On Thanksgiving I spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that there are bountiful blessings and many sore and broken hearts in our community. Those of us fortunate to have happy, warm, loving homes should be thankful each and every day for the Lord’s blessings on us. Those of the community, who have lost jobs and loved ones or suffer from diseases which rob people of their dignity and their lives, can be thankful for people in this area who help minister to them, bringing food, words of advice, love and comfort.

For those people who receive blessings from offering their time, financial assistance, skills in medicine, nursing, baking, raking leaves, repairing homes, automobiles and other things that illness prevents others from doing for themselves, for those who minister to the sick and lonely in homes, hospitals, nursing homes and jails, there is a special place in Heaven for you…you know who you are.

To see the kind hearts and love shown in this county is a blessing in itself. I’m thankful every day that I don’t live in a cold, impersonal city with skyscrapers blocking out the sun and strangers who avoid looking at or smiling at one another on an elevator.

I’m thankful for the grass under my feet, even though it takes a lot of time and attention. I’m thankful for a husband who provides for us, children who make our lives worthwhile, and a granddaughter who is really grand. I’m thankful for good neighbors, family and friends who show their love and concern, no matter how long it’s been since we saw one another.

I’m thankful for the men and women in the military personnel who make it possible for us to enjoy living in this great country. I’m thankful for the firefighters and law enforcement who keep us safe, and the workers at the electric company who go out in the middle of wild, wet, windy weather so that the rest of us can have light and heat.  

We should all be thankful to the people who faithfully bring out mail to our homes and offices so that we don’t have to make a trip into town for our cards, letters and packages. I’m thankful for the people who bring my paper and the ones who work long hours to put that paper out every day.

I’m thankful for those of you who work for agencies that provide for others who are less fortunate, such as United Way. Without such organizations, Cullman County would be a place like others with a large homeless rate, higher crime, illness, illiteracy and unnecessary deaths. I’m thankful for hospice workers who, in spite of all the sorrow in their jobs, they continue to be a wonderful and caring presence at people’s end of life.

If you aren’t thankful for the men and women who stand on their feet with their arms in the air for long, long hours doing your hair, the way beauticians and barbers do — you should be!

I’m thankful for the ability to communicate with you, readers, who often stop what you are doing to call or write me a card letting me know that something I’ve written struck a cord with you. You have no idea how encouraging you are.

I’m thankful for old friends who know the punch line to all my corny jokes, and for new friends in Cullman County who have blessed me beyond measure and continue to bless me every day, and for those I haven’t met, that keep me intrigued with stories yet to be told.

I’m thankful for parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents who taught me life lessons I’m still reaping rewards from, although there were times when I’m sure they thought nothing sunk in. It did — it just took a while to surface.

I’m thankful for teachers like who think that it is just as important to instill manners, citizenship and morals, as it is to teach math, English, volleyball and history.  

I’m thankful to know a wonderful, diverse group of civic-minded people who are driven to make Cullman County the best place to live, work, play and raise children on the face of the earth.

I’m thankful for so many of you who work public jobs with little thanks. I know I’ve missed someone….but, this is my way of thanking you and wishing you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, and a wonderful, safe Christmas season.

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