Thanksgiving and Getting

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Thanksgiving and Getting
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Julie Nardone sees the light on Thanksgiving.

Listen to the Morning Stories podcast called Thanksgiving and Getting.

The WGBH Morning Stories website is


Tony Kahn:
Hi everybody! This is Tony Kahn, the producer and director of
Morning Stories from WGBH in Boston. A phrase has been
dropping out of the English language. That phrase is: "Your
Welcome." In stores, businesses, information kiosks,
supermarkets, all over America, wherever people meet to do
each other a favor or transact business, the general standard
response to "thank you" is … Gary?

Gary Mott:
No. Thank YOU.

Tony Kahn:
Some people say that this is one thank you too many. What
does the giver of a kindness have to thank the getter for? Julie
Nardone has been mulling over that question and she tells us
what she’s been learning about gratitude from her own life. We
call her story: "Thanksgiving and Getting."

Julie Nardone:
I grew up in a wealthy town. The kind that gets an almost
embarrassing response when you mention it. My father’s
business did well and I reaped the benefits. Showed my horse
on weekends, played junior golf at a private country club,
attended overnight camping summer, graduated from college
without student loans, and always thought I needed more.

[background voices saying: "Good afternoon, how are you?"]

Julie Nardone:
One day while inching along in line at the sandwich shop,…

[background voice: "cash or credit?" …"whatever".]

Julie Nardone:
Bonnie, a colleague, leaned over to me and said, "Do you know
you never say thank you’?"

[background voice: "Have a great day"]

Julie Nardone:
"I do too," I said. Then reconsidered, "Really?"

"It’s kinda rude," she said.

[music… and voices saying…thank you, thank You, thank you!]

Julie Nardone:
In the years that followed, I struggled with my "thank yous."
Most of the time, if I listened, I could feel them falling a little flat.

[background voice; "Thanks". "Oh, thank you so much"!]

Julie Nardone:
And genuine opportunities weren’t all that easy to find.

[Horn blowing and driver yelling: "What are you waiting for?
Your favorite color?"]
[sounds of rush hour traffic]

Julie Nardone:
"Thanks a lot, buddy!" [traffic sounds]

Until one day at a talk on gratitude, I learned I might be looking
in the wrong place. "Being grateful for what you have," the
speaker said, "makes you have more to be grateful for! Start a
daily gratitude journal and you’ll see what I mean."

Intrigued, I started to write.

January 5th: I’m thankful the dentist could save my tooth!
March 19th: I’m…thankful…my grandfather had the courage to
immigrate from Italy in 1911!
April 30th: I’m thankful I do not know why I exist. It would
spoil the adventure.
June 16th: I’m thankful the town I live in saved its historic town
hall from the wrecking ball. The lingering scent of yesterday
cannot be replaced.
September 21st: I’m thankful I went on that blind date fourteen
years ago. My husband is the best friend I’ve ever had.
October 18th: I’m thankful I made time to see Uncle Vic before
he died. People facing death do not have time for pretense.
November 12th: I’m thankful for Bonnie and the time she told
me, I was not thankful.

And one last thank you, not in my journal, but in a letter, to the
one person in my life who already had everything you could buy.

Thanksgiving 2007: "Dear Dad, just wanted to thank you for
everything you’ve ever done for me. For your love and support,
for being a great Dad.
To my surprise, here’s what I got back:
"Dear Julie, For one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. [music]
Thank you."


Tony Kahn:
Today’s morning story: "Thanksgiving and Getting." A great
thing happened to me the other day as I was coming into GBH,
one of our colleagues was getting out of her car at the same time
I was getting out of my car. She said, "How are you"? And I
said, "Well, I’m one cup of coffee short of being conscious." She
said, "Uoo, my coffee! I forgot"!

So, she ran back to her car and got her coffee cup. And we keep
on walking to the door and we get to the door and I take out my
magnetized pass card to let us in and it’s not working. I’d been
away and I guess I had handed into the hotel my GBH pass card
and had kept the hotel room pass card instead. [laughter] And
she lets me in with her pass card. If we hadn’t stopped and said
hi to each other, we both would’ve been in trouble.

Gary Mott:
Yeah, well ’tis the season, Tony, I mean…

Tony Kahn:
I remember more of my Thanksgiving’s than I do maybe more of
my Christmases or Hanukkahs or New Years because you’re
celebrating being together. Sometimes [laughing] not
necessarily in a nice way.

Gary Mott:
Turkey is a powerful [laughter] you know, narcotic and that can
really bring it out of all of us and, you know, getting family that’s
far removed from one another together, is always an emotionally
charged situation. I guess the best advice is chill out.

Tony Kahn:
Do not knock each other over the head with the turkey.

Gary Mott:
But what an opportunity to make it better…

Tony Kahn:
There’s always football.

Gary Mott:
There’s always…

Tony Kahn:
That’s another part of Thanksgiving for those who may not
celebrate it…yes, watching football on television.

Gary Mott:
American football, for all our friends in Brazil. [laughter] Lori
and I are hosting this year.

Tony Kahn:
Yes, how many people are you gonna have?

Gary Mott:
Twelve people.

Tony Kahn:
Family and friends?

Gary Mott:
Just kind of a healthy stew of whatever: family, friends…

Tony Kahn:
Uh huh.

