Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It’s customary this time of year to think about the things you’re grateful for and I thought I’d write them down for you. First of all, I’m thankful for my readers. I’m still amazed that so many people enjoy what I write and find it interesting enough to keep coming back here every day. This blog is now exactly 11 years old and I could not possibly have imagined when I started what it would turn into.
I’m thankful to have such an amazing family. My dad is now 79 years old and still going strong. Still working full time, in fact, because he gets bored if he doesn’t (he oversees worker safety on big projects like the building of stadiums or the resetting of an auto plant). I could not ask for a better role model. My family is big, weird, spread all over the country and altogether wonderful.
I’m thankful for the CFI Michigan community that has been my home for the last 8 years since I stumbled on them by accident. Let me just single out a few people: Jeremy and Jennifer Beahan; Jeff and Cathy Seaver; Justin Schieber; Kris and Dave Fletcher; Jeremiah Bannister; Sue Johnson; Cindy Krieg; Bob and Sherron Collins. There are many more. It’s an incredible group of people who have given me so much support over the years. It’s an extended family and exactly the kind of secular community we should be trying to build all over.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for Dale McGowan, a man of extraordinary kindness and good humor, at the Foundation Beyond Belief. At a time when so many leaders of the atheist community have turned out to be enormous disappointments to me, I believe Dale should be the public face of atheism. And I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I work with there — Cathleen O’Grady, Rebecca Vitsmun, Noelle George, Airan and Kelly Wright, Kate Simonson, AJ Chalom, Conor Robinson, Ben Blanchard. Not a one of them who isn’t a gem of a person. FBB inspires me to dream of a better world and gives me the chance to help, in some small way, to make it happen.
I’m thankful to my closest friends: Rick Suwarsky, Connie Adams and Julie Powers. I love them all for so many reasons. My friendship with Rick goes back over 30 years and he is one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known (a lot like my father in many ways). I’ve known Connie for about 15 years now and we’ve been to hell and back together in some ways and our love for one another has endured a lot and been strengthened by it. Julie I’ve known for about six years now and we forged a very deep friendship almost immediately, based mostly on a mutual love of bacon. She just amazes me. Despite some pretty serious chronic health issues, she just never seems to stop. She has devoted her life to running non-profit organizations that help people and the environment and she’s absolutely tireless. I need a nap just hearing about everything she accomplishes every day. I love you all very much and my life is so much better because you’re in it.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. What are you thankful for?