STEVE BOUSER: Things to Give Thanks for This Holiday
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Things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving:
Health, happiness, a loving wife and children, and the blessing of living in a beautiful little community of the kind that about 90 percent of the stressed urban dwellers of America would kill to move to.
Chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven.
The fact that the election is mercifully over. That we'll now be restoring the kind of checks and balances the Founding Fathers had in mind at the federal level. That Joe Boylan and the two guys he beat in the state House election are now behaving in such gentlemanly fashion toward each other. That there'll be a wide-open presidential race two years from now for the first time in decades.
The never-glimpsed wood thrush that has announced each of the past several springs in our wooded backyard with its wonderfully liquid warble, only to move on mysteriously after a few days, never to be heard until the next year.
Lily, the engaging but most peculiar-looking new kitten in our house, whose scrambled chromosomes suggest she's half Siamese and half of Moore County.
My still-new Pocket PC multi-function high-tech gadget on my belt, which has revolutionized my life.
The men's clothing section in the new Stein Mart store, whose friendly service, ample merchandise selection and reasonable prices suit me (no pun intended) just right.
Pistachios, to which I have become seriously addicted -- the natural ones, never the shelled or red-dyed kind.
Acrostics, to which I'm also addicted. They're like crosswords, only better.
Negra Modelo beer from Mexico.
National Public Radio.
My new Sears Craftsman self-propelled (but not riding) lawn mower, which always starts on the first pull. I used to think self-propelled was a silly luxury, but now I wouldn't want to do without it.
Stop-offs at the Farmers Market on Pennsylvania Avenue to chat with my nice friend Monetta and pick up some tart and crispy Fuji apples.
The composition of our new Board of Commissioners, which promises to bring a needed breath of fresh air to Moore County government.
The unusually high level of intelligence reflected in so many of our abundant letters to the editor here at The Pilot.
The new/old lampposts and brick sidewalks in downtown Southern Pines.
Theron Bell and the other good people of Robbins who are off to such a commendable and inspiring start in the campaign to bootstrap their pretty little town back to progress and prosperity.
Driving by the once-shuttered and for-sale Sunrise Theater and seeing cars out in front and lights on inside.
Marie Callender Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Pot Pies.
Edna Earle Cole, our generous and lovably talkative next-door neighbor.
The Ploughman's Lunch at the Squire's Pub. (Just be aware before you order it that it's an acquired taste and that it's all cold stuff.)
Polyurethane wood finish, which is so much better than the old varnishes and shellacs we used to use.
The Monday shirt special at American Cleaners in Aberdeen.
Charcoal grills, to which I'm going back. They sear meat with radiant heat instead of baking it with convection heat like the gas ones. Big difference.
The intimate, little-known pub tucked away in the back of the Magnolia Inn in Pinehurst.
Jim Dodson's Sunday columns.
Made-while-you-watch Rainbow Rolls from the sushi section at Fresh Market. (You should try them even if you think you don't like sushi.)
The amazing new generation of inline muzzleloading rifles, one of which has now happened to come into my possession. (It's a long story.)
The progress I've made toward mastering the honorable art of home peach-jam making.
Quaint bed-and-breakfast inns.
Digital recorders, to which I finally switched the other day after my microcassette one finally died. What a difference! Why did I wait so long?
Weekend afternoons spent scouting out-of-the-way little places at the end of winding lanes in Pottery Country.
That wooden island, just inside the door of The Country Bookshop, where the latest nonfiction hardcovers are temptingly displayed.
Watching the first-rate restoration of the Jefferson Inn near completion. (Absolutely fabulous.)
The look of the soft autumn sun as it slants just so through the few remaining red and yellow maple leaves.
The many years I got to spend working with two good men, Advertising Director Tom Bryant and Circulation Director Dennis Lenart, both of whom have now "retired" (though you won't be seeing either of these active guys playing shuffleboard). Their worthy successors, Pat Taylor and Darlene Stark, are going to do just great, but that doesn't keep me from missing my old friends Tom and Dennis. Best wishes, guys.
And to you, Dear Reader, happy Thanksgiving.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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