IN MY ORBIT: Happy Thanksgiving! My List of Overflowing Gratitude

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell Collage - used with permission

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
— G.K. Chesterton

This year has had its curious twists and turns, so I have nothing deep and profound to say, really, except: THANK YOU.


I Am Thankful for you, dear readers. You provide an audience for me to pour my thoughts on the page. I have loved writing and wanted to write since I was a wee one. Now I’m an older bird and have done lots of it, but never has it entailed as much fun as I have had interacting with you on RedState. It’s a pleasure that I look forward to every day, and I thank you for affording me the privilege.

I Am Thankful to be part of Team RedState for over a year! I have been writing for a long time, independently, and for other channels, and this is one of the most collaborative and cohesive teams of which I have had the pleasure to be a part. Everyone knows how awful a bad team can be on enthusiasm and productivity. A good team elevates the teammates, and I am grateful to be a part of a really good one.

I Am Thankful for my loving husband, who supports me, and gives me space to do all the crazy and creative things I do. He reads everything I write, and even reads the comments—so he’s gotten to know some of you too! I am blessed to have such a special human to do life with and grateful he chose me to be his.

I Am Thankful that we have found a home! Some of you have read about our saga of being in between homes thanks to California’s horrible prices and horrible housing policies. Despite many of you telling me to “Get Out” and even suggesting some great places (appreciate it), we know we are called to be here, in the land of the fruits, nuts, and diehard conservatives (there’s still a lot of us). Also, the husband has a great job, we have a super, awesome faith community, and we do love California, despite its downward spiral. We plan to be a part of reversing that spiral (it will happen), and now we have a new home to do that from! God always provides what you need in order to do His will. I’m glad we stuck it out, and grateful for the fulfillment of His promises to us.


With that in mind, I Am Thankful that we have had a roof over our heads the entire time of limbo, and a safe place for our fur babies. That’s no small thing. We have been in between before, but never for this length of time. Extended stay facilities are expensive, and many don’t allow pets. But we have been provided for on all fronts, and there have been no hiccups during the months of limbo. So very grateful for that.

I Am Thankful to now live in the sane County of Orange. Freedom is real, and the greater majority of the elected officials here support their citizens right to freedom. Small business are thriving here; I cannot say the same for the small businesses in other counties (looking at you, Los Angeles) that are being crushed by Newsom and his goon squad of unelected bureaucrats.

I Am Thankful that we have landed in a sane city within this sane county, which is a double blessing.

Along with that, I Am Thankful for all the super clean dog parks with friendly dog owners. Yesterday, our two Bubbas and our little Bubbette (my nicknames for them), had a great time with several cute dogs and their owners, including a father and his tween girls who were just adorable! Everyone was so happy to be outside, with other people, and with all the dogs. No one was glued to their phone, being weird or paranoid, and looking down their noses at you because your dogs aren’t quiet and don’t wear Gucci collars. My fur kids are sweet, but a little crazy—kind of like their Mamma. They are also perpetually loud, and often a little dirty. We groom them, but not every week! When we lived in Los Angeles County, we had the range of disappointing and borderline toxic experiences at most of their parks. Hence why we rarely ever bothered to take them there. So, this is like a breath of fresh air, as well a way to explore our new surroundings.


The list is multitudinous, as it should be. Despite our current national non-leadership and all they are doing to bring destruction to this country, we still live in America. Those people busting over the Southern Border know what many people need to learn and appreciate: we live in the greatest country on earth.

I leave you with a little ditty of one verse (you’ll thank me for that) of one of my favorite Thanksgiving songs. Didn’t know that was a thing? Well, take a listen.

Ah Lord we bring praise and honor
As a gift of thanksgiving to You
For Your great grace
And Your strong loving kindness
Now invite our gratitude anew
So Lord we come empty handed
Lifting only our hearts with our voices
As we sing to express gratitude with humbleness
For the way you provide, ever guide and always bless
We give thanks for the way you delight to delight us each day.

A Gift of Thanksgiving, Jack W. Hayford. 1987 Annamarie Music.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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