Thanksgiving 2015


Happy Thanksgiving

I know there are many in the US who do live on the edge of tragedy most every day. But I don’t think I am not ignoring or diminishing their plight to say that overall we are blessed to be safe, secure and sustained at a level that exceeds most of the world. I am grateful for that and don’t take it for granted.

Drawing and commentary © 2015 Marty Coleman |

Quote by Paul Sweeney


The Gratitude of Escape

gratitude of escape

Some things I escaped, for which I am grateful.

  • Losing an Eye – 1955/1965 – Numerous cuts around my eyes as a kid. My nickname in my family was ‘Stitch’.
  • War/Combat – 1972/73 – Was just young enough to not be drafted during the Vietnam war.
  • Injury – 1972 – Private plane landing.  Tire went flat on landing, but not before we had slowed down considerably.
  • Rape/Death – 1973 – Got in the car of a stranger during a severe rainstorm at LaGuardia Airport. Talked my way out of it successfully.
  • Death – 1973 boat explosion – Severely burned but survived.
  • Injury/Death – 1989 Loma Prieta/World Series Earthquake – Very close to the epicenter in Santa Cruz county.
  • Injury/Death/Arrest – 1993 – driving while intoxicated – Stopped drinking in May of that year.
  • Nasty Divorce – 2000 – First wife Kathy and I had an amicable divorce and remain good friends and supporters.

What have you escaped for which you are grateful?

Drawing and List by Marty Coleman, Publisher of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Anonymous

A Thanksgiving Poem

It’s day #4 of Gratitude Week


A Thanksgiving Poem

A Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, family and friends I haven’t met yet, in America and around the planet!  I appreciate you all very much and love you even mucher!

Drawing and poem by me.

If A Fellow Isn’t Thankful For What He’s Got

Thank goodness today is day #3 of Gratitude Week at The Napkin Dad Daily

I ran the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa this past Sunday.  I didn’t do well during most of the race.  It wasn’t anything about training, nutrition, hydration,  race day preparation or even my time (which was bad) that makes me say that.

It was my attitude. I started out with a mess up finding the people I was going to run with.  It was crowded and I was alone, no running buddies.   My legs were sluggish to start.  My attitude wasn’t infused with thankfulness or love, it was infused with bother.  I was bothered by walkers. I was bothered by gatorade spilling on my hands. I was bothered by music bands along the way.  I was bothered by my inability to get my body in gear to keep at the pace I wanted.

Two things changed that.  At mile 21 I finally met up with two of the runners I was going to run with.  They were both stopped and in great pain.  One had to keep walking, the other started running with me.  She had injured her knee half-way through and was crying.  We kept plugging along for the next 5 miles, running, walking, running as best we could.  I was beat, she was even more beat. But she kept going with me.  All my bother melted away and I was only thinking about getting us both over the finish line.  And we made it together.

The other thing?  A young man, 27 years old, had collapsed and died on the 1/2 marathon route.  Need I say more?  Nothing changes an attitude quicker than realizing the old adage ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.  I have lived twice as long as he did. I have had marriages, children, love, travel, pleasure, pain, great friends and family. Many of these things are lost to him now and forever. 

It was a sobering reminder that my attitude, as long as I am alive, should continually strive to be at, or move towards gratitude, thankfulness and love.

Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Frank A. Clark, 1911-1991, American Pastor and Aphorist

Gratitude is the Fruit

I am grateful today is day#2 of Gratitude Week at The NDD.

What makes a person gross?  Do you see a connection between your understanding of that term and lack of gratitude?  What does ‘great cultivation’ mean? Explain.

Drawing by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English author (and more!)

No Longer Forward or Behind

Day #1 of Gratitude Week at The Napkin Dad Daily

Thanksgiving week is a perfect time to be diligent about practicing ‘now and here’.  Your relatives might be disruptive if they are coming to visit.  You may not like their ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ way of planning a trip to your home.  You might not like their indecisiveness, their politics, their nasty habits or nasty judgments.

But they are coming.  And they will be at your house.  Are you going to ruin your own week by focusing on what you don’t like about them or are you going to enjoy your week by accepting the characters and events as they occur, lessening the time spent wishing things were different and allowing yourself to find what the good in what is happening and be thankful for it?

It’s your choice, you know.

Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892, American Quaker poet

Silver Lining – updated 2017

Expecting something of value to happen in your life without pre-conditions of the exact nature of the event isn’t easy. But if you practice being open to whatever happens and finding the preciousness within it, then it won’t matter if it is gold, silver or dirt.

Drawing and Commentary by Marty Coleman

“Too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold.” – Maurice Setter, 1936-not dead yet, English football (soccer) player

We See More Clearly – updated 2017

When we are non-grateful we look at what is missing, what we want or feel we should have.

In art instruction there is a technique to help people see the object they are drawing by having them focus on the negative space. the space between and around objects and its shape. Seeing that helps to see the object.

However, in life seeing what isn’t there is a double edged sword. Should you work to attain what you want, work for that you do not have? Sure, it’s a good thing. But to look at what a person doesn’t give instead of what they do isn’t always the same thing. To look at what a society doesn’t give isn’t always the same thing.

Instead of focusing on what is missing, the negative space in your partner, your boss, your child, your society, your culture, focus on the positive space. The things they actually do and be grateful. It doesn’t mean you don’t try to attain something greater. It doesn’t mean you can’t say when your needs aren’t being met. It simply means you acknowledge what is really there.

I am grateful for those of you who read my blog and enjoy the drawings and ideas. I appreciate when you write and tell me stories about your own journey into becoming who you want to be. Thank you.

Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman

Feeling Gratitude – updated 2017

I was looking for a shopping quote today in anticipation of Black Friday but came to realize as I was searching that Black Friday is primarily not about shopping, it’s about gift giving.

So, a simple question comes to mind. Is the gift you are going to get on Friday a gift that the recipient will feel was given with them in mind? Will it show your gratitude for them, your love for them or will it show you spent money because that is what you are suppose to do?

Will the present be buried in the past without a second thought, or will it be treasured because it came from love?

You may ask, how can I know what that is? You know by paying attention to the person. Not when they are writing down their wish list, but throughout the year. Listen to what they talk about, what they care about. That will tell you how you can meet their needs with a gift. That will show you are acting grateful, not just saying you are grateful.

Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward, 1924 – 1994, American Author

Thanksgiving, Like Contentment – updated 2017

This Thanksgiving I am going to be thankful for, along with the usual suspects of family, friends, health and safety, contentment. That I am either content with who I am and what I do, or I am taking action that will lead to that contentment.
Sit and be content this week.

Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman

“Thanksgiving, like contentment, is a learned attribute. The person who hasn’t learned to be content lives with the delusion he deserves more or something better.” – Robert Flatt

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