Gratitude – Happy Thanksgiving

I finished the 15th hole of a course down in Florida this past Thanksgiving week and there were two maintenance workers working hard in the heat.  I often say hello to maintenance workers.  I’m sure they couldn’t care less about me, but they work really hard so I can have fun, and it just doesn’t feel right to walk by and ignore them.  I assumed (correctly) that they were Hispanic and said, “Buenos días.”  They smiled and responded, “Buenos días.”

While walking away I had an interesting thought:  out of the 7.6 billion people in the world, the three of us took actions in our lives that brought us together to this exact same place at this exact same moment.  But then I thought: we couldn’t have had more different paths.

I assume their original homeland didn’t have enough work for them to take care of themselves and their families, so they came here to work.  My homeland had a lot of opportunity for work.  I had to study and work for what I got, but the opportunity to work was something I was given.

I didn’t have to leave my family to work.  Who knows who these guys had to leave behind?  I never had to do manual labor to survive.  There’s nothing wrong with manual labor!  But most people I know don’t choose it unless they love it.  I’m guessing that’s not the case with these maintenance workers.

Look, I’m not some bleeding heart – if I were I would have put down my clubs and helped them with their work.  But I need to express my gratitude, so here goes:

I’m grateful for Rebecca.  That two seemingly polar-opposites could be such soulmates is astounding.  I’m grateful that I have the best families (both blood and in-laws).

I’m grateful that I’m American.  This isn’t a political blog, but I’m so grateful for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and for the many people over the years who have sacrificed for my freedoms.

I’m grateful for my life-long friends.  You, more than anyone else, know how imperfect I am.  We’ve lasted this long because you’re forgiving.  Thank you.  I’m grateful for all my Pennsylvania friends.  Moving from NY (where I lived my entire life) wasn’t easy; you’ve made it great.

The bottom line is I’m grateful that I get to be a spoiled brat – a badge I usually wear with honor, but today I want to be sure I also wear with gratitude.



  1. Harry Gaines November 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Well said, Patty. We all have good reason to be grateful.

  2. Linda Selden November 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you Patty for sharing your Gratitude…you speak for many of us.

  3. Diane November 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Well said!

  4. Henry Robin November 29, 2017 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    THIS is one of the many reasons I admire and love YOU.

    • Patty Ellis November 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      I love you Henry. Thank you so much for saying that.

  5. Alison November 29, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Happy thanksgiving and happy holidays to you both!! Need to get together soon. Great post!

    • Patty Ellis November 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      We’d love to see you and especially the kids! Can we ever make this happen?

  6. Jeanne December 2, 2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Nicely said. The ability to not judge but to STOP……..take a moment and consider why someone (including ourselves) is where they (or we) are and remember the surface is what we first see….it is not the full story …..but with a moment of consideration, to be able to see beyond that surface brings opportunity to begin to appreciate the background or depth of another (or ourselves).

  7. Ed Kelly December 5, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    And your family is very grateful for you!!

  8. PJHepner December 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    In this season that is long on greed and short on gratitude, you remind us to stop and nthink about alllwe have that enriches us that we so often take for granted. If nothing else, this year has taught us that we can take NOTHING for granted and that without vigilance, we can so easily lose it all.

    All good wishes and greetings of the season to you and Rebecca! NY misses you!

    • Patty Ellis December 25, 2017 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment, Paula. You’re so right! See you soon I hope!!

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