Good morning everyone.
As you already know, unless you’re really calendar-challenged, today is the day we set aside for the express purpose of being thankful. Don’t know about you, but to me that’s a really worthy thing to set up a special day for.
Of course, as a friend remarked earlier in the week, we really should count our blessings every day and not just once a year. And, as a matter of fact, the first thing I do every morning, before even getting out of bed, is take two deep, soul-cleansing breaths and remind myself to feel grateful; after all, simply waking up each day is a gift that won’t last forever.
Beyond just being alive, I’m thankful for all of the major things that pretty much everyone can appreciate, family, friends, health and home topping the list.
In addition, though, I’m really appreciative of many other things that might seem of lesser import but nonetheless add to my life immensely. And in the name of priming the pump of thankfulness — my own and yours — I thought it would be fun to rattle off some of them. So in no particular order, here we go:
– Green grass. Absolutely love it. To me it means playing catch and touch football, hitting golf balls, playing fetch with my dogs and many, many other fun and relaxing pursuits.
– Sweet sounds: Wind in the trees, a purring cat, the whistle of a distant train, coyotes, rustling rivers, laughter, owls, rain on the roof, coyotes, waves on the beach, the cacophony of songbirds on a spring morning.
– Motorcycling: I had never done this until I was 42, and it’s been a life-changing pursuit for me. Riding on a scenic and deserted back road on a beautiful day feels like making a connection with the whole universe. Going really fast on occasion is a lot of fun too.
-- Baseball: I love a lot of different sports, but our National Pastime will always be my favorite, partly because I’ve been able to keep playing thanks to the Men’s Senior League. Some people say baseball is like a religion to them, but while I stop short of that, I will allow that the game is a spiritual endeavor for me. I’ve poured my soul into it more than I have into a lot of things, and it’s broken my heart at times. But it rewards teamwork and sacrifice and doing things the right way, and it’s constantly challenging you to take life one pitch at a time, forgetting both past failures and successes and focusing only on what’s happening right now.
– Pets: When I said “family” earlier, I was talking about my animals too, but so important are they that they deserve special mention here. If people were half as good at forgiveness and unconditional love as dogs and cats, imagine how much better the world would be.
– Manual labor: My job keeps me chained to a desk a good portion of the time, which would be a real drag if I didn’t enjoy writing so much. But I also enjoy — though maybe not quite to the degree I once did — doing all manner of hard, physical tasks. My favorite one, probably, is mowing the lawn, which is roughly a two-hour proposition in the springtime; I just fire up the iPod and keep pushing the mower until the job is over. I also particularly like cutting and splitting firewood (except for the super knotty pieces). Up until about 10 years ago, I actually enjoyed bucking hay, but at this point I’ve decided I’ve had enough hay crumbs in my eyes, nose, ears and bellybutton to last a lifetime.
– All of you readers: I know there are some of you out there who read faithfully, some who do so every now and then, and possibly some who are checking out the old blog today for the first time ever. To all of you I extend my deepest thanks. Like I said before, even after 25 years in the news business, it’s always heartening to think that anyone actually cares enough about what I’m writing to pay attention to it. I really, really appreciate that you are reading.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.