First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving.

It's nearly 8 am, and I'm the only one up this early. Which is kind of ridiculous since I'm not even cooking anything today. There's a thick scarf of fog outside and the grass has been painted white with frost. When I let Olive outside this morning, I skipped the slippers, and my feet nearly burned from the chill of the concrete. Can you say, "winter?"

I haven't been around this blog lately, mostly because I haven't had much to write about. I guess that's a good thing in some respects. The biggest news as of lately is that I had an essay published on page 2 of the newspaper. It's the closest I've ever gotten to page 1. I received some lovely responses from readers, but the best response was a phone call from an 86 year-old man. He said he'd been the very first principal of one of the oldest high schools in our district. He told me he also took my same approach with students. He then said he was a little mad that he hadn't written the essay himself, as he saw it from his own voice. It was a tremendous compliment.

Big Red continues to slowly make progress on the bathroom downstairs. The walls have been insulated, the plumbing has been worked out. The next big step is to install the shower. We might even get to that today before heading over to his mom's house for dinner! He's also been making great progress on his personal happiness. I wrote about it some time ago, how he'd been struggling, and while I didn't outline all his daemons - those are his to share, I will say he has found himself in a much brighter space. There is a lightness about him that had been absent. His smile has returned and he's been able to tolerate work in a way that doesn't seem to drag him down.

As for me, a door may have opened for an opportunity to photograph a wedding - a small wedding. Just the groom and his fiance and whomever marries them. In all actuality, it would probably be more like an engagement session. While the simple utterance of the phrase photograph a wedding makes me want to turn and run, this scenario isn't the typical one. The couple may decide to go with someone else, and that's all well and good. I honestly don't know if I'd choose me either. In the email to the groom I basically laid out my current skills, my current equipment - one camera and one lens. Not so much to scare him off, but just to make sure all expectations are super-duper clear. But if they do choose me, I'll be grateful for the opportunity to continue working on my photography and for being the person who gets to document their special day. I'll let you know what happens.

I am grateful for a job in this very volatile economic climate, especially in my school district where a measure just passed to close several schools therefore cutting 400 jobs. Yes, 400 - and I still have my job. I am grateful for my students and their willingness to let me be me in the classroom.

As silly as it may sound I am grateful for having had the means to purchase my camera - a little piece of wondrous technology that allows me to have fun, express myself and record tiny slices of peoples' lives, as well as mine.

I am most grateful for modern medicine and its ability to bring smiles back on sad faces.

There is so much to be grateful for this morning, and every morning, really. To list them all would seem cliche.

Student taken photograph of me at my desk.

I love and I am loved. For this, I am most thankful.

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