It is just a couple of weeks 'til Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d write about being thankful. Not about the kind of thankfulness that the national road-weary elections are in the rear-view mirror, although I am very happy that daily drama is over. The soap opera “General Hospital” couldn’t have written a season of scripts that begin to mirror what the country has just been through.
I’m not even so much thankful for pumpkin pie or roasted turkeys, which are in our immediate future. Or even lumpy and bumpy mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. Nope! Although you have to admit those things are mighty tasty! Go ahead and nod in the affirmative. I know you want to. 
It has been an interesting year to say the least. I still remember toasting our glasses high over ten months ago on New Years’ Eve. We were surrounded by ever-so-close family at a beach house in Galveston. There were lots of speculations as to the wonders of what 2016 would bring… surely it would be the best year ever! 
And on so many levels, 2016 has been a really great year. I will never forget how I found out our daughter was expecting again. It was our toddler grandson, Jacob, who popped out of his car seat one Sunday wearing a “Big Brother” t-shirt. As I write this, Baby Ben has made his debut! Yep … our little Jacob is a big brother! His life, and ours, will happily never be the same.
On the flip side of the 33-and-1/3-long playing record, in February we also had a serious cancer diagnosis at our house. It was so bad many of us thought a funeral was in our near future. Very serious stuff. As the months have unfolded, we found our family wrapped in prayers along with emotional and physical support by family and friends. I could write a whole column about how one friend recruited a small army so our special-needs adult daughter could get a bath. It was a very humbling experience. 
In a peanut shell, we landed at the best cancer hospital in the medical center and qualified for a new clinical trial. There are lots more months in our future for treatment, but the worst is now behind us. We are so thankful there is a treatment that is working so well. When this phase is all behind us, I will probably have earned my Ph.D. in caregiving … if there is such a thing. Bottom line … it is now eight months later and we are doing great. I stopped asking myself the question, “How does that happen that we are doing so well?” Instead I just continue to be thankful … for each moment.
So, yeah … sometimes years can feel a whole lot like a large, messy platter of mashed potatoes with a bunch of golf ball-sized lumps of yuck. This year the tators certainly didn’t taste so great in the beginning. It took a bunch of months, but I predict that when Thanksgiving rolls around in a few weeks, the mashed potatoes will be lump-free and oh-so-tasty.
Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 20 years. Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit Dixie’s blog at

Dixie Frantz
Author: Dixie FrantzWebsite: http://www.lifesloosethreads.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a long-time Houstonian in love with writing, blogging, travel, quilting and reading. I have written “You Gotta Laugh,” a humorous newspaper column, for the past 21 years. The columns showcase the funny, amusing and sometimes touching slices of life from the suburbs. My writing credentials include more than 430 humorous columns, features and travel stories for The Tribune Newspaper.

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