Sampler of Things to Be Thankful For
Here are just a few of the things, great and small, that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.
For starters, I’m thankful that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), despite a recent spate of protests, is sticking to its guns on requiring air travelers to undergo a full-body scan and-or a sometimes admittedly rather intimate full-body pat-down.
The approach is apparently being modified, but it should not be abandoned altogether.
I’m speaking as one who not long ago underwent one of each of those indignities while preparing to depart from Raleigh-Durham for Atlanta and thence on to a high school reunion in Missouri. My mother’s ashes, being transported for burial in the family plot in Neosho, set off a red alert because the package apparently looked like a bomb in my suitcase.
The body searcher did get a little familiar, and he rubbed my thighs downward so vigorously that my jeans, with belt already removed, threatened to fall down around my knees. Very awkward. Maybe there’s a better way. But I’ll take it any day over being blown up by a terrorist at 30,000 feet.
Other things I’m thankful for:
My wife, Brenda; my sons, Jacob and Ben; my daughter, Kate; and our new daughter-in-law, Donna, all of whom light up my life.
Reese’s Crispy Crunchy, my new favorite candy bar.
My friend Stephen Smith and his new book of entertainingly profound poetry, “A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths.” Buy a copy.
James Taylor and Carole King.
Any book ever written by David McCullough. “Mornings on Horseback,” “The Great Bridge,” “The Path Between the Seas,” “Truman,” “John Adams” — try any one of them and you’ll see what I mean. This is the way history was meant to be written.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Deborah Salomon’s brownies, which are to die for.
The feel of the broad and well-worn rosewood fretboard of a nylon-string guitar beneath the fingertips of your left hand.
The Country Bookshop.
The uniquely delectable taste and consistency of the cheese inside the chiles rellenos from La Poblanita Mexican restaurant in Aberdeen.
The thrill of going up to northern Moore’s Pottery Country and discovering a funky and authentic little shop you’d never noticed before at the end of some rutted rural lane.
Marie Callender pot pies — especially one of the creamy mushroom variety that has been slightly overdone around the edges and then allowed to cool and mellow for 20 minutes or so before being devoured. Yum!
Irish whiskey. I’ll settle for Bushmills but would really prefer Jamesons.
Fat Tire (that’s right — fat, not flat), my new favorite beer — thanks to having been introduced to it at the Darling House in downtown Pinehurst, a place that also makes my thankfulness list.
Faure’s “Requiem in D Minor,” a definite candidate for the most beautiful piece of music ever written. Ditto Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus.” But don’t rule out Dvorak’s “Symphony From the New World.” Or Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
A few good back-porch rounds of 500 rummy played with family on an early-autumn evening. Or games of Yahtzee played by lantern light at a campsite up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sandhills Community College.
CBS’s geekily freaky “Big Bang Theory” (Thursday nights), the most hilarious sitcom in a long time.
Turner Classic Movies (Channel 54 on Time Warner Cable), a remarkable resource that makes me wonder what I did to deserve the privilege of sitting at home and watching great films uncut and commercial-free. Two recent examples: “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “The Best Years of Our Lives.”
Living in a wonderful neighborhood where I can take our aging but still lively black dog Kelci for our obligatory morning and late-night walks in the Campbell House Park or the grounds of the Weymouth Center.
And last but not least — I’m thankful for you, Dear Reader.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at (910) 693-2470 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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