Counting our blessings, sublime to ridiculous

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Lest you think me incorrigibly romantic, what about the techno blessings of texting and email and FaceTime? My kids and grandkids live airplane rides away, but I can talk to them and see their faces whenever we can find a moment. I remember when I was a kid, my parents went to Cuba on a cruise, and I waited up late into the night to get a “long distance” call from them. The line was all crackly and buzzy. My mother sounded so far away. The existence of the Internet has changed the very texture of long-distance relationships. It’s a kind of miracle for those of us who grew up in a world where we depended on phone booths and long-distance operators.

I work at home, so I treasure the home delivery of my New York Times. I open the pages in the morning and find out who has done what to whom. I turn to the Op-Ed page and read what smart people think about Obamacare, the filibuster and medical marijuana. And don’t talk to me about newspapers online. Not the same. As I drink my cup of Bustelo, I turn the pages, feel the newsprint between my fingers and talk out loud to myself when I come upon some surprising bit of news.

While we’re on the media, I give thanks for NPR, cable TV and PBS. In the vast wasteland comprising TV and talk radio, the public stations offer sustenance — food for thought in a medium where one could starve to death. And may I single out for special honors Netflix’s “House of Cards,” which has brought me more hours of pure entertainment than anyone has a right to expect.

After mentioning public TV, I suppose it seems trivial to mention food, but what would life be without thin-crust pepperoni pizza? Vanilla chocolate chip? Shrimp and lemon grass soup? Tart pomegranate yogurt? Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.

I must give thanks for my volume of Stanley Kunitz’s poems, my down comforter and my cashmere turtleneck. And I am ever so grateful for that wonderful doohickey blender stick that allows me to whip up soul-sustaining red lentil soup in no time at all.
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