This year I’m thankful for… | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | November 26, 2016 5:00 pm

Last Updated: November 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

Thanksgiving is almost here, which means you’re probably already cooking. We changed things up this year: My husband Widdle and I are going to belly up to the buffet at an area restaurant.

That’s because we celebrated our family Thanksgiving last Saturday at the Ponderosa, with turkey and all the trimmings. (Honestly, I’d be fine with a glass of wine and a plate of deviled eggs.)

No matter where, how or with whom you celebrate, the emotions tied to Thanksgiving are universal. We come together with family and friends to break bread and express gratitude for our blessings. There’s always something to celebrate, even if you have to squint hard to find it.

The bottom line: We have so much to be grateful for. There’s more right in the world than there is wrong, and I try to remember that.

This year, I’m thankful for:

  • First and always, Widdle. He makes me want to be more like him, and that’s a good thing.
  • Being born in a free country.
  • Salmon, broccoli, quinoa and Reese’s Cups.
  • Clorox and Lysol, because germs.
  • Old people, who listen and smile and never say, “You’re an idiot.” The smartest people I know are over 70.
  • Whoever invented portable heaters. My icy feet and I thank you.
  • Generous people who give first and judge later. Or never.
  • Retin-A. It’s not the fountain of youth, but close enough.
  • Facebook.
  • Automatic transmissions.
  • The fact that election season is, for better or worse, over. Now we can just argue about electoral college versus popular vote until January, when we can go back to arguing about football. (Keep pounding, Cam!).
  • Cataract surgery. Widdle: “What did people do before this?” Me: “Went stone blind.”
  • Steve Jobs: Thanks to him, my iPhone has replaced my GPS, laptop, camera, dictionary, address book and calendar.
  • I’ve downloaded at least a thousand songs, from Perry Como to Kanye.
  • Blueberry preserves. Good for me? No. Delicious on an English muffin with peanut butter? All day long.
  • My friends. They are few but loyal.
  • Google, showing me every day how little I actually know.
  • Cable TV. Yes, it’s a luxury, but we love Alaskan homesteaders and tiny houses.
  • Central heat and air.
  • Hoka running shoes. Expensive and worth every cent.
  • The astounding diversity of religions in America. Whether you handle snakes or light a candle, we’ve got you covered.
  • Farmers’ markets.
  • Books and the people who write them. Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without books,” and I totally feel him.
  • Ornate photo frames. I’m obsessed– I grouped four sepia photos of my dad on one table because I love the intricate, gilded frames. (And him, too, of course.)
  • Modern Family and This Is Us. And Criminal Minds
  • Selfless people who foster and adopt homeless pets. Paradise awaits you.
  • Treadmills and exercise DVDs, for when it’s too hot/cold/wet/windy to head outdoors. In other words, when South Carolina is being South Carolina.
  • Grits and scrambled eggs. Notice how many of these are about food?
  • The ability to say and write whatever I wish about elected leaders without fear of reprisal. An editor might choose not to print it, but I don’t have to worry about being dragged off to a gulag.
  • Knockout roses and purple hearts, the only ornamentals that refuse to die on my watch.
  • Last but never least, I’m thankful for my readers, who let me know when I get it right—and wrong. I love you!

Julie R. Smith, who’s also grateful that most people are smarter than she is, can be reached at




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