by Tom Garrison

Each holiday season I compose and send to relatives and friends a “Thanksgiving Thankful List” for the preceding year. My wife, Deb, and I enjoy our life in Utah’s red rock country and have many things for which we are thankful. I hope sharing them brings a smile and acknowledgement that even the seldom thought of can be a source of thankfulness. Below is my 2015 list.

  1. Deb and I are in debt to the Roman god of lists—Listus (well, I made that up). We are inveterate list makers. How can one get through a week without your “to do list?” Fairly often people who get to know us remark upon our organizational skills. That may be a result of the Listus shrine in our living room.
  2. I’m thankful for the idiom that “even the blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn.” This explains my occasional three strikes in a row in bowling, hitting a dozen consecutive 18-foot baseline jump shots, or giving the correct question to a Jeopardy answer in the cooking category.
  3. I’m grateful for gourds. Deb is very creative in cutting designs in and painting and staining gourds and has won several county fair awards for her work as a gourd artist. This hobby keeps her busy while I’m doing Internet research and pounding my keyboard trying to trying to come up with another synonym for “thankful.”
  4. I’m pleased physics has clearly demonstrated that atoms and all material things are more than 99.99% vacant space. Since we are composed of atoms it follows that humans are mostly unoccupied space. Being sort of human, this means my head is mostly empty space. The next time someone says I have a void between my ears, I will heartily agree—they are simply describing reality.
  5. I appreciate the many sizes of breakfast cereal boxes. Have you ever bought a large economy box, holding about 50 pounds, of your favorite “Frosted Mini-Twinkle Flakes”? Of course, the box is half empty—some settling of contents may occur. By the time you finish the box you look at the cereal floating in milk and can barely hold back the gag reflex. Long ago I quit buying the large boxes.
  6. I’m thankful to slaughterhouse workers. Those guys and gals have a messy job which makes my life easier. While I enjoy meat in my diet, I don’t have much desire to wrestle a cow or pig and kill it. If necessary I could do it, but for now it is not needed. Until I become a 100% breatharian (gaining all sustenance from breathing alone, living without consuming food), I am beholden to the people who bring me cellophane wrapped hamburger meat.
  7. I am extremely relieved the solar system’s large outer planets, especially Jupiter and Saturn, orbit where they do. Being where they are with near circular orbits and massive gravitational fields means they offer some protection to the inner planets (earth, for example) from excessive bombardment by comets. Most of us don’t much like the idea of a large comet bonking our planet. Thanks Jupiter and Saturn.

I hope everyone recalls the many things, obvious and not so obvious, to be thankful for this holiday season.

© 2015 Tom Garrison

Tom Garrison authored the above essay. He is retired and enjoying libertarian life in beautiful St. George, Utah with his wife Deb and two cats. His latest book, Hiking Southwest Utah and Adjacent Areas, Volume One, is available online at all e-stores, the Zion National Park Visitor Center, and Desert Rat in St. George. Contact him at