Thanksgiving week and a life of gratitude

Published 12:41 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2023

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” ~  Tecumseh


It’s Thanksgiving week already: the official White House turkeys have already received their pardon from being well-stuffed guests-of-honor on the dinner table; grocery stores are loaded to the rafters with fruitcake, along with containers of gravy, cranberry sauce, and loads of turkeys that weren’t let off the hook.

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Stacks of Christmas stollen and pumpkins compete for attention. The overload began back at the end of August, if not before; but now, even Christmas tree lots are in action. Somehow, I (as usual) find myself not ready for this, although I will admit to pulling a few bags of decorations/lights and who-knows-what-else out of the dark closet recesses this morning: no spiked eggnog was involved. Yet. 

The scary thought is what will happen—the unpacking, sorting, moving, dusting, and arranging of all that, which means a smarter move would have been to leave it in the closet longer. Spiked eggnog might be necessary after fighting knotted Christmas light strands. 

Just the afternoon before, it was a slow-poke Sunday drive down hairpin turns where you meet yourself coming back, then a straight easy stretch ambling along the lower reaches of Green River Cove rounding to Holbert Cove. Wild turkeys strutted across the quiet road, showing little concern when I leaned out the car window to warn them to lay low now through Christmas—all hens, no gobbler in sight. The girls just hustled on to sleeping forest, not one bit worried. It dawned on me that the missing gobbler could be someone’s turkey dinner if he wasn’t hiding behind a tree. 

Watching the river slowly flatten out wide to a lazy ripple over rounded stones, I gave thanks for the moment of peace, hidden speckled-brown trout lurking under rock shadows in shallow sparkling water, a whisper of pine and tall grass, and remembered times. 

Isn’t it often the ‘small’ things of this life that bring the most gratitude? Hugs and seeing those you know and love, whether in Fresh Market or at the table, along the sidewalk or at the park. Those souls who show up when times are tough and make their own sunshine with smiles that show in their eyes. Small things like a red bird on a gray morning. Scents of cinnamon, coffee, cedar, good things baking. Sounds of children and dogs playing, of split-oak logs crackling in a wood stove, of fragrant gingerbread and apple pies baking. Of evening sunset and early stars, of gladness for one more day.

Whatever you do this week of Thanksgiving—whether you celebrate with many or a few, whether you race to Black Friday sales or avoid them, may you find much to be grateful for with every day that comes. 

  • The winter tailgate market is held on the second and fourth Saturdays each month November to April from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Saluda Center, located at 64 Greenville Street. The next potluck/bingo night is November 27 at 6 p.m.; bring a dish to share—entree provided. 
  • Mark your calendar for Saluda’s Hometown Christmas, 6-8 p.m. on December 8. 
  • Happy November Birthday to Jared Scott, Karen Johnson, Nancy Barnett, Dawn Pearson, Dusty Jespersen, Gwen Garren, Stoney Lamar, Jim Boyle, Tom Ellwood,  Wendy McEntire, Aaron Burdett,  Jane Thompson, Candy Oakes, Bruce Hunt, Hannah Jane Kirby, Shirley Chamberlain, Sam Woodbery, Glenn Morgan, Sa Smith, Trish Carey, Karen Gabriel, John Case and Jaine Nelson. 


Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit