Rice and beans, day 86: Ten Things of Thankful edition

My sister, Kristi, introduced me to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop several years ago, and she and my mom are both regular participants and current co-hosts (with others). I am not a regular participant because A) I post very infrequently, and B) I often have snarky or not-particularly thankful things I want to post about. But the blog hop is celebrating its seventh birthday this week, so I decided to join in this week.

Of course, this week has been a tough week in a tough year, and so this list will reflect that.

1. I am thankful for the protests.

Do I worry about large groups of people, many not wearing masks, increasing the number of COVID-19 cases in my city and potentially slowing down our reopening? Yes. Am I disgruntled by the vandalism and looting in my city? Yes. But I have seen how videos of the protests are changing the hearts and minds of some people in my life and making them more aware of the lived experience of others, and so I am thankful. 

And some of the protests were socially distanced, like the car protest we walked past on Thursday.

(Photo of a black car with a sign taped to the side. The sign reads, JUSTICE for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other black lives taken by white supremacy and police violence.)

2. I am thankful for Black coworkers who were willing to share their experiences this week.

I firmly believe that it is not the job of Black people to educate white people on racism, and that especially holds true at work. But I am always grateful when they choose to share their experiences, and this week has given me some opportunities to listen.

3. I am thankful for Facebook friends who have shared articles, books, essays written by their personal friends, lists of actions, and memes on the topics of racism and police brutality. 

4. I am thankful for people who are willing to change.

5. I am thankful for technology that allows us to capture and share recordings of what we see and hear. 

6. I am thankful that one of the three pharmacies within easy walking distance of me has reopened after being vandalized in the riots last Saturday. I made a point of stopping in yesterday to make some purchases to support them, even though I was in the small market across the street just the day before and I usually space my store visits out more than that to reduce exposure. 

7. I am thankful, during this time of quarantine, that I have an apartment with a view. I enjoy watching the sun rise and set, the crows and seagulls wheel and soar, the ships arrive and depart, and the fog advance, retreat, coalesce, and disperse.

8. I am thankful that after three weeks of hanging forlorn on the balcony, my bird feeder has been discovered by house finches. I enjoy hearing their melodious song throughout the day, especially in the morning.

(Photo of two house finches standing on the railing of a balcony, with city buildings in the distance.)

9. I am thankful for serendipitous wildlife sightings. If you want to see sea lions in San Francisco, you can always go to Fisherman's Wharf to see the large colony there, but I was surprised on my walk today to see a small group of seven or so hanging out on the docks near Fort Mason.

(Photo of three sea lions sunning themselves on a wooden dock.)

10. I am thankful for Youngest Kid. He had his last day of middle school this week. Middle school is a rough time for most people, and he's definitely had his challenges. For starters, he went from a sixth grade class of 13 in a small Vermont elementary school to seventh grade in a large sixth-through-eighth middle school in San Francisco. All the orientation most kids get when they transition to middle school? He got none of that. In fact, when he showed up on the first day of seventh grade, the school office told him that he wasn't in the computer, so they couldn't tell him what classes to go to, and he should just go home. And then, instead of the eighth grade trip and graduation that is typical of his school, he got months of online learning followed by some taped graduation talks and a Zoom meeting with his homeroom to hear the superlatives. (He got "Most likely to help a classmate with his work," which he thinks is lame, but Writer Man and I love.) Through it all, he has been a delightfully cheerful teenager and all around great kid. 


  1. I was so excited to see that you did a TToT post! It is a family reunion of sorts.😀 I am going to have to check out Fort Mason. Yeah for another bird watcher in the family. Do they peck on your windows? It has been quite the year for your youngest. Congratulations! He made it. I watched the Sprague graduation on Youtube, just because I could. Hope you have a safe and a good week.

  2. Happy to have you here! Great thankfuls!

  3. I'm glad you joined the party! Snarkiness is not prohibited here, so feel free to join in anytime. :-)
    "Most likely to help a classmate with his work" on a resume reads, "Is a real team player," which isn't lame at all.


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