2017-11-22 / Editorials

Don Lively

MANY, MANY THANKS

This one will be easy.

Folks who write columns, like this one, whether weekly or daily, appreciate when there are built-in topic ideas. Coming up with new subjects week after week is not easy so made-to-order themes are a welcome respite from the brain-wracking that my extremely limited gray matter requires to maintain my weekly scribblings.

Thanksgiving week is one of those naturally customized events that are perfect for writing about if the writer does indeed have plenty to be thankful for.

I do.

For me, being thankful begins and ends with family.

Now before somebody reminds me that it should all begin and end with God, here's the deal.

I might not even know God if I hadn't been born into the family that I was.

Mama and Grandma Julia and Grandma Freddie and Aunt Clara and two Aunt Margies and two Aunt Alices and, frankly, most of the older women in my family made sure that I was taught about the Lord from the time I first toddled.

Daddy taught me how to get up and go to work and he and Uncle Hayward and Uncle Keely taught me how to hunt and fish. Uncle Van taught me how to tell clean jokes. Uncle Lewis taught me how to pitch a softball. Uncle Lee threw endless footballs for me to catch. These days Cousin Jimmie patiently takes my silly little songs and helps me put melodies with the words.

My children and grandkids and siblings and dozens of cousins and my one wife keep my life interesting and gives me plenty to write about.

There are way too many of them for me to list but suffice to say, I am thankful for each and every crazy-as-a-bedbug kinperson.

I'm thankful for work.

Daddy had a work ethic that he expected his offspring to live up to. I've been blessed to have been gainfully employed and making my own way for my entire adult life. I've never had a job that I despised even though I've had close to twenty employers counting part time gigs. I've only been laid off of one job in my life and that led to finding the job that I now hold within minutes, literally, of getting the fateful phone call. And since I absolutely love my current position, that single pink slip on my resume turned out to be the proverbial blessing in disguise.

I'm very thankful to be working with great folks that I like in a job that I enjoy in a city that I love.

I'm very thankful for that city.

I lived away from here for over thirty years and wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to move back and become a repatriated Southerner after living Out West longer than I'd lived here. I'd always heard that small towns were not welcoming of folks who left to seek their fortunes elsewhere and who return years later seeking something more important than fortune.

I heard wrong.

Even though many changes came while I was away, the most important things didn't change much. Most of the people in our neck of the woods are friendly and hardworking. There are glaring exceptions but most folks try to simply get along with their neighbors and acquaintances. Most everybody takes pride in the way our city works and the way it's growing and changing, for the better.

I'm thankful that this little Blessed South burg that I call my hometown did indeed welcome me back.

I'm thankful for the lady who walked up to me in town this afternoon and told me that her mother loves reading my books.

I'm thankful for folks like the Mr. Hamilton, a fellow that I've never met, who emailed me after reading an old column that reminded him of his musical roots right here in our area.

I'm thankful for my friend, Jim, over ninety years young, who calls me when he reads something that he wants to discuss further. He'll let me know when I get something right, and when I get it wrong. He's that kind of friend.

I'm thankful that I've gotten to spend the last decade telling stories about you and about me and I'm thankful that you still seem to enjoy them.

Yes, I'm thankful to Him for all of these blessings, and many more.

Friends and kin all around the world, Happy Thanksgiving.

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