Here’s what I’m thankful for this holiday season.
My beautiful partner of 14 years, Catherine, who delights me every day.
My son Oliver, now 3 years old (although he claims to be 2 if you question him), for making me a more patient man, and for allowing me to see the world through his gentle eyes.
My parents, Norm and Frances, who only grow more interesting as they age. They are the headwaters of most of what’s good about my life. They have accepted Catherine as the daughter they never had, and are wonderful grandparents for Oliver.
My three brothers, Mike, Johnny and Steve, who are a constant source of inspiration, guidance, and humour.
My sister-in-law Jodi, a big part of Johnny’s life and soon to be a bigger part of ours (we can’t wait).
My in-laws, Marina and Grant. For bringing Catherine into the world, and raising her well, for welcoming me into their family and accepting me as I am, and for loving Oliver as much as anyone can.
My grandparents, Louise, Ross, Nettie and Dan, now all gone. I think of each of you often and am amazed by your lives.
Oliver’s babysitter, and our friend, Emily, for giving Oliver better care than anyone could hope for, and for boundless enthusiasm and energy.
My colleagues at Elections PEI, Norma, Lowell and Merrill, for giving me the project of a lifetime, and for being beacons of patience, propriety and candour.
Carol and my other former co-workers in the Provincial Government, who gave me eight years worth of challenging work, and their patience and friendship to boot.
My friends at Yankee in Dublin, Boston and Seattle: you keep me challenged every day with new projects, and your kindness, sarcasm, eagerness to innovate, and willingness to treat Johnny and I, hundreds of miles away and in another country, as one of the family.
Our neighbour Kelsey and our friend Carol, for both always being there when we need them.
Our neighbour and confidant Catherine for her ideas, her iconoclasm, her eccentricities, her strong cups of tea, and her devotion to the community we share. And her weird little dog. And not-too-weird sisters. And Claude.
Our friend Gary, for his eccentricities, his conversation, his gardening, and for being a good friend to Oliver.
My friend Oliver, who, despite his protests to the contrary, is the bellwether inquisitive in my life.
My new landlords, colleagues and friends at silverorange for accepting me into their coven, giving me a place to work, and constantly prodding my mind.
My old friends the Stephens — Southall, Good, Badhwar, Regoczei. I see you each far too seldom, but you are often in my thoughts.
My old, old friends Jill, Colin, and George, for forgiving past transgressions and inviting me back into your lives.
Friends Ann and David for the good food and fellowship.
All of our new friends on the Island (although “new” is a relative term, as we’re about to enter our eleventh year here): you’ve bucked all the “they’re hard, cold and insular and will never talk to you” rhetoric we heard from our Upper Canadian friends before moving here, and have welcomed us into your homes and your lives.
My fellow directors at the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust for your devotion to our project, for your ideas, and for showing me more about how the Island works than I ever thought possible.
My new friend Harold, for unapologetically living the life of a modern day adventurer, and for letting me play a tiny supporting role.
Dr. Fleming, nurses and staff for removing my gallbladder and making life liveable again. And Dr. Salamoun for his kind touch and deft hands.
The owners of the Formosa Tea House, for giving me an almost-perfect place to hang out and today, when I was in the middle of a blue funk, for giving me an unexpected Christmas gift at an unexpected time.
And to Campbell Webster, for finally remembering who I am.
I am irreligious person, not given to lofty contemplation nor existential angst. But I realize that I am blessed to be surrounded by a community of amazing, talented, inpiring and kind people. For that I am truly thankful.
The best of the holiday season to all.