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I like to shower. I enjoy clean clothes. I have to have my coffee in the morning–and night–lots of it.
But those things take water. Daily.
And for months now I have sympathized with my North Georgia friends who are suffering through the worst drought in 100 years.
Lakes Hartwell and Lanier are mud puddles. Docks are useless and more importantly good potable water is a rare commodity for tens of thousands of people.
Rationing is in effect in many communities and the countdown has begun as to when the last of the water will be available if the heavens don't soon open and grant their pleas for rain.
Water is one of the many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season.
It, along with electricity, are but two of the things I think we all take for granted.
You flip a switch you expect power.
You turn on the tap and you know water will flow.
It's a given.
But for many, it's not.
Those of you who have endured nature's wrath through hurricanes, blizzards or tornadoes know that oftentimes the real necessities of life are often not within reach.
Our discomfort in those cases is often temporary,
And aren't we glad it is?
It's been my custom for many years now to write my Thanksgiving column about the little things in life I am thankful for.
Cast aside family, friends, health, jobs and what else comes to mind that you are grateful for?
Those of you who know me already are aware of the little delights of life that make me happy.
Things like coffee, hazelnut creamer, self adhesive stamps, e-mail.
They are the little things, the blessings if you will, that make life easier and keep me smiling.
A couple weeks ago on a long car trip, I was thinking that we all should be focusing on the things we have, rather than the things we don't have.
The old hymn lyrics, "count your blessings, name them one by one . . .and you will be surprised at what the Lord has done" played in my mind as I indeed, made a mental list, of what I have.
Growing up in abject poverty in Eastern Kentucky gives me a lot of room to compare my life now, to my life–and my parents' lives–then.
I can appreciate all the little things of my life more, knowing that I have more material things than my parents ever did; that I have been to more places; experienced more cultures and made friends in many, many places.
Those things alone should give me solace on days when I am in a funk feeling sorry for myself.
My mother never owned a winter coat in all the years I knew her. And believe you me, it gets right nippy in the mountains in January.
I have at least three coats and more jackets–and except for rare visits to the mountains, I seldom wear any of them.
Our house was NEVER warm in winter.
We had one coal heater in the living room, and one coal cookstove in the kitchen that made the house bearable but not comfortable.
Likewise, air conditioning was for the very wealthy and we made do with box fans and screened doors and windows.
In my adult life, I have been blessed with heat and air, so if I am uncomfortable, it's only because I am too cheap to turn them on.
So what else causes me to give thanks this year?
Peanut butter. It's a staple. It's good for sandwiches, crackers, cookies, cakes, candies and of course, just licking it off the spoon.
Text messaging. This has to be one of my favorite vices. I love being able to get a message to someone immediately without calling them. That way, you say what you need to say and forget it. With a phone call, too often it lasts longer than you want. I'm an avid text messager and I wish more people were.
My DVR. This simple device has revolutionized the way I watch television. Once upon a time when I had three children at home, worked full-time 50 hours a week and was a professional volunteer, I only caught snippets of shows. My VCR recorded hours upon hours of tapes that I never got around to watching.
With my new DVR, I stockpile all the things I want to watch and whenever I have a lazy Saturday, pile on the couch for a marathon. Forwarding through commercials cuts every show 20 percent and pausing live TV is wonderful when you have an unexpected phone call or visitor.
A variety of sizes. The fashion industry has finally come to its senses and realized that women are not all made the same. Take five women who each weigh 140 pounds, and chances are three of them will be in a different size because of their shape. Hurrah for us full-figured girls!
Used books. Enough said.
IMDB. A great website that allows me to brush up on trivia about my favorite celebrities, movies and TV shows so I can win at Trivial Pursuit.
Thrift stores. A cheapskate by nature who loves clothes, this affords me to have a new wardrobe at minimal cost. Two weeks ago, I got four pairs of pants, a skirt, a dress, a two-piece wool suit, two pairs of shoes and two margarita glasses for $19.
The list is endless. I could go on for pages of all the blessings I have. I dare say if you think about it, your list will be comparable.
When you sit down with family and loved ones Thursday and give thanks for the bounty, remember all the little things too.