This is the time of year when social media seems to blow up with folks going on and on about what they are thankful for. You see a lot of people being thankful for material things and such and thankful that the Houston Astros won the World Series. One guy I know posted on Facebook about how he was thankful for the inventions of the kegerator, microwave popcorn and silicone breast implants. While I don’t doubt his sincerity for a single moment, I think he might have taken a moment and give his thankfulness a bit more thought. I’m thankful for a lot of goofy things, as well, I just keep it to myself.
We shouldn’t only take the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to remind ourselves and those around us of what we are thankful for. We should be aware of everything that makes us thankful throughout the whole year and, additionally, show our gratitude. I think the showing of gratitude is what gets overlooked most of the time. We’re all too busy to return the favor, so to speak. We’re thankful for things that benefit us and occasionally lose track that we might have to be the ones responsible for someone’s benefit. It’s moments like this that we have to remind ourselves that thankfulness goes both ways and someone just might be thankful for us and what we do as much as we are thankful for them.
This year, I am most thankful for family. We have had a few ups and downs this year, but it’s been a good year. I am thankful that my family has been fortunate enough to reap the benefits of hard work and perseverance. As mentioned in a previous column, our family is growing with the addition of a second grandson. Our older daughter is happily married and doing well, which we are thankful for. She has deserved a good family of her own and a nice home and it makes us feel good to see that she is well on her way. Our younger daughter is finishing high school this year and is on her way to college next year. Her accomplishments far outweigh those of my wife and me and we are incredibly proud.
I am thankful that, in our little corner of the world, life is good. It is largely peaceful and quiet and away from the tumult of some parts of our country. I am thankful that we can sit in our lawn chairs on a weekend afternoon and hear the occasional car pass our house. I am thankful that the home my wife and I have worked hard to make is a home of love, acceptance and forgiveness.
Before you think this is going to get all sappy, don’t get ahead of yourself. You’re probably thinking that this columnist is going to sneak in that one funny line at the top of the column and let it be.
Well, I am thankful that you are wrong. Dead wrong.
I am thankful for a lot of little trivial things as well. I am thankful for Krispy Kreme donuts, bacon cheeseburgers, cheap domestic beer, not-so-cheap Irish whiskey, Netflix, my wife’s barbecue chicken sliders, bad 80s cop shows on DVD and the fact I don’t have to travel on Turkey Day. I am thankful that I can watch the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving morning in my flannel pajama pants and Baltimore Orioles T-shirt, with the cat on my lap and a cup of coffee. I am also thankful for my wife who finds that sweet spot with the television antenna so the parade broadcast is tolerable. I can never get the antenna just right and wind up watching the first 10 minutes as a pixelated mess punctuated by my extreme profanity.
Finally, I am thankful for you, the readers of this column. Even you, the guy who posts on Facebook that you hate me, my writing, the newspaper and everything I stand for. You may not like me, but you keep reading. Someday, you just might read something you like. You might not. Either way, I am thankful for you. Those of you who continue to contact the paper and tell them you enjoy the column, I am especially thankful. You are the reason I keep writing the column. As I often say, as long as you read the column, I will keep writing it. I am also thankful for the continual presence of print journalism in this country. It still thrives, contrary to what you may have heard. It’s because of you, the readers, that keep us going.
I am contractually obligated to thank the editors, as well. If I am not thankful for them, my column just might wind up on that one page of the paper no one reads. You know, down at the bottom with the bridge column and the advertisement for vinyl siding for $99.95. There will still be someone reading it, though. It will probably be that guy who doesn’t like me.
Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.