Much to be thankful for

Abbi Overfelt Life goes on

November 27, 2013

This edition filled with pilgrims and Indians, kids sharing what Thanksgiving means to them and adults cooking up some holiday cheer came together with little effort. I probably shouldn’t say that, but stories of the county’s most generous and tales contributed by others came knocking on our door.

It seems people are really eager to share what they are thankful for — and I knew that not throwing my thoughts in the mix might be misconstrued as ungrateful.

Truthfully, I wondered where I should begin.

There was the obvious — food, clothing and shelter, and the love of friends and family. But there’s the problem: These things I find obvious, normal, things that have always been there, are not or have not been there for many.

On this day more than any other, the obvious things are what we should cherish most. The aunt, who depending on your age might still pinch your cheeks; the uncle who has one too many and tells stories of his college days that make your grandmother blush; the screaming children running around your feet.

If you have to deal with any of the above, you should consider yourself lucky. If you find yourself surrounded by loved ones on Thanksgiving day, you have more than many who will spend this day on the streets, at a shelter, or eating a meal under the roof of a community building or friendly stranger — but that doesn’t mean you are any more or less happy. Everyone has a reason to be grateful, rather it be for an experience, a life that has touched theirs, or for a roof over their head and food in their belly.

On this day, I am thankful for the laundry; for the leaves in my garden; for the mud on the tires of my car; for the dirty paw prints of loving pets and for the peanut butter on my daughter’s face — for it means I have clothing, beauty, transportation, protection and love.

I am thankful for the bad, because without it, I wouldn’t recognize the good.

I am grateful for the love of parents that you can only understand after becoming a parent yourself. I am blessed to have a grandmother who, at her 90th birthday party, can pick up my daughter and dance to Elvis music.

Truthfully, it would be easier to list the things I’m not thankful for.

But now that I think about it, none come to mind.