Gary Mott:
…dogs, a couple from Kentucky, my brother and his girlfriend,
artists from New York…

Tony Kahn:
Mm, hmm…

Gary Mott:
…you know possibly a friend of ours from Boston who is dating
someone named Echinae …

Tony Kahn:

Gary Mott:
…Uh, who’s Nigerian,…

Tony Kahn:

Gary Mott:
… and he actually, Tony, he works in the building right across
the street, [chuckling]

Tony Kahn:
And that’s three miles away!


Tony Kahn:
That’s another thing about Thanksgiving. If people who
otherwise might not meet, are gonna end up at the same table,
it’s likely to be a Thanksgiving table. Anyway, listen: we’d love
to hear from you on any subject. In fact, we’ve been hearing
from you lately about some of the videos that we’ve been putting
up on our website. You’ve written to tell us that you appreciate
the fact that there’s another layer that we can add to a story and
you’ve both enjoyed listening to the stories and if we have a
video version, seeing that as well so, we’ll take that as
permission to keep on doing them, and if I’ve read you wrong, let
us know.

Gary Mott:
Morning Stories on the web, Morning Stories on Flickr, on
Youtube, you can all get there by our website at

Tony Kahn:
Well, Gary, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for
everything you’ve done for the last three years to make my life
so easy and this show so good. I appreciate it.

Gary Mott:
Your welcome. [Ah, ha-ha!]


Tony Kahn:
You know my, my Thanksgiving this year is gonna be a little bit
unusual. The person giving it is getting divorced.

Gary Mott:

Tony Kahn:
Her husband’s decision. Just two weeks or so ago. And yet,
both of them felt that in spite of their own problems with each
other, that they shouldn’t deny each other Thanksgiving. And he
said to her, "Please have Thanksgiving for your friends and family
and I’ll have Thanksgiving with my children from another
marriage." So we’re gonna go and have Thanksgiving and it will
be the last Thanksgiving that she will be giving in this place
that’s been her home. It’s going to be a very,…very meaningful

Gary Mott:
Hmm, well ya know…

Tony Kahn:
I’ll let ya know about it when I, when I get back.

Gary Mott:
Ya know, there might be a lot of laughter and a lot of levity, I

Tony Kahn:
Hey, I’m all for that.

Gary Mott:
Yeah, always leave ’em laughing, right? Isn’t that the Kahn

Tony Kahn:
Yeah, yeah.


Transcribed by: Lynn Relyea

End of recording

Donate Aid for India
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my classmate set this up. all donations are wired directly to Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

his words:

Hello All,

Thanks for all your support.

This has definitely been a terrible happening no doubt, at the same time let’s remember that we are not a permanent fixture and we are bound to die one day, any day. So live this very moment you have the way you want it. None of the 20,000+ people realized that they are going to die. Let’s pray they rest in peace and their family members have courage and help to move forward after this. When nature does something we are all angry but we don’t think what we are doing to the nature. Think for a minute and observe silence for a minute.

The recent tolls and other information can be accessed from here / /

I just spoke to my father and mother. My father is running around and helping people (Background: MJF Lion Dr. S. Natarajan. He got elected has the Lions Clubs District Governor 2005-06 last April and he does lot of community service in my city. Right now he is second in command in lions clubs for my city and is overseeing their side of relief work). The earthquake hit around 6:30 am and many didn’t even realize the earthquake. Then from 7:30 am to 11:30 am big waves started coming in from the sea. All waves were minimum 5-6 feet high with tremendous speed and force. The main beach in the city is the world’s second largest beach next to Miami. It will take you minimum 5-10 mins to walk from the road to the sea and in morning it will be bustling with people. Normally my estimate would be at least 50-60 thousand people will be there during morning, there are fisherman hamlets at many places and during rush hour traffic in morning the beach road will be jam packed. Luckily since the waves came progressive many were lucky enough to run for cover. The waves traveled more than 1 km into the city. My father had to witness bodies everywhere, cars overturned and fisherman huts swept away all through out the coastline. Many places don’t have so much of a beach area and there people were sucked inside sea instantly. In my state which is the maximum hit by the waves in the main land India there are lot of casualties. The exact toll is not known since the bodies are all over the coastline and many still considered missing. People are washed away from villages to completely some other places really far away. There are mass graves dug by earthmovers and people are buried in many places. Indian islands Andaman and Nicobar and Sri Lanka are the maximum hit by tsunami.

What is being done / can be done:

My father organized 10,000 food packets and water for people and distributed to the people affected. He is organizing basic grocery, gas stoves, blankets, clothes and basic needs for the fisherman’s and people affected along the coastline. If you can, please make donations through my Paypal which will be forwarded to my father to do more. One dollar can feed a person for a day and there are many thousands of them homeless suddenly. So any donations made by you will go to a right cause. Though I need to figure out exactly how to receive, I think you guys need to send it to, I will also try set a page in my website also. Anybody done this please give me more information on how to set it up.

Things like this happen, people die, but more important is how people who are still alive are reacting and helping people in need.



I kept 00 as goal but I will be glad even if I raise , but please be generous and be assured it will be used appropriately. My father received his doctorate in social science and has been helping people for more the 35 years. He a trustee for lion’s blood bank which is one the biggest blood bank in India, trustee lion’s eye bank and lion’s eye hospital which does free operations and eye care for needy people, he has received "knight of the blind award from Lions International". He spends a significant portion of his earnings on charity and cultural causes. Just be sure your money will go to proper cause and right now my Paypal account is also empty.


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