Today is a big moment in my personal life.
While I'm not shy about sharing personal details here, some stuff people just don't want to read on a card blog.
But the occasion has me feeling thankful. And since this is the week to give thanks, I thought I'd devote a post to it. Consider it my entry in the Give Thanks Challenge, offered up by Trevor of the Bump and Run Football Card Blog.
As always, I am thankful for finding the card blogging community a dozen years ago. Life hasn't been the same, and might I add, it's been all the better.
I am thankful that I have an everyday writing outlet. Back in the day, if you wanted to write every day, you had to buy one of those girly diaries with the lock and pour out all your hopes and desires. Screw that. I just found a school notebook I wasn't using. And I mostly wrote about baseball stuff. Oh, and girls. I wrote about girls I liked. Thank goodness those notebooks are long gone.
I am ever grateful that this blog led to a paying gig in a national magazine. Once again, I started this blog because I saw other people writing about cards and my only thought was: "hey, cool. I like cards. I like writing." Nothing else was ever on my radar. Sometimes the best things happen when you have zero expectations.
Like many people, I am thankful for my family and my health. I am thankful for a job and roof over my head (that needs replacing). I am grateful for my neighborhood, my town, the country where I live and that I live in a free nation where I can do what I want. I have the usual problems that everyone does: money, health, job concerns, family concerns. I try to focus on the positive aspects every day. There really are so many.
I am thankful for my card room, my inner sanctum. I am thankful for my collection that a certain 10-year-old boy in 1976 would find ever fascinating. I still do, too.
I am grateful for my mental health, that I have a sense of humor, that I can look on the bright side, that I am not freaking out all the time. I have discovered over the years that people consider me a calming force, I don't get too high or too low. I've discovered that it's a gift.
I am thankful that my gift for writing has resonated with others. The number of people who have reached out by email to say how much my blog has meant to them is staggering. A few of the messages have touched the heart. And I am honored that I have received cards from a now incalculable number of readers who sent them as their own thanks, because I've written this blog.
The most recent example is from a reader named Grant. He sent off a few cards after requesting an address.
I can tell he reads regularly because the cards he sent touched a variety of my collecting interests. I really like that oddball Hershiser and you will never go wrong sending me a 1977 Topps cloth card. I feel a bit sorry for the young collector who had to stick a Dave Pagan cloth sticker to their notebook, instead of Reggie or Seaver, but I sure am glad to have it in my collection.
I haven't seen much of the Heritage Minors Dodgers cards the last couple of years. I'm happy that some have arrived though now that we're addressing the '71 set. How wonderful is that design with something saying "LOONS" across it. Makes me look forward to next year's Heritage Minors set with that '72 marquee design.
These -- I think -- are from the Bowman Heritage set issued online this year? I have a hard time keeping sets like this in my brain. It's issued one week and then forgotten.
I do appreciate getting them, though (for those who don't know Dodgers by face, that's Kershaw, the since departed Jeter Downs, Will Smith and Gavin Lux).
Grant even threw in a couple of random vintage cards, which I love receiving. I may no longer be a kid, but you can't convince me that cards from the '50s and '60s aren't the oldest things ever and -- WOW -- they're in my collection!
Yes, I'm thankful for that.
And so much else. Thankful for the '75 Topps set. Thankful that the Dodgers won the World Series this year. Thankful that I was gifted a Dodgers World Series commemorative hat today! Thankful that my doggie is still going strong after 12 years. Thankful -- heck -- that I have lived this long. A lot of people don't.
It's pretty easy to rage about how awful 2020 has been and some people -- people who have lost loved ones -- have the right to rage. But if you look around, and really it only takes a few minutes, there is a lot to be grateful for, still.
I prefer to focus on that.
And, thank you, for reading.