Please read this...Before you take a Thanksgiving nap...
As often happens for your scribe, one thing often leads to another. Such is the case in a lot of situations.
And so it goes for this week's colyum. Instead of getting what I thought you were going to get, you're going to get something else, altogether.
Blame it on a walk I took on a brisk, but sunny, Thursday morning in November. The walk was at the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in Jonesboro. As you may recall, I've been paying frequent visits to this little gem of an area quite often during 2017. Stay tuned. More on that to come, as the year comes to an end.
The black and white photograph which accompanies this week's colyum simply does not do justice to the images which unfolded in front of me as I went for that walk.
Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that what I saw at the picnic grounds would be just one of the many things I am thankful for. We'll state the obvious here, but this week is all about giving thanks.
Over the years, yours truly has gotten a little bit mushy when it came to a colyum for Thanksgiving week. Humor me, if you will, with another round of such things.
Indeed, I am thankful for the amazing beauty which surrounds us here in Union County and Southern Illinois. I've lived in a lot of places, and visited a lot of places, around the world (well, maybe just halfway around the world), and our little corner of the planet is about as good as it gets.
I am still thankful to be able to go for a walk in the woods and, maybe, just maybe, find a trilobite fossil. Doesn't happen all the time. Doesn't happen very often, to tell you the truth. When it does happen, it's like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
I am thankful to have the opportunity to cook a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends – and friends who are family. At this point in our lives, The Other Half and yours are truly blessed. We can have a turkey. And dressing. And cranberries (real cranberries, folks, not that round stuff out of a can). And green beans out of the summer garden. And, maybe, some blueberries grown right here in Union County. And pumpkin pie. And whipping cream (the kind that comes out of a can).
I am thankful to live in a community where people care for their friends and neighbors, and even for complete strangers who may need some help at times.
I am thankful to spend Monday through Friday with a great group of folks who work hard to make sure you get to see this paper every week.
I am thankful for all of the folks who read our paper, and this colyum. For those of you who share your thoughts about the colyum, please know that your kind words mean more to me than any award which I could receive.
Most of all, I am thankful for The Other Half. She's always there for me, no matter how grumpy and cranky yours truly can get. No matter how crazy our schedule might be. She holds my hand, and assures me that everything will be all right. And it is.
As we take time to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have lots to be thankful for, too. Most of all, I hope you get to spend this special time of year with family, friends and all of those who matter the most to you. Happy Thanksgiving.