Archive for Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Making a ‘thank list’

November 25, 2009

Recently a friend was grousing about the fact Christmas observance seems to start earlier every year.

“I can’t believe it, but radio stations started playing Christmas carols the day after Halloween,” he complained. “Stores begin pushing Christmas sales as soon as the back-to-school rush is over, usually just after Labor Day. It seems that Christmas starts earlier every year.”

I pointed out retailers depend on Christmas sales each year and with the economy being bad, I could understand the earlier start. That, however, didn’t placate him.

“Thanksgiving is a forgotten holiday,” he continued. “I don’t think anyone is thankful for anything anymore. Maybe it’s because of the economy and all of the dangers we face.”

I pointed out the observance of Thanksgiving had started during difficult times. Certainly, the Pilgrims were struggling to survive when they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. The U.S. observance of a day of thanks was initiated in 1863 by President Lincoln. If you recall, that was during the Civil War, which was the most dangerous time in our history. It seems to me that the idea was to give thanks for surviving tough times and to find hope for the future.

This got me thinking about Thanksgiving so I decided to make a list of what I am thankful for and, hopefully, others will join me in jotting down their own “thank list.”

First, I am thankful to have lived more than seven decades and to be blessed with good health. I am thankful I live in an era when medicine can improve our quality of life and allow us to be active, useful and productive citizens for many, many years.

I have had a wonderful life. I spent nearly 50 years in the newspaper business, which I still love. I never hated going to work and I am thankful that I had a challenging career. My biggest blessing has been a wonderful family. I have a great marriage. Jean and I had three outstanding daughters. They are all college graduates and happily married.

That cycle continues, and we have seven grandchildren and they are all big sports fans. One of the benefits of getting older is having grandchildren, and I take special pleasure in attending their events and activities.

I’ve said this before, but three of the blessings of getting older are grandchildren, retirement and Medicare.

I’m thankful I’m able to contribute to charities. As the old saying goes, it is better to give than to receive.

I am a sports fan, and I really appreciate that I live in a time when there are lots of sports available on television. I still enjoy attending games, however, so I am glad that we have the Royals and Chiefs in the metro area, and I have the choice of going or staying home and watching on TV.

I am thankful for good food. Well, actually, I’m thankful for food in general and particularly potatoes, pot roast, broccoli and cookies.

I am particularity thankful that three decades ago my wife talked me into looking at the Bonner Springs-Basehor newspapers. I have come to love this community, and this is my home. I have also said this before, I am a Bonner resident by choice, not birth, and I love to extol the virtues of this community.

I’m proud to be an American and live in the best and free country the world has ever known. I’m thankful that immigrants from England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland had the courage and were able to come to the new world and I will always be amazed that they made it to Kansas and formed my family.

I could go on and on, there is so much to be thankful for and I really hope you’ll take a few moments to think about the real meaning of Thanksgiving. Please have a safe and wonderful holiday.

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