Graphic This And That

In a week, tables will be set and families will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Depending on your family this holiday gathering could fill you with abundant joy or agonizing pain. That being said, I’d like to believe many of us experience joyful holiday gatherings.

When I was younger, Thanksgiving really didn’t excite me too much. We’d get up in the morning, do our chores and then watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on the television before my parents loaded us – dressed in our fancy duds - up in the car to travel to grandpa and grandma’s house.

When the door opened to grandma’s house, the small of roasted turkey permeated the air. It smelled heavenly.

At grandma’s house there was no slackers. It meant learning to set the dinner table with grandma’s china dishes and silverware. It meant learning to fold a napkin properly and making certain all the stemware was filled with the age appropriate beverages. No wine for the kiddos just yet, grandma would holler from the kitchen.

As I’ve grown older, I think Thanksgiving means much more to me. It’s not the meal that consumes me anymore. It’s being grateful for the things money can buy is easy. Being grateful for the people in our lives can be a lot more difficult — especially when you don’t talk to them or even know their names.

Be thankful for the brave men and women who serve in law enforcement and with our local fire departments. They put in long hours doing a job that can be very thankless at times. They leave their family behind when duty calls – sometimes that comes during a holiday. Their sacrifices to our communities should not go unnoticed.

Give thanks for our city and county workers – especially those who are awake before the crack of dawn. Last year on Easter Sunday, we had a water break at the newspaper office. Luckily I had stopped at the office to pick up my computer to write my column, when I noticed the carpet near the bathroom was soaked. I was extremely thankful city workers took time out of their Easter celebrations to come turn the water off in our building.

Give thanks for our educators in our local schools and university. Many children are coming to school with heavy burdens – more weight than any child should have to bear. Yet, our educators do their best to provide a safe and stable environment to the children in our communities.

Let's be thankful to the volunteers in our community. Time is scarce in all lives, and volunteering in your local community does make a difference. Thanks to all the folks helping at the DAV community Thanksgiving dinner to make it a success this year as well as all the volunteers helping with Turkey Bingo this Friday night at Finley gym. Your talents will make the holidays a lot brighter for many folks.

Let's try to be thankful for our elected officials who are working to make positive changes in our communities. It truly is a thankless job. They have to gracefully handle conversations that are difficult and many times very uncomfortable. They are challenged to make decisions for the long-term best interest of the community, school district and county in mind.

Finally, let's be thankful for our neighbors and the many folks in our local workforce who I have not mentioned. They willingly give up their holidays to make yours much brighter and to keep you safe. Without them, our holiday celebrations would be rather dim.

Please know that all of readers will be in my thoughts this Thanksgiving. I truly wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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Just a reminder, if you haven't picked up your picture from our Veterans Section published on Thursday, Nov. 7, please stop by our office as soon as possible. We know these photos are precious, and we want to make certain they get back to their families.