Thanksgiving Eve

The table is set, the house is clean, the turkey is washed and ready for a 5 a.m. appointment with the oven.

In a few hours nearly two dozen family members and friends will gather at my home. We will feast. Stories will be told and re-told, football will be watched, naps will be taken. It will be an embarrassment of riches.

Like most American families, we have much to be thankful for.

And like most American families, we take far too many of our blessings for granted.

Aside from the normal aches and pains we are healthy, something I often take for granted but should not. I am reminded of my friend Dan, who recently made the difficult decision to forgo any more treatment for his cancer and accept Hospice care. I’m thankful for today’s health. Tomorrow, of course, is promised to no one.

I am employed. Freelance writers, I’ve always heard, are always one assignment away from unemployment. There is some truth in this. During the past year I have watched as several colleagues learned the hard way that in the current employment climate the editorial business is anything but certain. I still have the pleasure of working with a strong newspaper and other markets.  I’m thankful for my readers, for the work and for the good people I work with.

My twins, a month shy of their 20th birthday, are launched into successful college careers. I’m thankful they have that opportunity and are making the most of it.

My marriage is sound, solid and happy. Katy, my wife of 27 years, is a wonder; a gift from God. Every happiness in our home and success in my life springs from my marriage. Thankful? I’m beyond thankful.

We have a friend whose son is in the Army. He is currently in the United States but has been to Afghanistan and will probably return. What these men and women in uniform do is beyond me. My thoughts on the war are as complicated as the war itself but I’m thankful for each member of our military. When you gather at your table tomorrow remember them.

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