Thanksgiving 2009

Linda and I will be travelling to my parent’s home in Augusta, Georgia, to spend Thanksgiving with them and my brother’s family.  Before hitting the road, it seems a good time to reflect on the meaning of this coming holiday.

Woods Hole MA

I have so much for which to be thankful.  First and foremost, a wonderful wife of 36+ years who grows more beautiful every day.  Linda remains my best and truest friend.  Two wonderful daughters, Melissa and Stephanie, who have grown into amazing women, found wonderful husbands, and started families of their own.  Linda and I now have two grandchildren, Elliot and Molly, and Steph is expecting her second this December.  Linda and I thoroughly enjoy being Grandma and Grandpa!

I am thankful for my country, the United States of America.  We live in a country that is not perfect but continues to reach for perfection.  In these uncertain and hard times, I feel confident that our country will rebound.  We just had a people-driven change of government…something other countries can only dream of.  I am thankful that our new President and his team seem to be embracing the online connections and conversations that will only make our democracy more democratic.

I am thankful that I have a job where I can explore and grow.  I have some amazing co-workers…which is probably the wrong word to use…more like fellow journeymen and women.  We build off each other’s creativity and strengths.  This is truly a job that I look forward to each day, and for that, I am thankful!

I am thankful that part of my job involves teaching.  My current students are producing some amazing learning nuggets as they struggle with the same things I am – using this diverse web to create learning communities and opportunities.  It is both fun and rewarding to watch them grow!

I am thankful for the many friends and colleagues I have, some of whom I have never physically met.  Through blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, I have connected to an amazing and supportive community around the world.  Someone in my community is either getting up or going to bed (at the same time).  The connections in Canada, England, Romania, South America, Asia, New Zealand and Australia provide a healthy difference of viewpoint to this Virginia resident that I find refreshing!  It has always seemed to me that “Personal Learning Environment” is misnamed, because without this vast community, little learning would take place at the personal level.  I continue to find the tweets and posts inspiring, illuminating, entertaining, provocative, and refreshing.  My interconnected worldwide network lift me up every day!

My life has been very blessed.  Parents who are still with us and from whom I continue to learn.  Wonderful experiences from growing up in Georgia to four years in Annapolis, 22 years in the Navy, and now 14 years in academia.  As with any life, there have been downs as well as ups.  I am thankful that I was touched with a cancer that could be cured – it makes every day a treasure to be enjoyed.

I shot the picture above on the evening of Stephanie’s wedding, and it is just one of thousands of images that come to mind when I think of what I have to be thankful for.

I wish all of my friends a blessed Thanksgiving!  If you have not, take a second to count your blessings!

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