So much for which to be thankful

With Thanksgiving having passed, it was a good time to reflect on the past year’s reasons for showing our gratitude.

As a nation, we can be thankful for the freedoms we still have; for those serving in the military here and abroad; for those who work as first responders, law enforcement and rescue and fire department personnel; and for teachers, people in the health profession and for all the places we choose to worship.

Personally, I am thankful for my family; my health, even though it’s not perfect but I’m mobile (so far); laughter, love, nature, newborn babies and best friends.

One thing I have to be grateful for is that I finished 50 years of employment for the same newspaper before retiring at the end of May. But, as mentioned before, I am now freelancing for The Early Bird, another thing for which I have been thankful. I still consider myself retired (at least semi-retired) and can still stay on top of most of the news and do what I love doing, writing.

I will always cherish the cards, well wishes and emails I received from so many kind people at my retirement.

Other things that I am thankful for are music, road trips and a tank full of gas, comfort food, having a roof over our heads and life itself. I am even thankful for my mistakes, because I’ve learned from them. And, Lord knows I have made many, but to my defense, not intentionally.

I think it’s great when a certain song comes on just when you need to hear it and it’s nice when a dream comes true (except for the Queen of Hearts which never transpired for me anyway, and that’s okay). I’m even grateful for tears, because I know it’s okay to have emotions.

Sure, we had our losses this year: Uncle Jim and Harry, dad’s brothers, who died 7 1/2 months and 15 months, respectively, after dad’s passing…not to mention other family members and good friends.

But, we’re still fortunate to have our mother and a lot of other family members and friends among us.

All I can say now is that I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoyed that feast.

*****

Happy birthday:

Dec. 1 to Neil Schmidt, Tammy Shook, Karen Beam Crowell, Daisy Brim and Kim Dohme.

Dec. 2 to Norma Glunt, Jeremy Litten, Noe Hernandez and Bev Billenstein Stump.

Dec. 3 to Evelyn Riffell Sebring and Pat McMaken.

Dec. 4 to Jeff Stump, Margaret Baumgardner, Leigh Anna Miller, Randy Garrison, Mike Dohme and Nicole Woodworth.

Dec. 5 to Jim Hesson (55), Kolin Sanders, Eddie Kress, Eric Widener, Paul Schlechty, Brad Birt and Jeff Peters.

Dec. 6 to Deidre Cothran Stammen and Nathan Barga.

Dec. 7 to Zach Mann, Otis Mead, Bernadine Siekman, Sharon Warren, Jailyn Thwaits (17), Roger Riffell, Amy Johns and Judy Collins.

Dec. 8 to Patty Skillman Riegle, Nick McEowen, Abbie Worthen and Tina Hilderbrand.

Dec. 9 to Daryl Locke, Georgia Young, Jackie Oliver Kimmel, Tara Thomas and Andy Couchot.

Dec. 10 to Tony Steed, Deb Hunt Jones, Kiersten Schricker, Marlene McClurg and Ginger Siders.

Dec. 11 to Timothy Gibboney, Steve Gates, Katie Britsch Smith, Susan Hartrum, Ashlee Hetzler, Annette Livingston, Casey Bowman and Kenny Flatter.

Dec. 12 to David Harbison, Jim Kammer, Kari Leeper Bartram, Allen Aukerman, Randy Sanders, Jim Goubeaux, Virginia Rinderle, Ron Hines, Vivian Dapore, Randy Neal, Brooklyn Kaffenberger and Liz Skye Hufford.

Dec. 13 to Daryl Riffle (60), Becky Oliver, Aaron Byrd, Ralph Helmer Jr., twins Demi and Dani Hathaway, Jorden Price-Hart, Paul Wood and Dave Acton.

Happy belated birthday to Sandy Young (60) on Nov. 23.

Happy anniversary to: Mike and Elaine Stump on Dec. 2; Jim and Jane Henby on Dec. 3; and Larry and Karen Duncan and Vicky and Gary Henderson, all on Dec. 4.

Happy belated anniversary to Neil and Nancy (Durr) Isch (50) on Nov. 10.

*****

Please pray for these people: Tom Brumbaugh, Kent Clark, Shannon Peters Hall, Dawn Oldiges, Don Booker, Richard Yount, Tracy Pratt, Kara Pratt Harter, Brenda “Bill” Riffell, Shari Widener, Larry Francis, Jim Marker, Ron Moody, Mike Grillot, Cliff McCoy, Gary Reier, Phyllis Oliver, Roger McEowen, Pastor Joe Soley, Mason Osterloh, Marilyn Peterson, Irma Stewart, John “Jack” Henry and wife Marsha, Kyndal Wynk, Ron Kreitzer Stacy Dorko, Charlotte Metzcar, Bill Duncan, Keith Starks, Scott Clark, Steve Schafer, Kohen Thwaits, Jerrod Pratt, Lowell Elsass, Linda Johnston,  Glenna Curry, Jack Riegle, Al Bliss, Layna Best, Carmen Sanders, Wanda and Joe Bailey, Shelly Hoffman, David Magoto, Pappy Harshman, Bob Hiestand Jr., Tina Kiser Deaton, Kody Ketring, Bob and Sandy Finkbine, Lois Hittle, Kevin Hemmerich, Samantha Smith, Tim Heck and Ron Kramer as well as for all who are serving and defending our country, whether it be current soldiers, veterans or first responders.

*****

Jamie and I send our condolences to the families of Lon Grosch, Betty Zerby, Barbara Replogle Brown, Kenny Bolin, Bill Pierron, Tim Stauffer, Edna Sowers, James “Kearney” Pequignot, Edna Sowers and William McDaniel.

*****

Think about it: “Your life is like a puzzle, and only God knows what the end result will look like. Let Him put the pieces together.” — Unknown

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