384 Things We're Thankful for at Matador That Don't Cost Anything

by David Miller Nov 26, 2009
We began this list last year at Thanksgiving and people throughout the Matador Community have continued adding to it since then.

Ben Polansky

1. Love of my family
2. Company of my friends
3. The touch of my girlfriend
4. The cool side of the pillow.
5. The smile from the woman at the bakery on my way to work.
6. Playing music with my friends.
7. The sunny side of the street on a cool day in San Francisco.
8. The tickle of a cue tip in my ear.
9. Listening to old Blues records on a rainy day.
10. Surfing at sunset.
11. My goddaughter’s curly hair.
12. Sticking my face in a warm pile of laundry.
13. Napping in a hammock in the sun.
14. A hard day’s work.
15. Watching young people learn.
16. Watching old people learn.
17. Ice cubes in my orange juice.
18. Listening to Barack Obama talk about hope and change
19. Teaching someone something new.
20. Reading people’s travel blogs about adventure and discovery on Matador.

Julie Schwietert

21. A stack of books brought home from the library, even when I know I’ll never finish them all.
22. The memories of listening to people’s stories as I traveled this year.
23. Watching weavers crush moss, berries, and nuts in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico, as they make natural dyes.
24. Cooking with my husband.
25. The warmth of my dog as she jumps into bed in the morning.
26. Reading articles written by people living the Matador vision.
27. Reading a line that resonates so deeply it makes me see something in a new way.
28. Guessing the spices and ingredients in the food we eat.
29. Dreaming about going back to places I’ve been.
30. Making plans for the after-school program in Colombia.
31. Having found long-lost friends this year.
32. Thinking about learning a new language online.
33. Waking up from a good sleep.
34. Knowing the day will be incredible when the morning coffee is just right.
35. Pulling up the window shade and seeing a brilliant blue sky.
36. Receiving a real letter.
37. Checking the mail.
38. Leaving home.
39. Going home.
40. Having the opportunity to meet up in person with people I’ve met online via Matador– in Mexico, in the US.
41. Knowing that Matador members went to Cuba this year and saw things for themselves…and had an amazing experience.
42. Thinking back to election night and seeing images of people around the world gathered together, in communities, dancing in the streets.
43. Wandering markets in Mexico.
44. Thinking about January 20, 2009.
45. Feeling better after you’ve been feeling bad.
46. Reading blogs of Matador members outside the Matador community: www.bigsweettooth.com, www.miller-david.com, and others
47. Reading what makes other people grateful.


48) Competition
49) Running really fast
50) Building, supporting, and maintaining a family
51) Fathering
52) Bob Marley tunes anywhere anytime
53) Kisses
54) Health
55) Cool breeze on a hot day
56) Warmth of a fire at night
57) Homecomings
58) Barefeet on grass
59) Barefeet in sand
60) Taking off your shoes and socks after a long day
61) Mixed couples
62) Biracial Children
63) Dancing
64) A Fresh Haircut
65) Summertime
66) Stretching in the morning
67) Last, but not least: New Socks and New Underwear. I know they cost money, but come on…There’s really no better feeling.

Hard not to give repeats.


