1. Being able to articulate what it is I love so much about Nebraska. We joke about the T-shirt that says, "Nebraska. Bring Something to Do" and in the process come to understand that Nebraska is like this grand canvas of possibility and potential where your "something" can finally breathe, develop some roots, stretch in all directions.
2. Breaded green beans and jalapeno poppers. You know, I guess I'm just thankful for breading. I'd eat a rolodex if someone breaded it.
3. Tomato, mozzarella, basil grilled sandwiches with cheese that stretches from the plate to your mouth.
4. Sharing. You know. Stuff. Sharing stuff. That's one way to be thankful for it: give it away. Share your toys, your food, your home, your love, your heart, your story, your pain, your ideas, your questions.
5. Sisters. I have so many in my life stretching hands in a chain that makes this place stronger like that Coke commercial where they teach the world to sing. Why not?
6. Thinking someone is breaking into the house and realizing it's just Henrietta the Hamster chewing on a dried banana chip. I almost had to break out the...uh...karate. Yeah. That's the ticket. I know karate. And how to break dance, which might be even more intimidating.
7. Simple things: a daughter, a place to live, a job that puts more than just food on the table, actual food, water, a church down the road, a good school for Nora, playgrounds, and hamsters with banana chips.