Things I’m thankful for in 2022. Right off, I’m thankful that the things I routinely whine about in this space – traffic, people moving here in vast herds and crowding up the place, the proliferation of vinyl subdivisions – are but a mere speck of dust in the great scheme of things.
What’s the old saying: I complained about not having any shoes until I saw a man with no feet? That’s pretty much what I’m trying to express here.
Other things for which I’m thankful: Local TV news. During the recent freeze one station led off its 5 p.m. news with advice on how not to freeze then get uncomfortable when the day warmed up. In short, dress in layers. That was followed with a live remote from some reporter who looked like he was 18 reporting how not to blow up a turkey in a turkey fryer this Thanksgiving. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s obviously news you can use.
Onward: I’m thankful for freedom of religion. Despite the claims of some who want to end the separation of church and state and turn us into a theocracy, that doesn’t mean I tell you who or what or how or when to worship.
On that note, I’m thankful I’m not married to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is no doubt thankful she isn’t married to me. We’d never get along. I can’t get that wound up about most stuff, she apparently can’t not get wound up about any stuff.
I’m thankful for South Carolina football, win or lose. Boo to Clemson, UGA and Ohio State. Boo.
I’m thankful cheap red wine mixed with zero calorie ginger ale on ice has proven to be a good replacement for all the beer I used to drink. I do miss beer, but thankful for the memories.
I’m thankful I quit smoking. I’m thankful there are Mexicans in the world and wish we treated them better instead of complaining they’re here.
If they weren’t here nothing would get done.
Lest you scoff, drive by most construction projects and note that 90 percent of the physical labor is likely being done by Hispanics, probably most of them Mexicans, while a couple of fat white guys stand around smoking and joking. I’m not thankful that we’ve become a culture where hard manual labor is looked down on – as apparently are those who do it. If hard work is beneath us, we’re doomed.
I’m thankful for football and baseball and basketball, and the joy they bring. I’m a bit confused about the adulation and money we give to those who compete in most sports at the professional level, as well as the import we attach to their views on subjects outside sports. Throwing a football well does not make you Descartes.
I’m thankful for social media, if only because at its best it allows folks like my wife to share photos and keep up with friends. At its worst, it’s a swirling swamp of meanness, bigotry and know-it-all-ism stupidity. If there’s one thing social media has taught is that’s you never really know a person until they get behind a keyboard and go to town. Actually, it’s taught more than that. Social media has also revealed public schools need to do a lot more work on teaching civics, and civil discourse.
I’m thankful for good police, and firemen, and EMTs. I’m also mindful we tend to paint others with a broad brush, and none are painted in such a way to such negative effect as those in law enforcement.
I’m thankful I got to serve in the Army, and for those who have, do and will. I don’t get those who preach patriotism yet say they “never had the opportunity” to serve this country in uniform. I call BS.
I’m thankful I was taught early on to love reading, and not to judge others by how they looked or how much money they had or the clothes they wore. Or what color they are or who they vote for. I have tried to keep all that in mind as I’ve gone through this life. It’s not easy sometimes.
I’m thankful I have little interest in big words. I'm thankful I sometimes wonder what those who holler they want to “take our country back” would do if Native Americans took the same sort of attitude and held the same sort of prejudices.
I’m thankful I’m getting older, and have less than a year to go before I can hang this up, collect social security and pick up cans on the side of the road like any other self-respecting former weekly hack editor.
Then hopefully the biggest thing I’ll have to worry about is getting run over by some idiot on a phone.
Which is kind of like now, come to think of it, bless my heart. Happy Thanksgiving.