It seems to me there should be a better name for today than Black Friday. I know the origin - that this is the day retailers expect to be out of red ink and into the black for the holiday season and the rest of the year.
But, still, I don't like the connotation black suggests.
It sounds depressing and foreboding, when actually we should be happily looking forward to Christmas and New Year, still conscious of the joy we experienced yesterday with family and friends.
So, I am going to refer to today as Thank You Day.
Customers can thank the retailers, the retailers can thank the wholesalers, the wholesalers can thank the manufacturers, and shopaholics can express gratitude for the opportunity to shop all night.
I am thankful today my garden keeps on giving through the winter. Even though almost everything is in winter dormancy, there still are plenty of useful and beautiful gifts from the garden.
I recently attended an herbal luncheon at the historic Grammes Brown House, and the tree in the front window has been decorated with natural materials from the garden.
I decorate several trees for the season, and the one in the kitchen is a garden tree. I went outside to look for inspiration and found feathery plumes from the ornamental grasses, hydrangea flowers that have dried naturally, purple seed pods on the remnants of the hyacinth bean vine, many different sizes of rose hips still on the branches of the roses, twigs with next spring's buds on the shrubs, and many sprays of thyme, sage and rosemary that still are sweetly scented.
I will be stringing popcorn and cranberries with my great-grandboys, and the tree will remind me of summer past and springs to come.
And I am certainly thankful today for the vegetables in the freezer. The favorite food of my wonderful just-1-year-old great-grandaughter Sophia is peas, and she generously shares them with any family members within reach (and the dog who lurks under the table).
So, next year, I need to plant many more peas to keep her happy.
And the broccoli crop needs to be bigger, too. Noah and Owen eat as much as they can hold at Sunday dinner every week and take home leftover broccoli in containers to be enjoyed later.
I definitely need to encourage such healthy habits by having a plentiful supply on the table.
My gratitude, too, goes to all those who read this column. I have been writing weekly since March 2004, with a year of monthly columns before that, for a total of around 400 columns, and I have met more interesting people than I can count and corresponded with many others. I enjoy all your comments, suggestions, corrections and opinions.
I am going to change my phone number in a week or so. Technology is slowly catching up with me, and I am going to use a cell phone, but I can always be reached at the e-mail address below or by letter at 390 S. Jefferson St., Tiffin.
I am thankful, too, for my health and the doctors who keep it there for me, for friends and family, for my dog, Penny, who barks enthusiastically at everyone whether they are friend or foe, for the organizations to which I belong, for city and county parks, for the library, for the people who rescue me when my computer skills prove inadequate.
And the list goes on.
I simply cannot call today Black Friday when my mind is full of so many blessings. Have a happy Thank You Day!