68. My beautiful wife who is a strong, intuitive, loving mother and who understands and loves me for who I am.
69. My joyful son, Raja, who is smart, always smiling, outgoing and brave.
70. My mother who is gentle and kind, and who I am continually able to learn from.
71. My brothers and sisters who are creative and intelligent and a joy to be around.
72. My friends who are fun to spend time with and who are true to themselves.
73. My business where we are able to work with friends and family and contribute to open source communities.
74. My coworkers who are smart, dedicated and know what needs to be done and do it without having to be told to.
75. Our clients who are open to using open source software and choose to work with us.
76. Open source software communities and the developers that make them possible by contributing their code and free time towards sharing and openness.
77. Drupal. It’s a great tool and framework to use for building all different types of websites and web applications.
78. The universe that always provides and brings the right things to us at the right times.
79. The sun that provides light and warmth and allows us to have rain and support life.
80. The earth that provides nutrients and soil by which food can be grown as well as many other natural resources.
81. The air which we breath, allowing our brains and bodies to function.
82. The water, the most fulfilling and important substance on this earth.
83. Mother nature and all that she encompasses, plants, animals, the mountains, valleys, oceans, and more.
84. The people that grow our food.
85. The people that make our clothes.
86. Having a roof/shelter over my head.
87. Having food in my belly everyday.
88. The waves and rythm of the energy by which all things move.
89. Music, dancing sound waves that fill our soul with emotions and happiness.
90. Memory that allows me to remember my childhood and allows me to learn from the past.
91. Yoga, passed down from ancient times, that allows us to keep our mind, body and soul healthy and in harmony.
92. Exercise, keeping our body in good health and shape so that we’re able to live happily.
93. Meditation, helping to focus our minds and connect with who we really are internally.
94. The good health of my current body.
95. The hiking and biking trails all over the world which help us spend quality time with nature.
96. For the ocean, wind, and surfable waves which help me to get out in the ocean, recharge my batteries, surf, and experience being free.
97. That George Bush is out of office and that we have a new president that has some intelligence and actually cares about his job and this country.
98. That there has been a wake up call for the economy and irresponsible corporations who have been leeching the people and nature for all they have.
99. Almost being out of debt.
100. Thanksgiving Day, for reminding me to think of the things I’m thankful for and for getting friends and family together to share in thanks.

Ross Borden

101. My three amazing sisters
102. Mi mum
103. The Pacific Ocean
104. Powder snow
105. California redwood forests
106. Singing in the shower
107. Battle dancing
108. Being a dork with my little sisters
109. Lucy’s ninja-ness
110. Clara’s sense of humor
111. Reading stories to little billies
112. People watching in hilarious circumstances
113. Bouldering outside with the homies
114. TAPAS in Granada (free with the purchase of a beer)
115. The rights we enjoy as Americans
116. Thanksgiving – the only holiday where someone isn’t trying to sell you something
117. The culinary genius that is Tex Mex
118. A wagging greeting from a happy dog
119. Wrestling with the girl I love
120. Laughing with old friends about our antics in high school
121. A breath of fresh air, por las montañas
122. Being proud again to be an American!
123. My hippie friend, Ben Polansky
124. The superstokeinspiration that I get everyday from reading what you’re all up to out in the world!

Hal Amen

125. Dreams (nightmares included)

Nick Polansky

126. Laughing with friends.
127. Dancing with friends.
128. Dancing with family.
129. Watching family and friends dance.
130. Making furniture out of junk.
131. Selling furniture made out of junk.
132. A ripe persimmon from the garden.
133. Hard work.
134. A saliva smeared sketch on a napkin.
135. Hand-me-down overalls.
136. Toe stretches.
137. Head rubs.
138. Getting a hair cut from a roommate.
139. Walking the dog.
140. Water.
141. Rain.
142. Fire.
143. Hummingbirds in the tree outside my kitchen.
144. Samples at Trader Joe’s.
145. Labor.
146. Cycling.
147. Walking.
148. Riding the bus on Spare the Air Day.
149. Lying down in first rain.

Carlo Alcos

150. My ears
151. My eyes
152. My nose
153. My sense of touch
154. My wife
155-157. Our freedom, resourcefulness and health to travel where an when we want
158. All the animals of the earth. Can humans please stop thinking we are above them? And realize that we are all part of the big picture?


159. I am grateful for… my health above all; it is my army in life.
160. My blessings and good fortune.
161. My beautiful, healthy, intelligent son.
162. My husband’s health and love.
163. My strong, intelligent, hard working, healthy parents who made my great life possible.
164. The support, trust and loyalty of friends and family.
165. That everyone gets home safe everyday from school and work.
166. The best cafe au lait every morning, better than in any coffee shop, made at home.
167. I am grateful for the peace within.
168. Also for the peace that surrounds me; I live in a stable environment, untouched by war or ravaged by corruption and evil.
169. Daydreams, and the fact that I remember night dreams to analyze them, which helps me solve some of the problems that come up in my life.
170. Long hot showers on a cold day.
171. Cold showers on hot summer days.
172. That I live in a part of the world with 4 seasons.
173. I am grateful for the fact that I take nothing and no one for granted, and I am conscious of this from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep.
174. The evolution in my own life.
175. Chocolate ;-)
176. Croissants
177. Days on the beach
178. Staying toasty warm indoors on cold winter days
179. Another day
180. My hyperawareness of everything around me, I smell the flowers and the coffee, breath in the fresh air and I’ve always been at one with life like this – it’s a blessing to add to all the blessings.
181. I just love brushing my teeth and that clean feeling!
182. Listening to all kinds of commercial free music on satellite radio.
183. And so much more, I could be here writing a book….:-0

