On this day after Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for.  The real problem is figuring out where to start.

Let’s begin with all the kids and grandkids who came to Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at Grandma’s house yesterday.

I’m thankful for the feast itself.  Yes, there were the usual suspects on the table—turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, fruit salad, pumpkin pies.  But there were also some new veggies available—parmesan dusted cauliflower—which, if you’re trying to stick to the “plan,” does just fine in place of mashed potatoes.

I’m thankful for my first mother-in-law, Mary Grandma, whose turkey dressing recipe was front and center.

I’m thankful for our health, and for the pieces of our health that Bill and I have managed to regain in the course of the last six months.  When I mentioned the “plan” above, I’m not talking about a diet.  I’m talking about a fundamental change in our way of life and in how we do things.  Yes, I’m still walking—even in the wind and rain.  Yes, I’m still exercising.  And I’m thankful for the fans who have sent along their own personal progress reports.  One lady wrote to say she is down 60!! pounds since reading my May 1 blog.  Compared to her, I’m a piker—I’m only down 50.  And this week I was able to wear a size 16 dress that I bought and wore once in 2004, and haven’t worn it since.  I found it lurking in the back corner of my closet, tried it on, and it FIT!!

Why am I writing about this, still?  Is it bragging?  No.  It’s a way of keeping score and keeping myself honest.  If I stop giving you walking updates, it could be the same as not getting on a scale because you already know it’s going to be bad news.  Nope.  Keep checking on me, folks.  That’s part of your job if you want to keep me healthy.  By the way, as of today, my yearly daily step average is 9,970.

I’m thankful for my fans, all of them, and for the notes they send me:  For the nurses, and the doctor who wrote to set me straight on a medical issue in Dance of the Bones;  For the lady who wrote to say she had blown up a map of Cochise County until it was the size of a paperback, put it in a cellophane wrapper, and then uses it as a dust-jacket on her paperbacks so she always has a map handy when she’s reading a Joanna Brady book; for the fan who was kind enough to let me know of the passing of another fan down in Oregon; for the lady who wrote to me this week to tell me that my books had been a godsend to her during the last few months when she was going through a rough patch.

And I’m looking forward to the holiday season—the hubbub, the shopping, the decorations, the frenzy.  I love it.  I’ve always loved it, and I’m glad I still do.

Happy Holidays people.  Enjoy them.

13 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. I was so inspired by your dedication to getting and staying healthy, which I learned of at your book signing at the Red Mountain Library in Mesa, that I resumed my daily walks and and exercising to regain the strength and flexibility that diminishes with age and hip replacements! Great job, J. A. Jance!

  2. So glad you and your family had a great Thanksgiving. I had a great time with friends. After the feast we spent our time throwing a tennis ball to a German shepherd and watching him jump into the pool to bring it back to us. Fl was really blessed with wonderful weather.

  3. Yesterday I wrote you a thank you note for your writing. I sometimes think you don’t know how many people you touch and in mysterious ways. After I put it in the mailbox I thought of other things to say, but will soon.

    My Thanksgiving was quiet and that was ok. When I was growing up on the farm in Iowa it was a special day when we all ate in the dining room when it wasn’t a Sunday. It may sound strange, but my sister and I always ate in the dining room while our dad, grandpa and uncle who did the work on the farm ate at other times in the kitchen with our mom and grandpa. It didn’t seem that strange at the time.

    I don’t remember that we had turkey. Because we raised chickens we most likely had chicken, but we had all of the other things including a fancy Jell-O mold. At some point we drew names for Christmas gifts, but that was the only reference to Christmas.

    Not like today where Thanksgiving seems to be lost as we get ready to spend too much money for Christmas.

    However, that seems to be life in the U.S. now and I am thankful we can do just what pleases us on Thanksgiving.

  4. Like you, I spent my day surrounded by almost all the family. Triplets have gone to Colorado to spend the holiday with their uncle. Nana and Pops went along as well as the folks. Missing 5 at the table might have left a hole but my daughter’s brother came with his family. They are moving out of state so it may be a while before we break bread with them again. Watching the kids, counting our blessings, thanking the POWER for my daughter’s successful heart procedure, and welcoming the news of another great grandbaby on the way!!! Oh, and a reminder to increase my Christmas dinner donation to the local missions. Just as the shopping has me writing checks for Toys 4 Tots or other providers. Counting your blessings means remembering those who are short this year.

  5. For those who cannot abide cauliflower or the thought of making it into mashed ‘fake’ potatoes, here is a hint that really helped me. First start with frozen cauliflower to reduce the work load. Second cook the cauliflower in chicken broth or other broth you keep on hand. I make my own broth so I don’t have to worry about what is in it. And we are proof positive that you can eat a turkey dinner on TV trays and enjoy it.

    • I tried to send you a photo of my grandson, Colt, as he delivered toys to Toys of Tots last year. He and his mommy do that every year in honor of Colt’s late father, Jon, who served in both the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps. If you could send me your e-mail address to me at, I’ll be glad to forward the photo to you.

  6. Your Friday Blog just makes my day. I look forward to it each week. I was so looking forward to starting the 10,000 step program until I threw out my sciatica and have been down 2 mos. But there were your blogs on Friday and all your wonderful books. I can understand the fan who has looked up Bisbee Az. Because I also have done the same. I love each and everyone of your characters and call them friend.
    I can say I am thankful for my friends and Family everyday of my life . Thank you for the joy you have given me.
    Oh and I will get started on the 10 thousand steps as soon as I get back to walking..

  7. Down 50 pounds in 6 months that is amazing and wonderful! Congratulations! I’m new to your blog, so I am catching up on your postings. I have been working to lose weight since September 1. My doctor told me I was prediabetic. The doctor told me to try to lose 15 pounds, anything would help. In three months I’ve met that goal, but just barely! I am down by 18 pounds. It is tough, don’t sell yourself short you have made great progress! Best wishes!

    • And so have you!!! It’s so easy to believe that it will never happen!!! Keep me posted on how you’re doing. I got sick on Thanksgiving. On my trainer’s advice, I have not been walking. He says my body needs to concentrate on getting better. But I’ll be out walking soon, right along with you. Keep the faith, and let me know how you’re doing.

  8. I just love your Joanna Brady series I’ve read all of them and can’t wait for your new one. You are a great woman, I first met you as my librarian at good Ol’ Indian Oasis School.You are an awesome writer and I hope you keep the suspense going?…Once I start reading I can’t put your books down.Take Care

    • I’m so glad you remember those Indian Oasis days. I love to think that I helped turn some of the kids at that school into readers.

  9. Don’t know too much about your health plan, but it sounds great. Do you think you could send me a note on it? I’m a 72 yr old diabetic…too late? Hope not. Love your books, especially Joanna Brady, but I’m thinking I need to exercise more than my eyes and my brain. Keep up the good work.

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