A special Thanksgiving

Published 3:23 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving comes early this year. As I write this today (Tuesday before Thanksgiving) I am celebrating my birthday. It has begun with a joyful cup of coffee made with a beautiful setting.

Donna Sue set the table, so to speak, before she went to bed and I didn’t see it. Greeting me this morning was a huge, red word that must have been eighteen inches tall. It was plastic with white, sparkling lights and the word was “JOY.” It was a delight to see first thing in the morning on my birthday!

Just a few short weeks ago, made even shorter by all the work we have had to do, we were hit by Hurricane Michael. As bad as it was, and it was “tur-ble,” as War Eagle Charles Barkley would have said, we have returned to ground zero with much to be thankful for. Here’s a mention of some things for which I am thankful this week.

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For electricity. If we have grown accustomed to anything, it is that power that runs through the arteries and veins connected to all those poles we see. Except for a few who already had generators, we have all learned to appreciate electricity much more than we did.

Also thankful for those hundreds of pole-climbers and extra linemen who came in to help rebuild our infrastructure.

On the morning after Michael, we all awakened to a real mess; more trees down than we could ever have imagined. On my street, it took at least four hours to get to the main road. I don’t know how long it would have taken if it were not for the volunteers who simply “went to work” on clearing the street.

The extra power company workers came in and did yeoman’s work and they deserve our thanks, but at least they were getting paid. These volunteers came to our aid out of the goodness of their hearts. I’m thankful for your good hearts this morning.

I’ve grown more thankful, since Michael, for the pleasures that are ours because of modern conveniences that have become almost necessities. I’m talking about devices that we sometimes curse when they don’t work as we would like, but for which I am thankful as I take a longer view. Things like cell phones and Internet services.

I don’t know how many have thanked the Gilbert H. Gragg Library, but they were a lifeline to my favorite websites. The staff there was so friendly and a treasure for which I am thankful this morning.

I’m thankful that, in all of the devastation that happened to our physical properties, there were hardly any losses in lives. I know of a few families that suffered loss because of after-storm cleanup and infrastructure rebuilding. They deserve our prayers, but I am thankful that the grace of God was shown mightily in this area.

In my community, I am thankful for Morningside Baptist Church and their willingness to have their entire site upset for weeks as various helping agencies used their parking lot and other facilities. Thanks to Jimmy and all his flock.

There is way too much to be thankful for as we sit down to feast in a few days. After the storm has come and gone, our tables will look almost normal. They will be bountiful again with delicious foods and warm fellowship. I know the prayers before the meal will reference our many blessings.

A great Native American chief by the name of Tecumseh once said, “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.”

Amen and Happy Thanksgiving, friends.