The calendar tells us tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is a federal holiday set aside for national thanksgiving.

As I am sure anyone who has read this column even sporadically realizes, I believe gratitude is something we all should express on a daily basis. We should definitely never wait until a designated national holiday to share our thanks and gratitude.

There is something wonderful about this time of year though. Most people we meet, spend time with or encounter in stores are filled with gratitude more than any other time of the year. How wonderful!

There is so much to be grateful for this year. How grateful I am for our family. What joy each one brings.

I am so grateful for the gentleman most of you know by the name The Clockman or The Gardener. It is always such fun when I meet someone new and they ask about my husband referring to him by the titles I use in this column. (Yes, I have been instructed not to use his name. And since he is my in-house proofreader, that rule must be followed!)

Our entire family brings joy. Each of our family members — our sons, daughter-in-law, extended family, sisters, brother, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins — lives at some distance from our Bombay home.

I would ask that if you live near your family, be thankful. How wonderful it would be to enjoy coffee with family or perhaps a weekday dinner in person.

This year we are grateful for the internet, which has connected us. FaceTime sessions with our grandchildren are wonderful, providing us a face-to-face visit including their feline friend, Patches.

I am grateful, too, for the ability to text family no matter where they are in this amazing world. Telephone calls are always wonderful, and shared pictures (that I send to Walmart for printing) always make my day better.

I am also grateful for our feline friend, Tigger, who makes each day an interesting one. His love and devotion make our days so much better.

How grateful I am this year for doctors and scientists who have worked diligently to create needed COVID-19 vaccines in a timely manner so we can all enjoy life during this pandemic. And thanks as well for each health care worker who has made sure each of us receives our vaccines successfully and now our boosters.

How grateful I am for the woman at Kinney’s on Main Street who administered my booster recently. On a Sunday morning, there was no pain at all as she took time to make sure we were safe from COVID.

There are so many health care workers who have worked this past year to assist with the administration of vaccines: volunteer firefighters, nurses, doctors, essential workers and so many amazing volunteers. How grateful we are for each of you who have given so much of your time so others can live safely.

My thanks for our primary care physician and dentist (and hygienist, too) who have worked to make sure we maintain our good health through a very different and difficult time.

This year I am grateful for The Gardener for caring for and developing a wonderful garden. Our freezer is full, and for that I am most grateful.

The Gardener also cares for four hives of honey bees. I personally am grateful for their production of honey this year.

And there is thankfulness for those at First United Methodist Church (and so many others in the community) who prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for those not able to prepare this special meal or might not be able to be with family at this time. How caring and thoughtful each one is who takes their time to work to prepare meals for others.

My thanks, too, for those taking orders through drive-through windows. Each one is so friendly and helpful — which always means so much.

Each morning, there is gratitude for a new day. As I put my feet on the floor and walk to the kitchen to make my coffee (and feed our feline friend, Tigger!), how grateful I am that I am able to walk to the kitchen in a warm home with food and coffee in the cupboard ready to be consumed.

This week, I am grateful for a stop at Western Door for gas. As I listen to my sisters and friends who live in other states and areas outside the north country, I realize other communities have no gas attendants to make sure your tank is full and your windows are clean. I feel so fortunate that each place I stop for gas there is the friendliest, kindest individuals who make sure my car is ready to drive to Massena and home.

Sunday morning when I stopped, a familiar voice greeted me. Art McGee was there to welcome me and make sure my car was ready to make the needed trips this week. I have known Art since he was in the shoe department at Ames — now some years ago!

It is always good to be able to visit even briefly with this terrific gentleman. And as I took my receipt, Art said simply, “Be safe.”

How kind — what a thoughtful gentleman. How grateful I am to live in the north country where store clerks and gas attendants are so friendly and kind.

How grateful I am for the marvelous opportunity each week to share my thoughts with each of you through this column. I am so grateful to Massena Observer editor Pat McKeon who had a plan to provide coverage of each local community in the newspaper’s readership.

She assigned stories for me to cover, and I went following the editor’s orders. How grateful I am for each story covered for the information I gained and for the extraordinary people I have met through the printed page.

My thanks this week to editorial page editor Jerry Moore for making sure this column appears in print each week and can be read online as well. How grateful I am for his skilled assistance.

I am grateful for each reader — especially those readers I have been able to meet this year in person. How marvelous!

I am so thankful for those of you who read and share your thoughts through an email or a shared photo. I loved the photo this week of a Phil Sheehan Over Coffee mug near a coffee pot and a jar of Dunkin’ caramel!

There is so much to be grateful for this year. Maria Shriver wrote in her Sunday Paper, which I receive by email, that she wishes each one would see “through gratitude eyes.” I hope you will as well this week.

If you are able to read this printed page, be grateful for eyesight and the ability to read. I would ask that you be grateful not only on Thanksgiving but each day.

Take a moment and share your gratitude — say thank you to a neighbor, friend or family member. Or perhaps start a gratitude journal writing each thought of your appreciation for remembering.

May you each have a joy filled Thanksgiving this year.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”

— Henry Van Dyke

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