Thanksgiving calls for counting blessings


Patsy Pridgen


Life Columnist

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it’s time for my annual list, both profound and trivial, of what I’m thankful for this year.

Let me begin by saying I realize I am blessed simply because I have enough to eat, a healthy family and a roof over my head. I truly believe I live in the greatest country in the world, where any time I don’t like what’s going on I am free to speak my piece. Having gotten the big stuff out of the way, here are a few other things I’m thankful for.

No more political pitches. I love the excitement of campaigns and was happy to see the enthusiasm for this year’s midterm elections. But I’m relieved not to have to listen to any more negative political ads on television, and I’m thankful the robocalls for candidates have quit filling up my answering machine.

Retirement. A friend of mine once said, “Many things in life are overrated. Retirement isn’t one of them.” I’m thankful I reached the end of my teaching career with enough life left in me to enjoy interests and activities I didn’t have time for when I worked. It’s been nice to slow down and enjoy that second cup of coffee in the morning while planning what I want to do each day.

Escaping the full force of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Others in our state weren’t so fortunate, but Rocky Mount and the surrounding areas were spared severe flooding and wind damage. Though my daughter’s new house in Charlotte was badly damaged by Hurricane Michael, she’d planned to renovate anyway. In her case, I’m thankful for homeowners’ insurance.

The example of grandchildren. I’d decided to skip opening the door on Halloween night this year until my grandchildren wanted to trick or treat in my neighborhood. I bought candy, turned on the lights and enjoyed hordes of trick or treaters. My 7-year-old grandson liked handing out candy better than going door-to-door himself and took over for me the last half hour. I was thankful for his example that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.

The end of the college football season. It’s been a tough year to be a fan of the East Carolina University Pirates. I’m thankful the last home football game has been played. I’d be even more thankful if someone at the university could figure out what to do to fix a once-proud program that’s fallen on hard times.

The changing of the seasons. I’m thankful to live in an area of the country where we have four distinct seasons. I love each one. Right now, I’m enjoying brisker temperatures while watching the leaves change color. I’m looking forward to winter coats and boots and possibly snow. Having four seasons gives me the opportunity to vary wardrobes, activities and even food. It’s now time for hearty soups and stews.

“Wouldn’t it be fun to win the lottery?” my daughters have asked on more than one occasion. “We already have,” I always reply as I count my many blessings.

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