Alan Velasco

184. Toilet Paper
185. Laughter
186. The awesome feeling of walking into an air conditioned building in the summer.


187. Coming home after a few drinks with friends and finding Revenge of the Nerds on the telly. “No one is really free until nerd persecution ends”

Eva Holland

188. Staying up too late laughing with my mom.
189. Jumping the fence at the football stadium late at night (in high school) and climbing up to the highest row.
190. Rollerblading by the Ottawa River.
191. Full moons.
192. Walking the boardwalk at Halifax Harbour after dark, and hanging out by the tugboats.
193. Free samples at the bagel shop.
194. Snow angels.
195. Snow forts.
196. Snowball fights. (Got winter on my mind…)
197. Thunderstorms.
198. My friend’s fat cats falling asleep on my legs.
199. Long walks, wherever I am.
200. Good conversations with strangers – on trains, planes, in hostels, wherever.


201.Receiving a hug and a kind note from a friend, unbidden.
202.Tabula rasa
203.Belonging and not belonging all wrapped up into one.


204. Slow dancing in the kitchen with my boyfriend
205. Hellos
206. Sand in between my toes
207. Holding hands
208. Diving into the same book twice because it’s that good
209. Naps in the park
210. People watching after New Year’s and Halloween
211. Dreaming
212. An ample amount of dehydrated marshmallows in my hot chocolate
213. Every Tuesday when the florist brings in a new flower arrangement
214. Surprises
215. Summer nights
216. Uncontrollable laughter
217. Kisses
218. The smell of burning candles
219. Memories
220. Love stories
221. Hugs
222. Running into an old friend
223. Loving and being loved
224. Productive days
225. Lazy days
226. Sharing
227. Complements
228. The smell of fries
229. Sex
230. My beautiful family
231. My forever friendships
232. Waking up next to Ben
233. Stretching in the morning
234. The job I have
235. The house I live in
236. Smothering myself in warm towels
237. Movies in the park
238. Sunsets
239. The smell of fall
240. My health
241. Sleepovers with my younger siblings
242. Music…im so thankful for the sound,lyrics, and meaning!


243. Playing basketball.
244. Beautiful women.
245. Good friends.
246. HBO’s “The Wire”.
247. Sleeping in.
248. Home cooked meals.
249. My girlfriend’s smile.
250. The internet.
251. A good book.
252. Being alive.


253. Hugging and holding my grandchildren.
254. Waking up in the morning.
255. Sunshine.
256. Not answering to a boss (retirement).

Sarah Menkedick

Not sure how the numbers are going here, but I figure the more free things to be grateful for, the better, so I’ll start at 236:

236. the smell of pine trees
237. reading a book on a park bench all afternoon
238. finishing a project and feeling a rush of exhausted satisfaction
239.. the way my dog “shakes” by slamming her paw down on my palm
240. the feel of a hot shower after a long run
241. the ache and burn of my muscles after a long run
242. the first sip of coffee in the morning in the breeze from the open window
243. my husband and the way he and the dog are my family
244. my family
245. the taste of rajas made by Oaxacan nuns
246. fetching with the dog at sunset on the Cerro Fortin
247. the smell of winter in Ohio
248. the smell of summer in Ohio
249. the woods
250. rain


281. Trees and flowers
282. My kitten
283. Nature and wildlife
284. Art and music
285. My books
286. My intellect
287. Discovering my coaching, teaching, and leadership abiliity
288. My writing ability and other artistic abilities
289. Being able to be a part of my niece and nephew’s lives
290. Trips taken to the UK.
291. Writing for Travel-Writers-Exchange.com and Baja-Fun.com; was given the chance to showcase my writing talent; someone took a “chance” on me and believes in me.
292. Developing confidence and self-esteem; believing in myself even if no one else does
293. Moving to AZ — hiking the mountains
295. Waking up from unconsciousness — was sleepwalking through my life
296. Meditation
297. The ability to workout

Adventure Kid

298. A deep breath of clean foreign air while looking out across the Alps.


299. the smell of the earth after it’s rained
300. using a bag you last used when on the beach and finding sand and a postcard you never finished writing in it :)


281 Water pressure
282 My job
283 My brother
284 My independence
285 A thumbnail moon


301. Smiles
302. Legs to walk
303. Internal photographs
304. Love!
305. Laughter.
306. All the lessons you’ve learned by helping other people.
307. The feeling you get when a friend cheers you up
308. Knowing that the sun will rise soon
309. Seeing shooting stars from your rooftop
310. Watching the transition from day to night.
311. Puffy clouds.
312. Seeing the pale green buds sprout in the spring.
313. The caressing of cherry blossom leaves caught in the spring breeze.
314. The help of a complete stranger.
315. The dreams that motivate me.


316. Discovering just how many different kinds of sunsets there are
317. Reunions with best friends, no matter how short the time passed
318. Falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing
319. Having been in love
320. Hope of a new, different love
321. Random encounters with strangers on my bus
322. Knowing my opinion is valued at work


323. Fresh coffee in the morning
324. Laughing to tears with my sister
325. Finding magical places in my neighbourhood
326. Freshly washed bedlinen
327. Sea breeze in my face
328. Watching Amelie again and again
329. Getting things done and being proud of myself for doing that
330. Falling in Love
331. Charlie playing the piano on a sunny morning under a beautiful tree
332. Cooking with my friends
333. Taking beautiful photographs
334. walking and laughing
335. Nature
336. The feeling of freedom


337. Brushing your teeth on the beach, looking out over the sea and the mountains on the opposite side of the bay reflecting the sun which has not yet reached you.
338. Reading poetry to the waves while standing on the bow of a traveling boat.
339. The burn in my legs as I climb the slope of a mountain too steep to descend and the knowledge that another way must be found.
340. The subtle realization of true happiness as I sit at a plywood desk in a remote cabin, accompanied only by a notebook and a pen.


341: the smile you get after traveling 5,000 miles to see the woman that you love.

vera alves

342. Tulips
343. Talking to friends and not noticing time passing
344. My family’s love and support
345. Hugs
346. Closing your eyes while lying on the beach
347. Knowing that, no matter how long it takes, I’ll hug my family again
348. Making plans
349. Reading a book and loving it so much you don’t want to get to the last page
350. Fresh sheets
351. Postcards or letters from friends


352. That I always have a family to return to
353. Forgiveness
354. That laughter really is the best medicine
355. That things do change, for the good, the bad, the in between
356. That all these people have written posts
357. The simple things
358. People who believe in me
359. Hope
360. Love
361. Smiling is catching
362. Potatoes


363. High Fives – Seriously try and be sad during a high five, it’s impossible


364. The warmth of my dog when she curls up next to me every night.
365. The things I learn each day
366. Always having the option of WALKING.
367. When hands touch
368. The fact that my mom still gets upset that I don’t let her do my laundry when I visit home.
369. Imagination
370. How happy my roommates are
371. The fact that people cannot hear rhythm without subconciously tapping, dancing, moving in time.
372. Youtube. Just sayin’.
373. The way Pennsylvania smells in September
374. What this painting conveys: http://jerseystylephotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/masterbedroom.jpg


375. Riding downhill on a bike
376. Vintage performances on Youtube (James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Soul Train Lines)

Ryukyu Mike

377. Sea breeze

Joanna Haugen

378. Mornings where I can sleep in.
379. Mornings where I get up early to walk my dogs before anyone else is up.
380. Quiet.
381. Imagination.
382. Skies dark enough to see all the stars.
383. Sunshine.
384. Spending time with people I love.

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