It is inevitable — and right — that this time of year we consider our blessings. As I was considering a topic for my column this week, I was drawn to writing down the many things for which I am grateful. Here is my humble assessment of what makes my life fulfilling.

I am grateful that every time I move (from Lakewood and then from a condo in Rocky River), houses surge in value. For most of the 20 years we lived in our Lakewood house, home values either decreased or appreciated by 1 or 2%. In the 12 months after we left, they jumped more than 50% in some cases. The same was true of our Rocky River condominium. It had been losing value at first, then slowly building up. We left last year. I just saw on that one of the condos sold for $105,000 in August — It had been occupied by a hoarding tenant, mind you — and was put back on the market three months later for $215,000. You are welcome, Lakewood and Rocky River residents.

I am grateful that my daughter loves nature and is thoroughly enjoying her first “real” job in a conservation program where she does hands-on stream restoration and field research. She loves bugs, you see, and when she “moved out,” she left several boxes of dead, “pinned” bugs that I discovered while cleaning the basement. Thank you, sweetheart, for sharing your love of bugs with me.

I am grateful that my son, who attends Cleveland State University, loves us enough to still live at home. There is nothing I enjoy more than hugging him in the morning, and then putting away (every day) the toaster he used and the bread bag, and throwing away the wrappings from his protein “cookie” and instant oatmeal. Thank you!

I am grateful my sister shared a new mystery author (J.A. Jance) so that I can power through every single delightful book. I generally do that at midnight, when I’m done with all my various life “chores” so I don’t get to sleep until 2 a.m. or so. Wonderful!

I am grateful my chihuahua/toy fox terrier dog, Riley, that is small enough I can dress her in little sweaters and buy her a coat that cost more than the one I bought myself. She. Is. So. Darn. Cute.

I am SO grateful for my metabolism. I appreciate supporting all the stockholders of Weight Watchers (now called just WW). Really. It’s my pleasure.

I am grateful that “23andme” let my daughter know she is related on her maternal side to Richard III. Now I am paranoid about my posture.

I am grateful my husband lives and breathes Auburn University sports. I never, ever have to wonder what to get him for his birthday, Christmas, or any other gift-giving opportunity.

I am grateful to be a “freeze baby” and feel chilled from Oct. 1 to sometimes June 1. It gives me an opportunity to wear the warm shawl I keep in my desk drawer and TRULY look ancient to the young reporters.

I am so incredibly grateful I’ve worked in a profession I adore for as many decades as I have. Journalism and writing are my passions and my life. The opportunity to continue working in this profession is due to you, dear reader. Thank you.

Contact this reporter at or 440-871-5797.

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