There’s just something about the dry crunchy leaves and the cool weather that brings back memories of Thanksgivings past. When my children and their cousins were small and quite noisy, my mother would shoo them out of the kitchen with various assignments related to the particular holiday. They might be instructed to write an original play, for instance, and even design the costumes.

A simple request that they were often given was to take the word THANKSGIVING and come up with a word for each letter of something they were especially thankful for. After her death, we continued that tradition except that we’d go around the table and verbally share our blessings. So to honor Margie and the tradition she started with her grandchildren, I’m going to give it a shot this morning, and I’m hoping some other folks will follow suit. That’d make my sweet mama happy…and her daughter too.

T-Teachers. I’m not saying that because I’m a teacher. I’m saying it because without them, I wouldn’t be able to read, write, add, or subtract. Nor would I know how to use Excel, a big plus in my job. Specifically, I’m thinking of Mrs. Lindsay who taught me the importance of pronoun agreement.

H-Hearts. I’m thankful for our literal hearts that keep on ticking month after month, year after year, whether we’re awake or asleep. Throbbing and pumping blood, they keep us going. I’ve also started thinking more about how the heart is the core of so much feeling and emotion. Consider the terms heartache, heartsore, a full heart, a happy heart, a heavy heart, and so forth. This morning, my heart is singing with joy and anticipation of days to come and memories of days of yore.

A-Ants. Yes, I know that’s a little weird, and I started to put America, but I decided to leave that to someone else. Although ants are pesky little creatures, and we have about a jillion of the itty-bitty black ones in and around our home from time to time, they impress me because of their organization and industriousness.

N-November. Beautiful month.  Special one too. My parents were married in November, and I’m pretty sure I was conceived on their honeymoon since I was born nine months later. To add to the enjoyment of the month, two of my three children were born in November…towards the middle of the month when trees are still ablaze with yellow, orange, and scarlet.

K-Kisses. Especially wet, slobbery ones from my grandchildren. I even like the ones they blow. When my daughters and I end our phone conversations, we usually end with “I love you. Kiss, kiss,” something we picked up from my mother. Oh, and of course there are the romantic kisses. I once read that some kisses are like commas, some like periods, and some like exclamation points. Which do you like best?

S-Soap. And all things related like suds and shampoo and scents. Aren’t we fortunate to have the luxury of warm, soapy baths and showers, a treat not experienced by much of the world?

G-Grandchildren. Their little bodies and personalities are all so unique, yet all are reminders that our family will go forward in the future…and not just our family, but the family of humankind.

I-Internet. When I think of all the information I have at my fingertips and the lightening speed with which I can communicate with others, I’m awed. My daughter Carrie can post pictures and videos of her children a state away, and I can look at them a few seconds later.  My most recent favorite is of little Emma praying, arms crossed and eyes closed shut.

V-Verve and vivacity, qualities I enjoy seeing in others. They’re contagious.

I-Ilk. Crazy choice, but it’s a good word, one that reminds me that words are so powerful and fun, especially words like ilk, jettison, and fortuitous.

N-New Shoes. That might seem a little materialistic, but that’s how I feel. My grandmother Clyburn LOVED shoes (or so I’m told), so I’m wondering if this is a DNA thing. Seriously, the type, style, color, fabric, and design of shoes are amazing. You almost need a Ph.D. in Shoeology to select a pair of athletic shoes.

G-Gratitude and grateful hears. I sincerely think our Heavenly Father is saddened when we forget the source of all of our bounteous blessings, and I’m grateful that President Lincoln set aside this day to remind us of His beneficence.

A few years ago as we took turns stating at least one thing we were thankful for, Paul summed it up for everyone there when he said, “Everything.” Amen, Bud. Even the bad stuff can teach us something.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Let’s see your list…or at least a couple of things you’re grateful for.

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