This year I’m taking the easy route by using each letter in the word Thanksgiving and writing a short blip on the holiday in the Keys. Yes, this is similar to a segment we’ve all seen on Sesame Street, but work with me – it has been a couple of tough weeks for me and I’m desperate.

Okay, so this is what I came up with:

T = Toes… I’m thankful I can go barefoot over Thanksgiving. Heck, I’m thankful I can go barefoot in the Keys all year long.

K = Keys. That’s it. Just being here is something to be grateful for.

S = Sunshine without horrific humidity.

G = Gravy. I like gravy. Pure and simple.

I = Inside seating is no longer required. (See the “S” above.)

V = Vodka. I like Vodka even more than I like gravy. Pure and simple.

G = The Galley restaurant. I’d take a bullet for their fish tacos.

Did you notice some letters were missing? That’s because, even with this simplistic writing technique, I still hit a major roadblock. Fortunately, I have good friends and family around me with an amazing sense of humor and when I told them I’m missing ideas for H, A, N, I & another N, they truly came through.

Here’s what my brother wrote:

H = Heimlich Maneuver & Hippy (I got a little peeved at him with that last one ‘cause I figured it referenced my body type. When I cussed him out, he responded with a sassy, ”too bad Thanksgiving doesn’t have the letter “F” in it… you obviously have a word for it.”)

A = Appliances, Arousal & Alcohol. What? Is it just me, or does anyone else find these random words sort of weird? He’s obviously got a lot more happening in his kitchen than I do, which is just icky to address at all, since he is my brother.

N = Naked & Numb. Done. I’m not allowing him to watch any more Sesame Street.

Warily, I read his creative answer for the letter I: Inbred, Insects and Indoor plumbing.

Now, remember, he quickly answered my plea for help by throwing some random words back to me, and, quite frankly, they are hilarious when you group them all together. I mean, a simple word like “appliance” next to the word “arousal” deserves a giggle, at least. Still, I called my older sister to discuss our little brother’s thought patterns. She assured me that I was simply feeling threatened because he is indeed, funnier than I am.

Fine. She’s probably right. Still, my original objective was to tie Thanksgiving in with the Keys and, though his word choice does somehow represent our lives here in a warped kind of way, we don’t want to admit this in print. Especially during a national holiday.

Thankfully, my daughter, Tiffany, went in the complete opposite direction of my brother. For the letter H, she used the word “Happy” and for the letter A, she suggested “Absolutely! I’ll have more key lime pie.” Although I was relieved to get a response from her with more of a “G” rating compared to my brother’s “R” / “X” ratings, I found them too Mary Poppins-ish.

Not that my ideas were any better. Apparently no one liked my T and they bombarded me with suggestions.

My sister, the biggest boat-barfer in the world, said she thought I should use TripTone for the letter T. She won’t visit me in Florida unless I promise to pick her up at the airport with a box of TripTone. She needs it to be officially in her system before we pass through the first tollbooth down to the Keys.

At least her letter specifically had something to do with the Florida Keys. She got an “A” for her effort.

Julie said my idea of Toes for the letter T was okay, but it would be funnier to say, “I’m thankful I can still see my toes, at least before the feast.” Clever AND with a rhyme.

My husband had a very predictable word for the letter T, which brought us right back to the “X” rating. I couldn’t use it, of course.

End result – I think all of us more than covered the entire THANKSGIVING word. Probably not my strongest article, but I have to say, one of my favorites just because I had family and friends help me work through it.

Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? Taking a minute to reflect on what you’re truly thankful for and giving what you can to help others?

Oh, by the way… blending everyone’s unique ideas together actually did create a perfect description of the holiday in the Keys:

Toes wiggling free &

Happy while resting on reliable ol’


Naked without shoes or socks ‘cause we live in the

Keys with gorgeous

Sunshine for winter holidays that have lots of

Gravy and yummy food, which eventually result in the use of

Indoor plumbing (ideally) and maybe some

Vodka which also helps us ignore the only thing annoying here…

Insects… before we go completely

Numb from the heavenly fish tacos at The

GALLEY… with Lucy.

Happy Thanksgiving!