Where do you find your thankfulness in life?  

Is it possible to stuff it all on the plate for one day of feasting?  Of course not. 

There is a great love in my heart for Thanksgiving, it is the most genuinely American of holidays. 

When Thanksgiving is done well it must include gratitude, faith, family, and tradition in addition to amazing food. Thanksgiving allows us to cherish everyone’s presence at our table and more symbolically… in our lives. 

Our time on earth is transient my friends, let’s not be surly, or overly preoccupied with shopping, football games, our toss-away culture, or our time-robbing smart phones. 

Savor your food. Let there be prayers of thankfulness and don’t worry about random soup stains. 

Don’t argue over politics or post too many women-versus-cat memes. If you choose this path, you shall be slapped with a turkey leg upon your sweaty forehead. 

Turn off the television and pause to hug those among your friends and family who are there. Remember all who have lived through tougher times. Their wisdom is not inherited, it must be communicated from the glistening eyes of our cherished elders to the youthful minds of our children.

Thankfulness should be found throughout the year. I find it more often now that I’m a bit older.   

Recently, I wrote a eulogy for a teacher who shaped my teenage years. I became so thankful for all he did to teach me and give me the gift of knowledge. On another occasion, I felt an incredible tide of thankfulness when my brother revived and released a beautiful rainbow trout. In that moment, I was thankful for my brother, nature, and the sweeping tail of a colorful fish. 

Thankfulness hits me when I see my daughter dance—then when I look at my wife’s eyes watching that same dance. I feel it when I hug my son who has grown into a young man. I feel it when I joke with my youngest brother and talk fishing with my nephew. I find it in the laughter of my nieces.

Thankfulness hit me when a life-long friend gave me a fly-fishing reel at the end of a very tough week—simply because he is my best friend. 

When people are sick or struggling in hard times true thankfulness can manifest in the simplest ways with a pain free breath, a test that reveals remission, peace in a moment of mental chaos, food on the table, forgiveness and love given without conditions.  

One can also find little moments of thanks while stroking the soft ears of a beloved dog on the way to work. The nose smudges can easily be forgiven. Thank you to my border collie for patiently listening to all my weekly rants—and she still loves me.      

As a columnist, I am thankful for everyone who takes the time to read my words. 

I am thankful for a World Series victory from my Nationals. 

I am thankful my Hokies rescued their football season. 

I am thankful for all my friends in the Silver Citizens Club—for the wisdom, the smiles we enjoy, and days we share. You all brighten my week.    

I am thankful for the smiles and thanks I get from all my little friends at Kid Central each day. 

Richness comes in many forms, I count myself rich in friendship, family, experiences and community. 

I am thankful for a town and county that continues to be an essential part of my life story. 

I enjoy every wave and honk as I walk down the street. Was that a peace sign? 

Hopefully, each of us can find our own special moments of thankfulness this Thanksgiving. 

 

  

  

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