The definition of gratitude is the quality of being thankful. If you are still reading this, you are thankful to be alive to do it. For 33 years I was grateful that my husband served the nation by flying for the New Mexico Air National Guard, and he retired proud of the work. Twenty years have gone by, and we have often wondered if the new volunteer military was going to be ready. Guess what? It is. This weekend Bill and I met an extraordinary couple. The are both graduates of Moriarty High school from 2017, Charley and his wife, Mayoni Armijo. They were wed right after graduation, and then Charley joined the Army. He went through basic and was sent to upstate New York. Mayoni went with him. After freezing their […] off, they are being sent to South Korea for two years. They are home for a month and glad to be back in New Mexico where the joy of tamales and biscochitos at Christmas is what the season is all about. Charley has gone on for special training, which he has excelled at, and Mayoni has worked with computers doing things she had never dreamed of back here in Moriarty. We can all be grateful and appreciate a qualified generation to take up the torch of defending freedom.

Last spring our granddaughter, Ellie, introduced us to a young man, Marcus Withrow, who graduated from Manzano High school and joined the U.S. Army. Since there was no official “walking” graduation ceremony, he went from Manzano Monarch to enlisted man in May. After Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he went to Advanced Infantry Training in Fort sill, Oklahoma. He is now in transition for Ranger training at Ft. Bragg, Georgia. He will return for two weeks at home for Christmas. Watch out world, our best is still out there keeping us safe. That is a lot to be grateful for.

As for me personally, after watching three seasons of “Gilmore Girls” set in 2003 or so, I am grateful for living in the wonderful state of New Mexico. The strange characters on this show are so dysfunctional; I can’t believe I keep watching. It is a real train wreck of angry people who live in Connecticut. The main issue is to get the youngest Gilmore girl to into Harvard. This show does not make Harvard something that ordinary people would want to do. They are kind of like the Marines, “looking for a few good” students, but without the hand-to-hand or gun combat. Admission makes it appear that only lunatics would go there. I doubt that Harvard is grateful for such a poor image.

Two of my granddaughters, Caitlan, of Sandia Prep and Ellie, of Manzano, are graduating this year, so they are working overtime to get into “real” colleges that accept real students. They have been taking tests, working jobs, and volunteering for charity causes. I am grateful that all I had to do was come up with $106 a semester, fill out the entry form and buy books. There was no looking for the best fit in my time. University of New Mexico or University Near Mom / University No Money was my school. Go Lobos! Gratefully, I graduated a mere six years after I began. And this was for a four-year degree. I have a potholder to prove it. And I quote, “I spent four years for this?”

Most of all I am grateful that 2020 is almost over. In my 73 years I have never seen anything like it. I am very grateful to be born here in this country and to have moved here in the Southwest. While I wax poetic occasionally about the lovely green rows of corn and the pink piggies in Iowa, after we moved here, I realized both of those look great in posole. Roaring Mouse, glad you keep reading… Out. I had fun doing it. Be safe, call you in the am. Jo out.