders are also the only major Seattle-based pro team that's performing well - they made the playoffs! Ms and Seahawks can't say that. I've gotten into "footie" more than ever by following them this season.
I made 40 - yes, this year (on Thanksgiving Day no less) I turn 40 years old. It's been a good run so far, and in those four decades I've been able to do so many wonderful things...things that I've always wanted to do. Here's to more fun ahead!