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In the daily maelstrom of our lives, we take much for granted.  We can’t help it.  To function, we have to focus our attention on one thing after another, mundane things like driving without running into things, and more meaningful things like interpersonal relationships.  Actually, perhaps that’s too severe an analysis.  I’ve no doubt of a great many things, and it’s simply not necessary to think of them, to give thanks for them, every day.

On this scruffy little blog, I often write about what’s wrong. I don’t do that because I’m an inherently pessimistic person; quite the opposite.  However, I know human nature perhaps better than the average bear, and that does make me a bit cynical.  As Lily Tomlin so wisely put it:

No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.

I do hope, by shining light on various subjects, to encourage people to do the right thing, maybe to help them see things they might want to know about, and might care about.  I even hope to help others see things in ways they might not have considered.  To whatever degree I’m successful in that, I leave it to you, gentle readers, to judge.

Also, I’m a writer, so I’m compelled to write.  It’s part of what I am.

So for this Thanksgiving, I present a brief list of the things for which I am thankful.  I will surely fail to recall some, omit others in the interest of not boring you to tears, and there are always things best left unsaid, but these are on my mind this Thanksgiving Eve.

I’m thankful for:

*Mrs. Manor, who on December 2, will have tolerated and loved me for 40 years, years she has made the best of my life.  I tell her how much I love her every day; it will never be enough.

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*The everyday miracles the Father provides in such profusion.

*The Lord, who has saved my pathetic rear end on more than one occasion.

*Each new day, regardless of old and new aches, pains and annoyances.

*Being born in the United States of America, where everyone so born begins life having won the lottery.

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*The opportunity to influence children, to give them the chance to become more than they are.

*The chance to read and grade their work, even research papers, which on a yearly basis, make me fear for the future of western civilization. They’ll figure it out when they go to college, and they’ll remember their old English teacher, hopefully, kindly.

*The opportunity to treat everyone with sincerity and kindness, no matter how hard that might be.

*As Teddy Roosevelt said, “the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.”

Me directing the Gillette Chamber Singers, a choir I co-founded more than three decades ago, June, 2017.

*The gift of music, and the opportunity to use it to inspire others, to bring a smile to their faces, and joy to their hearts.

*The opportunity to live as God wants me to live.

*The opportunity to meet those that need to meet me, and to meet the people I need to meet.

*The Internet, which has given me friends I may never meet in person (I’m talking bout you, Bookworm).  I’m not grateful, by the way, for pop up ads.

*My old friends, who, as Harry Chapin put it (paraphrased): know where I’ve been.

*Family, who love me regardless.

*The lives I’ve been in the right place at the right time to save.

*The women and men who have written a check for an amount up to and including their lives, and who, serving our military, will not be home for Thanksgiving this year.

*The sacrifice of countless American men and women who placed the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of liberty, that each new American will always win the lottery.

*Those politicians, police officers, and all governmental employees, including President Trump, who take seriously their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.

*All of those patriots who expose those that don’t, regardless of the cost.

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*The fact that God put extraordinary men–and women–in the colonies at the right time to found America.  I’ve never thought that a coincidence.

*The Constitution, which makes America different, in all of human history, and which can hold us together.

*All the pets I’ve loved, who lived such short lives, and who didn’t care about my too many failings.

*All my friends, who know my failings, and care about me anyway.

*My teaching colleagues, whose dedication always inspires me.

*Free will.

*You, gentle readers, who take the time from your busy days to read this scruffy little blog, to catch my mistakes, and to so intelligently and politely comment.

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A wonderful and restful Thanksgiving to all; may we all meet here again next year, and may the Lord bless and keep you.