Tomorrow has been designated a federal holiday — a day we are told that celebrates the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest. Although the date for Thanksgiving has changed, the proclamation declaring Thanksgiving Day a national event was made in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.

Life around the world has been entirely different this year. Health care workers are continuing to face their most difficult days. And with now more than 256,000 deaths in the United States alone, there is sadness.

My thoughts are with those who have suffered greatly both in the loss of loved ones and in dealing with the novel coronavirus. I learned on Sunday the editor of a small downstate newspaper is now fighting COVID-19. Prayers were sought and now have been shared for this individual.

Thanksgiving is different this year. There is no trip downstate to join our family around the table.

But I am grateful for family and for our daughter-in-law who is cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Today there will be a drop-off of take-out Thanksgiving dinners for family members who would normally gather around the table together. I am thankful that she is not only preparing the meal but for her thought of family.

This is certainly something to be grateful for. Yes, this year as no other there is so much to be thankful for.

How grateful I am for family. Each one is a source of great joy, especially during a pandemic. This year I am grateful for The Gardener, my husband of 56 years. He makes each day a joy.

He answers to a number of names: The Clockman, The Gardener and, on Mondays, The Proofreader (of this column). During a Zoom study group with a music teacher from Potsdam, there were greetings extended to The Gardener. Only this time “Mister” was added to his name.

The gentleman leading the study group remembered those who had been students of his a few years ago. How grateful I am, too, for our feline friend, Tigger, who makes each day such fun and endlessly entertaining.

How grateful I am for our entire family; our grown sons, Joel and Gregg; our daughter-in-law, Carmen; grandchildren Lindsay and Dylan; and extended family members. We live miles apart and with travel non-existent at the moment for the safety of each one, we are unable to hug and visit in the same room.

We are able to visit virtually. There are old school telephone calls, texting thoughts and sharing fun family photos and FaceTime visits. How grateful I am for virtual visits and for everyone at Mohawk Network who provide us with the services needed to see family as well as meet with neighbors and friends in Massena and Potsdam via Zoom.

During this pandemic, I have even met new friends in Bangladesh and India via Zoom and WhatsApp. Amazing! How grateful I am for new connections.

How grateful I am for the essential workers on the frontlines who are treating and caring for each one with COVID-19. It is these people who also are with those passing during this pandemic. How grateful I am for their presence and caring.

I am personally grateful for our local doctors, nurses and dentists who have treated us the past few months through virtual visits and in their offices. How grateful I am for janitors in each building now cleaning with new detailed guidelines to follow.

Each one takes care to make sure each visit is a safe one. And for that I am so thankful.

And I am grateful for the opportunities provided locally with online ordering and parking lot pickup services. We don’t even have to exit our car to have the groceries needed for the week.

I also am thankful for the care each store has provided to make trips to purchase needed items safe. Some also provide curbside pickup!

Hairdressers have made their salons safe with guidelines put into place for the safety of each client entering from the parking lot. I appreciate the efforts made by each one as they demonstrate their care and concern for their neighbors and friends. How grateful I am for caring north country neighbors.

Local churches have been amazing in their use of technology to provide everyone at home with the messages of hope needed at this time. There are YouTube services and Facebook postings.

Services are recorded by sound systems and cellphones! And now as in-person gatherings are occurring, ministers are adhering to guidelines and disinfecting to make sure each one entering is safe. Again, I am so grateful for each one.

I cannot share my gratitude without appreciation expressed for our mail carrier Nicole as well as our UPS and FedEx delivery people. How amazing they have been.

Yes, I have ordered online — day after day — multiple orders for items not found elsewhere. A hive of bees was delivered, cereal that had been out of stock in stores for weeks and printer cartridges.

Each time a stop is made, the delivery people are cheerful and always caring and so helpful. How grateful I am for each one who brings us the items that make our life so much better.

And how grateful I am for each one who takes our Subway order over the phone or takes an order at the speaker in the drive-through (I realize some days it is difficult to hear the order through a mask). How friendly and kind each one has been at Dunkin’ and Subway at Speedway Plaza and Tim Hortons drive-through, too.

Each gas attendant who has also been so cheerful wishing us a wonderful day through their masks. How thankful I am for their added effort to make our pick-up experience a good one. And on this day, I am extremely grateful we have a freezer filled with food for our table and a turkey for dinner tomorrow.

I listened as actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease, shared during an interview with Willie Geist some of the challenges he faces daily as he discussed the recent book he has written during the pandemic. “Every step is precious,” he said as he spoke about the task of walking to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.

Today, as I walk easily to get my coffee, I am grateful for easy steps and steady hands. There is always something to be grateful for.

I would hope you will look for new people and things in your life to be grateful for – not only tomorrow on a national day of thanksgiving but each day. Take a moment and write a note of thanks and express your gratitude.

My thanks, too, this week for editors Jerry Moore and Chris Brock who read and make sure this column reaches the printed page and online posting. And for each one involved in covering stories, printing the newspaper, obtaining ads for publications and especially our newspaper delivery man.

And special words of gratitude for each one who reads and shares their thoughts each week. How grateful I am for each of you.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“There is always, always something to be thankful for.”

— Anonymous

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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