A Season and Reason to Give Thanks

I started my professional writing career as a columnist for a suburban newspaper. Every week I tried my best to impart some tidbit of wisdom or humor to entertain the readers. Holidays were a time to focus on something special, and one of my favorites has always been Thanksgiving. Maybe because of all those Thanksgiving trips to West Virginia with my father that I wrote about here at Caleb and Linda Pirtle last year.

A version of that column appeared in the newspaper lo those many years ago, as did the following a few years later. This was the year I remember wondering if we don’t use the Thanksgiving holiday as an unconscious excuse not to be thankful the other 364 days of the year. Or at least not be aware of all the things we have to be thankful for. So I decided to make a concentrated effort to search my soul and come up with something to be thankful for every day. Here is the list I made that year:

I’m thankful for the cold weather that chills my bones and helps me to appreciate the heat of summer. (Next August you’re free to remind me I said this.)

I’m thankful for the puppy that comes in my office to chew on my toes and remind me there’s more to life than just work.

I’m thankful for mail delivery because I know it will draw me out of the house at least once a day.

I’m thankful for the kid who will bail me out and cook dinner when I’m working a deadline, even though he hasn’t cleaned his room for the past six months.

I’m even thankful for deadlines that loom like monsters and fill me with dread. They’ve been known to prod me into working when I don’t really feel like it, and they’ve saved me from cooking when I didn’t really feel like it.

I’m thankful for the buzz of the dryer that beckons to me periodically throughout my day, everyday. Did I really say that? Of course I did. At least it gives me a chance to unbend and stretch my legs when I’ve been sitting too long at my desk.

I’m thankful for the car I don’t always have. The days it’s mine, I can make important appointments and keep them. The days my daughter takes it to work, I find that some appointments aren’t all that important.

And I’m even thankful for the 4 p.m. onslaught, when everyone comes home from school and needs me right this minute. It helps me appreciate the peace and quiet of the rest of my day.

But most of all (here I’m going to serious-up folks) I’m thankful for the gift of life and living, family and loving, friendships and sharing, laughter, and all the little joys that dot my life.

One of those joys this year – 2012 – has been my association with Caleb and Linda Pirtle and Caleb Pirtle III and Stephen Woodfin, as well as all the other terrific writers and artists represented here. What a wonderful creative environment this is in which to hang out with friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday.

Maryann Miller is the author of The Seasons Series that debuted with Open Season. The second book, Stalking Season, releases this month. You can ask for it at your local library.


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