When you have to write a column each week, suddenly, you’re always scouting for ideas. Could this be a column? Could that? How much trouble would such-and-such a topic get me in (No one likes hate mail)? Is it worth it?

I have a list of topics, ranging from seasonal happenings, to events and rainy day ideas. I have ideas for when I’m desperate and even then, sometimes I still ask others for ideas.

Some ideas don’t materialize because, well, I just don’t know how to incorporate them into something worth reading.

This is all a really long way of saying I’m thankful that Thanksgiving gives me something easy to write about. I have an abundance of thanks. I’m reminded constantly by little things, some of which I’m going to share.

Chance Meeting

The other day, when I returned from an assignment, there was a lady in my office. This is not unusual. I forgot her name. That’s not unusual either. Please don’t ever be offended if I forget your name, as I’m horrible with names (thanks, mom. . .). What I didn’t forget is the compliment she gave me.

She said something to the extent of “You don’t know me, but I love your column.” I went to introduce myself and thank her, when I recognized her last name — not only that, but the pronunciation of her last name. Something struck me. “I think our families are related,” I told her. Sure enough. Her husband was my maternal grandmother’s cousin, I think. I’m can’t be 100 percent sure because I didn’t write it down.

But she knew a lot about my family and I spent the remainder of the day thinking about several family members who are no longer with us.

I love when my grandparents come up in conversation.

Blue Skies

Each week, I visit the police department and city hall. Since the office is so close, I walk. The other day, I was walking and the sky was so blue. It was the color of blue paint on a brush when it’s dipped into a glass of clear water. It was crisp and clear and still — the kind of blue that I feel really comes alive during autumn. It sounds silly and feels silly typing that “the sky is blue.” But I thought back to a month I spent in China. That time remains one of the coolest of my life, but I’ll never forget the smog that hung in the sky where I stayed. It was continually. . . gray. I’m sure it’s probably not that way everywhere, but it’s true for my own experience.


This weekend, I attended many events, both personal and for work. I attended a birthday party and threw one of my own. I visited Immaculate Conception as Scouts unloaded hundreds of bags of food with thousands of items of food for our food pantries. I got to see a friend’s toddler go from being terrified of Santa to him being the man in the red suit’s BFF this year. I stopped by the Friendsgiving event, hosted by local people to benefit the No Kid Hungry charity. There, I saw youth and adults serving food and building community to help those in need. It was one of the youngster’s birthday, and she was serving desserts in an adorable birthday dress.

Counting Blessings

I try to count my blessings daily, but today I’m thankful for the little things.

I’m thankful for chance meetings and for being reminded of people I love. I’m thankful for clear blue skies and nature. I’m thankful for family and friends, birthdays, busy weekends, a caring and giving community and for youth who are being raised to care about others.

I’m thankful for too many things to name here and thankful I have the opportunity to share those stories with you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!