Most Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday last Thursday, so here at Red Room, we were thinking about gratitude.
My friend Chris and I recently went to Café Gratitude, a very "San Francisco" restaurant here in San Francisco. We expected to secretly make fun of its hippie vibe. The menu is all organic, locally grown, uncooked food. And instead of offering standard menu fare like "lemonade" or "Caesar salad," items have names like "I Am Effervescent" and "I Am A Winner."
When I ordered, our very sincere server replied, "You ARE a Winner!" and "You ARE Effervescent!" And it turned out the food was delicious. Our sarcasm disappeared. I enjoyed every bite of "I Am A Winner," and by the end of the meal, I was smiling back at our waiter with gratitude as sincere as his.
Alfred Painter said, "Saying thank you is more than just good manners, it's good spirituality." Several bloggers wrote about their relationship with God or their spirituality, like Nina Amir in "The Jewish Practice of 100 Blessings a Day Develops and Attitude of Gratitude" and Vanessa L. White in "Dear Universe:".
Three bloggers particularly caught our eye this week:
- Katie Burke broke our hearts and then lifted our spirits with this powerful account about her relationship with her mother. Read "My Five Words of Thanksgiving."
- A teacher who only taught her special-needs son for a year remains someone for whom Victoria Tatum is deeply thankful. Don't miss "Gratitude For a Teacher."
- Another problematic relationship with a parent drove Cynthia Carbone Ward to post her first entry on Red Room, simply entitled "Gratitude." In her piece, she comes to term with a father who did his best to keep a troubled family together.
Each of these featured bloggers will receive a copy of Red Room author Bernice McFadden's novel Sugar. Bernice is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the release of her first novel with a new cover and a campaign to sell 10,000 copies. Sugar tells the story of two women in rural, 1950s Arkansas whose unlikely friendship changes both their lives-and the life of an entire community.
Other posts that best expressed the theme of "gratitude" include:
- Two posts celebrating poets: David Moolten cites Robert Hayden and his poem "Those Winter Sundays," while Anthony S. Maulucci offers Blake, Whitman, and the Psalms as examples of "The Poetry of Simple Gratitude."
- Another first-time blogger on Red Room, Tejal Nangla's day was made by a random act, and she made ours in turn by sharing "A Good Day."
- Two bloggers posted great lists. Red Room author Farzana Versey's "Alpha to Omega" is a touching compendium of things to be grateful for from A to Z, while yet another first-time blogger, Boudreau Freret takes a more basic inventory that ends up being no less full.
Finally, one sentence summed up the inspiration we felt reading the week's blog posts on gratitude. Mariette Papic, in her post entitled “Thankful,” wrote,“When considering gratitude there are the simple beginnings of what we possess and what we experience through those possessions.”
Thanks to everyone who blogs—we love your writing, thanks to everyone who comments on Red Room blogs—your fellow writers really appreciate your support, thanks to our frequent visitors-we love seeing our statistics for "number of pageviews per visit" and "time on site" go up every month, and thanks for telling your friends about Red Room—we love seeing the number of people visiting everyone's Red Room pages go up so dramatically. And a huge thank you to those who are featured in our Hall of Fame for becoming a Patron or Premium Member, we couldn't do any of this without your financial support. We are so grateful for all of you!
-Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room