It's a word most of us don't use nearly enough. Big and small, short-term and long-lasting, there are so many things to be thankful for. Most of us have far more blessings than we deserve.
Today is the traditional day when Americans give thanks for all that we have. I try to be thankful for my blessings all year long, but like most people I get in a rush and forget about many of the good things that make life so grand.
So it's nice to sit back today and contemplate some of the things I'm thankful for:
Memories and hope. As I get older I find myself spending more time rambling around in my past. Memory even has a way of grinding down the rough edges of not-so-pleasant events and wrapping them in a golden glow. That gives me hope that even the nastiest events won't stop the brighter days ahead.
Hot, steaming turkey, either fresh out of the oven or right out of the bubbling deep fryer. Fried turkey wasn't in my universe growing up in the Midwest, so now I'm trying to make up for lost time.
Tolerance. An appreciation for our differences. Huel Perkins, a dear friend who was assistant to the chancellor at Louisiana State University before he retired, explained it to me this way: Our Maker, whoever he or she is, could have made us all one color, one size, one height, one weight and have us practice the same religion. It didn't happen that way. The reason, I surmise, is so that we could become partners in completing our Creator's work on this earth.
Martinis. Convertibles. Cigars. Big, fat Sunday newspapers full of interesting things to read.
Fresh vegetables from the backyard garden or roadside stand. Greasy hamburgers. Cheese toast on crusty French bread. Mally's bagels, especially their salt bagels.
Olympic athletes, who continue to astound, amaze and inspire me.
Hot, sunny summer Sunday afternoons and cool, crisp, clear winter nights.
Columns by Anna Quindlen, Ellen Goodman, Leonard Pitts, Dave Barry and Bill Kirby. Books by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Sax Rohmer and Eric Ambler.
The talented people I work with, who amaze and delight me every day.
Music, especially jazz, classical and Cajun.
Softball. After nearly 50 years of playing, it's still fun. For little boys who don't want to grow up, there might not be anything better. Especially this year, when our church team went 22-9.
Pat, Mike, Mary Ellen, Nicole and Joe, who sustain me.
The Sopranos, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, CSI and 24.
Newspaper readers, people who care enough about their community to be involved and want to know what's going on around them.
People who care enough about Augusta to dream big dreams about what we could become and then work to make those dreams reality.
Augusta Opera at St. Paul's. I can't imagine a holiday season without this treat.
The promise of tomorrow.
Dennis Sodomka is executive editor of The Augusta Chronicle.