Rural country

A Note on Gratitude

Rural country

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think this is a remarkable holiday because, unlike all the rest on the national level, we don’t celebrate a historic event or remember a specific person or group of people. Instead, thanksgiving is really a holiday which celebrates a virtue, and that virtue is gratitude.

There’s the old adage that goes something like; “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days while they’re still happening” and as one gets older, one recognizes the wisdom of this statement. But I can honestly say that things have not been better for me personally than they are today. And I think taking a moment to reflect on all the blessings of life and offering real gratitude may be the best way to realize that these are the good ole’ days.

I’ve long believed that there are four major pillars upon which we need to build a good life – physical, financial, social, and spiritual – and this year I’ve made great improvements in all of these. At this moment, I’m in the best physical health than I’ve been probably this century, my web business has been busier than ever in recent months, I’m working on the best music I’ve ever produced and I have . There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s good to be heading in the right direction.

And then there’s my incredible family, starting with my incredible wife of 27 years, our four adult children, my mother who is still going strong well into her eighties, and especially that pleasant, curious, and happy little granddaughter with whom I’ve been bonding with more and more as she gives me fresh enthusiasm for this world. And she could not have better parents than my son and daughter-in-law, who are so well adapted to being first time parents.

Now, with all this happy-happy stuff, I am still aware that a shoe could drop at any moment and all this great “luck” can come crashing down. There’s tragedy in every life ultimately, and it’s times like those when we really need to turn to God. But I’d like to make the far less common gesture of turning towards God at this incredible moment in time when I reflect on how fortunate my family and I are at this time.

…Ric Albano

Am I Really a God?


GhostbustersYears ago (I believe it was the mid 1980s) I had a business in New York City with a few partners. Although I am prohibited by pending litigation from disclosing the finer details about this company, I can say that we were a startup which used cutting edge technology and set up shop in an old municipal building. Anyway, we were out on a service call one night when one of my partners said to me “Ray…” (they called me ‘Ray’ back then, long story) anyway, he said;

Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘YES’!”

Although this was some sound advice which I’ve never forgotten, I really hadn’t given it much thought through the years as, surprisingly, no one has really asked me if I’m a god in the past 30 years or so. But lately I’ve been considering it.

About a year ago, my son Jacob and I were driving home from visiting my eldest son in New York City. When we passed the exit for Annandale (New Jersey) I was naturally moved to exclaim;

California tumbles into the sea, that will be the day I go back to Annandale…”

At first Jacob looked at me strangely, not getting the reference but just then “My Old School” by Steely Dan (the very song I had just quoted) came on the satellite radio. Was this a coincidence? I think not!

Angry BirdsJust this morning, a new Walmart commercial came on the television in which they advertised all the brand name clothing that they are offering this back-to-school season. At the end of the commercial they showed the logos for all these brands and I noticed an “Angry Birds” logo. “Angry Birds?” I asked out loud, “Since when do they make clothing?” “What was that, dear?” my wife asked. “Angry birds!” I shouted, just as a large bird flew into our bay window with a loud “thump!” Now would someone please explain just what supernatural forces I conjured up to compel that bird to risk life and wing at the very moment when I shouted?

This is something that will need much more exploration.