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Thankful: Every. Single. Day

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

Thursday as you gather with family and friends, or eat your Stouffer's frozen dinner in front of a football game, what will you give thanks for?

If you're like many Americans, the phrases around your table will be standard, like "thankful for those who are here," "thankful for our country . . . our health . . . our jobs . . . the food."

You understand. It's what we do, what we say. It's who we are.

And while I am thankful for all those things, too, I am also thankful for the little things – and the not-so-little things.

It's been my custom for more than 20 years now to write about that for which I am thankful.

I remember one of the first times I did it, I was thankful for hazelnut creamer, a curling iron and self-stick stamps. I still am.

And so this Thanksgiving 2018, I share with you the things – and the people – I am grateful for.

No lie, it's been a rough year at Ten Broeck Manor, as Tom marked the third year of unemployment due to his chronic back problems. I wish I could tell you that he is better, but he is not. Every day is a struggle as the pain intensifies and tries to quash his spirit.

It has not, and so I am thankful that he gets up every morning, walks the dog and tries to help around the house while I'm out earning the bacon – and more often than not – frying it up in a pan.

I am thankful that despite the loss of his income, we have managed to tighten our belts and continue to have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. And occasionally we even splurge on something unnecessary because life is more than just paying the power bill.

The exotic travel that we once did this time every year has halted but I am thankful for the memories of our many adventures as we explored new territories both at home and abroad.

I am thankful for the people who still inquire about him and offer prayers. The fact that you care enough to ask means everything.

I am thankful for the new life that came into my world when Scout was born in August. Three granddaughters in three years. Those are real blessings.

And I am thankful for a daughter who understands her mother's work schedule and arranges for those granddaughters to Facetime with Gram so they will know her. You haven't lived until you've cooed via telephone 15 minutes at a three-month-old baby telling her repeatedly how beautiful she is.

By the same token, I am thankful for a son who calls me every single Thursday on his commute home. It is the one time we devote totally to each other as we discuss work, TV, food, politics, sports and of course, his daughter, Andi. Spencer is a good son, and coincidentally, he was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 1990. Another big reason to be thankful.

I am thankful for people who make my workload easier: Chris, Sean, Gina. This year I am especially thankful for Dylan who devoted himself to me and the Chamber of Commerce as we moved it from the City Hall Annex to the new City Hall. I couldn't have done it without him. He did the grunt work while I ordered him around. Besides that, he's fun company. He always makes me laugh.

I am thankful for Michelle Traylor and Rowena Thomas, who keep reminding me that there are good people in the world. I know this because they are two of the best.

I am thankful for Crystal Curl who, along with Karen Otero, helped me bring the largest Peanut Festival ever to Williston. The Peanut Festival is a six-month production that culminates seemingly overnight. I couldn't have done it without them.

I am thankful for Susan Travis, proofreader extraordinaire and wonderful friend now for over eight years. Susan has an uncanny knack for knowing when I need lifted up and she does so by a random hilarious card or a meme texted to me.

I am thankful for: Pop Tarts, coffee, curly hair, Poshmark, GAP, sweet tea, my Kindle, free book downloads, audiobooks for my seven hour Georgia journeys, DVRs, old movies, yoga pants, flip flops, contact lenses, in-laws, popcorn, cheese, my Water Pik (I need it after the popcorn), Dobby, my coupon friends who keep me up to date with the best sales, my family, my health, my jobs.

I could write page after page of my blessings, for they are many, too many to list here. Most of you know what you mean to me, because I tell you, but if I've been neglectful in saying "thank you" please accept this as my appreciation.

From the mechanic who keeps me on the road to the business owner who sent flowers when I won a state award, you've each brightened a day, evoked a smile, created a memory.

May your Thanksgiving Day and weekend be filled with more joy than your heart can hold.