Last Thanksgiving, thanks to Covid, Thanksgiving was quieter than normal. This year, travel is expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels (air travel alone is expected to be 91% of what it was pre-pandemic). This said, we’re staying in Gainesville for the holiday and having a quiet celebration.

Some of my family will joining my parents in Fort Lauderdale (which is looking like a decent, although smaller, turn out). We opted to stay in Gainesville primarily for AnneMarie. She’ll be turning 3 (can you believe it?) and is extremely excited about her birthday. She really has some expectations for how the house should be decorated, what we should do, and there needs to be a special cake.

I knew when I saw how much she looked forward to my birthday that we needed to stay home this year. Watching my godson’s birthday get eclipsed by Thanksgiving, Yeni’s by Christmas, and others by Holidays made me really want to make AnneMarie’s day as special as possible.

I’m very grateful to have come to that decision with ease and without guilt. I know there is a cliche about being a parent and priorities changing… and well, it’s a cliche for a reason.

This is another year where it’s harder than normal to be positive about our fellow Americans. Been a divisive year to say the least and to be frank, people are quicker than ever to show you how much of an ass they can be.

More often than not, it feels like Idiocracy was more documentary than fiction.

To top it off, Yeni and I are still not over the closure of the bakery.

This said, there is a need to give thanks.

I’m thankful to be vaccinated (and boosted). I’m thankful for my family’s health.

I’m very thankful for my amazing daughter and the joy she brings Yeni and me. I’m thankful for the sound of my daughter’s laughter.

I’m thankful for open source software and the gifts it has provided to my family. I’m thankful for the Open Source VoIP Community – a group of amazing people than have become family. I miss them dearly and look forward to in-person conferences.

I’m thankful for my family.

I’m thankful for my friends, because as always, friends are the family you choose.

Happy Thanksgiving.