Darrell Berkheimer: Getting a jump on Thanksgiving lists
Perhaps a few of you who read this column have noticed that I usually try to select a subject that’s a bit different from what others might be writing about at the time.
I really don’t like attacking what happens to be the very hottest topic of the day — unless I think I have a different angle, or approach, on an issue that possibly might be overlooked. Even then, I think readers can feel swamped and overloaded when too many journalists are writing and speaking about the very same issue.
So when it comes to holidays — like Thanksgiving, I tend to shy away from writing about the holiday if my column will be appearing within two or three days of the event. And for the very same reason — overload!
But this year — ah ha! — my column will appear a full five days before Thanksgiving. That means I can be one of the earliest to tackle the subject. So here goes …
With so much to grumble and complain about on the national and world scenes — and locally with our power shutoffs — I asked myself: What do I have, and what do we have, to be thankful for?
And here in the Grass Valley-Nevada City area the answer is an awful lot!
Yes, I’m going to begin a list. It will be far from complete, and it will be a random list, related somewhat to how lucky we are to be here in Nevada County, USA.
So what’s a good number one? How about security?
We can go to bed at night, and wake up in the morning, without fear.
And how about laughter? We can expect that we will experience laughter — the best medicine — several times during our day.
Freedom of speech! We can say what we want without fear — ridicule perhaps, but not fear.
The kindness of strangers! I see a pride in this community — a pride in helpfulness. Nearly everyone here is willing to help when they see it’s needed — and often without being asked.
And for most of us, it’s simply the fact that we’re in a position to help someone else.
The availability of books, and a local newspaper to read and learn — just what you’re doing right now.
Art and music. This area offers an abundance for us to enjoy.
Of course, there are the usual things — good friends and family; perhaps a partner; and the love offered by a pet, maybe more than one; good coffee shops, and chocolate. Let’s not forget chocolate.
And for us oldsters — especially the many of us who came to Nevada County in retirement. Most of us have our eyesight to enjoy those great dawns and sunsets.
A lot of us have a bit of money in the bank; and reasonably good health despite the increasing aches and more frequent visits to doctors. And hey, we still have a driver’s license.
Yeah, I think we have a lot to be thankful for.
And our local meditation gurus can tell us that being thankful can promote confidence, and will guide us to being a positive and happy person.
So why not start your own gratitude list? I’ve read that it will help you sleep better, too.
You can start simple — by just asking “What are the three things I am most thankful for?”
I bet you’ll have a hard time just picking three – that you won’t be able to stop at just three.
And now maybe I’ve put you in the mood to accept all those others who will be writing and speaking their Thanksgiving messages.
Darrell Berkheimer, who lives in Grass Valley, is a frequent contributor to The Union. He is the author of six books available through Amazon. =His latest, Essays from The Golden Throne, includes 60 columns published by The Union, plus a dozen travel and photo essays. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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