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A Small Giving of Thanks

 “Thanks to all of our favorite turkeys.”
— PapaTurkey”

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Today, I want to sweep aside all of the news of the day and offer my Thanks for what we have — the most important of which is ‘each other.’

To start with, I want to take a moment to appreciate the privilege of sitting at a Thanksgiving table as part of three generations of family who live in the world today. As with most American families, those of us who sit at today’s table are the products of a legacy that endures after many generations who have gone before us, and converge in those of us who are here, right now. We don’t often get to sit at such a table with all of the members of those generations at once, but we can certainly be together in spirit.

I congratulate all of you who are assembling with your own collection of people who are important to you — friends and relatives alike. May you enjoy the privilege of being together, wherever you gather, with your favorite food and drink.

I also want to thank the many of you who read ConVivio and offer your thoughts and ideas about the topics you find there. You have been very kind to spend time reading my words and responding one way or another. I appreciate it!

Enjoy it all, for, when we gather with those good people, we have much to appreciate.

With much affection,
Dan & Gretta

Trying To Make It Better


Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad.
Take a sad song and make it better.”
— Paul McCartney







Recently I wrote something called “Interruptions,” reflecting on the continuous drumbeat of tragic stories that emerge from the daily news.  Every day, it seems, we hear another new piece of bad news piled on top of the unraveling stories of bad news from previous days.  I read “Interruptions” in public at The Whistlestop Writers meeting here in the Tri-Valley.  From the reaction, it seemed to have resonated with members of the audience.  However, on reflection, I think even my central question — “What should I do about it?”  — only made us feel worse about the things happening in our world these days.  Gretta asked me, and I had to ask myself, “Was it a good thing to inflict such thoughts of harm and futility on my audience?   Were they any better for it?  Was I?  Or did I just contribute to how bad we all feel about the world around us?  One day’s bad news may distract us from yesterday’s bad news – or last week’s.  More often, I fear, the accumulation of stories has a “multiplier effect.”  In short, did I just make it worse?

Yep.  Maybe so.  I decided not to publish it on ConVivio.



So, the resulting “Writer’s Block” (pictured here) has me looking for something else to think about and something else to write about.   So, here is a quick start — just a start.  Just little things.  It’s brief.  We’ll see if this approach leads anywhere.





Some News That’s Not Bad

Caught on “smart doorbell” camera, kids return wallet with $700 inside.$700-inside/3835550/

Small American town welcomes refugees with Southern Hospitality.

There’s a new Alzheimer’s/dementia drug that’s showing promise in slowing memory loss in early clinical trials.

A generous anonymous donor reveals her identity. She gave millions to artists without taking credit for the gifts.

A British supermarker chain is introducing a “quieter hour” for autistic shoppers.

An experiment with a four-day work week is a surprising success.

Tourist accidentally pays 100 times taxi fare— driver tracks him down to return it.

Riders of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, illegal in most cities, have found a community.

Recovering addict anonymously pays for ambulance crew’s breakfast.

Surprising solution: saving a country from wildfires with goats.

There’s a lake of liquid water on Mars.


A mother duck is caring for 76 ducklings on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota.



Today, right now, across the world, something good is happening — whether or not we hear about it or acknowledge it as something good.  And, as Walter Cronkite used to say at the end of The Six O’Clock News back in the 1960s, “And that’s the way it is.”

And, there’s more …

Your comments on this topic are welcome.