This thanksgiving I’m 3000 miles away from my parents and my brother, and 2500 miles away from my parents-in-law. I’m making a little dinner for two, and we’re spending the rest of the day doing our holiday cards. I’m in a new state, in a new city, in an apartment that we rented sight-unseen that’s a little too small but will do until our lease is up, and yet I cannot help but feel blessed beyond what I have words for, deeply blessed in more ways than I can count.

I’m blessed by the people here in Washington who I’m just beginning to know; people who are opening their hearts to me and telling me the stories of the unfolding of lives.

I’m blessed by the people I know who aren’t here. The ones who are miles and days away, who are making dinner in their own kitchens, who are gathering with their friends and families and speaking their own words of gratitude. The ones who have influenced me in big and small ways. Some of them know what they’ve meant to me, and some of them don’t, but all of them have my gratitude.

I’m blessed by my husband, who is always there. Compassionate and kind, loving and dedicated, his presence in my life is something I can’t begin to put into words. Every time I look at him, it’s a joy. And I can see in his face the same joy I feel.

I’m blessed by this place, a small city between the ocean and the mountains, a city of readers and poets and musicians and artists.

I’m blessed, too, by this online community. A few hundred souls reflected in typed words and comments, a few hundred struggling voices who are finally, totally understood in this place. And for that you all have my gratitude.

On this day and every day.