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Every year in November, I use this column to count my blessings. It’s not an easy column to write, and it takes me awhile to get started. But once I’m started, the list starts flowing because there is just so much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that in the middle of the night, when most businesses are closed, you can drive to a hospital and receive emergency medical care. Even better, because of where we live, we can receive the highest quality of care.

I’m thankful for our waffle iron. We keep it on our kitchen countertop all the time, so in our house, Belgium waffles for breakfast is no big deal.

I’m thankful for people who get involved and volunteer because they want to make a difference in their community. Sometimes they are giving money they really can’t afford or time they really don’t have to spare, but they recognize the importance, and give anyway.

Speaking of people who give and give to help others, I’m thankful for Jon Bon Jovi, who again let us tell the story of his work in Camden. (Our first story appeared in 2009.)

I’m thankful for Moorestown Theater Company, which has helped shaped who my daughters will become.

I’m thankful that once again we had some wonderful people say “yes” when we asked for an interview: Cliff Lee, Carli Lloyd, Wendy Williams, Congressman Jon Runyan, Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, Chase and Jen Utley, and Jon Bon Jovi.

I’m thankful for cherry Lifesavers. I re-discovered them, and now I keep rolls of them in my desk drawer.

I’m thankful for zappos.com. You can shoe shop day or night, have boxes of shoes delivered to your home and then return what doesn’t fit for free.

I’m thankful that when we took the girls to see the A capella group Straight No Chaser, they enjoyed the show, even though they referred to the classic-rock music as Glee songs.

I’m thankful that once a year, I sit in an audience and watch girls of all ages dance ballet, tap and jazz in ornate costumes.

I’m thankful for Peanut M & Ms and Swedish Fish.

I’m thankful for journalists like Laura Ling – captured and held in North Korea for 5 months – who are committed to uncovering the vital stories of the world.

I’m thankful for opaque patterned tights.

I’m thankful for good pancakes.

I’m thankful for my Mac. After years of being a PC, I made the switch.

I’m thankful I can park my car in the garage.

I’m thankful for our readers. They connect with us, and they’ve helped us grow.

I’m thankful my daughters have so many options in life. As Klein considers college and a career, she has many areas to consider. It’s exhilarating.

Pretty much since we’ve been married, Joe and I have made a point of going out on Saturday nights. Lately, as our girls’ social lives have heated up, our Saturday nights are filled with driving teen girls to a friend’s house or movie theater. So I’m thankful that we can make a not-so-fancy dinner squeezed between drop offs and pick-ups a date. And still enjoy the time.

I’m thankful that this winter we will be married for 25 years. And let me just say in advance that I’m thankful to Joe for the awesome trip he is going to plan (with accompanying gift) to celebrate the occasion.

I’m thankful Marirose changed her contact name in my iPhone to “My Favorite Daughter.”

I’m thankful for my heated blanket. It still makes me happy.

I’m thankful I have another year to step back and take inventory of all that is good in life.

November 2011
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