For These Things, I’m Thankful

Making a “thankful list” this time of year is not a new idea for newspaper columnists or anyone else, but that shouldn’t keep us from doing it. Counting my blessings is a surefire way to change my attitude from grumpy, which I tend to be during these weeks when daylight is in such short supply, to grateful. So here goes. I’m thankful for:

  • Hearing aids. I’ve worn them for only a week, but so far, so good. I’m hearing sounds I’d forgotten about. Clocks ticking. Coffee brewing. My feet walking across the floor. The jangle of car keys as I paw around for them in the bottom of my purse. Even better is not having to jockey for a front row seat at places where I need to hear. And I don’t have to ask friends and family to repeat themselves over and over again.
  • November sunsets
  • Individuals and organizations working to help the hungry and unhoused folks in our community
  • Individuals and organizations working to return lost pets to their owners and helping to find forever homes for animals who don’t have one
  • Word games that challenge my brain and provide a whole lot of fun: NYT Wordle and Connections online, Jumble in this newspaper
  • A 2023 World Series victory for the Texas Rangers, who’d played in the Series twice before but had never won it. My cousin Nancy and my friend Donny, both of whom are nearing or have already passed their ninetieth birthdays and have been Rangers fans since the get-go, are thrilled beyond words with their team’s victory.
  • Honest repair shops that help keep my car running smoothly
  • Cookeville Children’s Theatre’s recent outstanding production of “Cinderella”
  • The Putnam County Library for a million different reasons, but especially for making Libby and Hoopla available so that anyone with a library card can borrow e-books and audiobooks for free
  • Pansies and pumpkins
  • Trees whose red and orange and yellow and gold dazzled us in October and November
  • Neighbors who pull out all the stops when decorating for Halloween and then turn around and do it again for Christmas
  • Sandhill cranes returning to their winter home at the Hiwassee Refuge
  • News I trust from the New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio
  • The generous and exemplary life of Rosalynn Carter. Jimmy, too.
  • Drivers who use their turn signals and don’t run stoplights
  • The moon. Always the moon.
  • Every show Ken Burns has ever created, most recently “The American Buffalo”
  • Grandchildren who love to read
  • Friends and kinfolk who’ve passed along their stash of atomic fireballs, assuring me I need them more than they do. Last I checked, amazon is asking as much as 25 dollars a pound. I’m resisting.

Though Thanksgiving is already in the rear view mirror, it’s never too late to make a grateful list of your own. It’s one good way not to feel grumpy, even when darkness seems to go on and on and on.

(November 25, 2023)