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I'm a big believer in giving thanks and having it mean something more than just one day a year. Shouldn't thanks-giving be a routine act, not just a day with a capitalized name?
Still, we love to sit down with those we know and love to eat an incredible meal in celebration of an original American holiday, and it's a wonderful tradition that we embrace with gusto.
This is our soulful holiday before the Christmas frenzy consumes us all. It is a respite before Black Friday and dire news from the retail markets start to stray our focus from the true meaning of the holidays.
We add in some football and parades, and a meal becomes a daylong extravaganza. It's wonderful.
The feast itself may be different at your house, but some families spend moments going around the table and letting each person mention what he or she is thankful for. There are lovely, touching and sometimes humorous comments. Children have a way of bringing new clarity, too, like being thankful for yams.
The words are not necessarily eloquent or poetic or at times even much broader than a typical Sunday benediction, but they tend to be thoughtful and heartfelt, a true introspection. Sometimes those who are shy about speaking actually say the most.
So in that tradition today I offer you my first Thanksgiving prayer for our community. These are things - though certainly not everything - for which I am thankful. And please consider some them the main course and others just a bit of dessert.
I'm thankful that the original Americans embraced an early batch of newcomers in early Massachusetts and created this wonderful day.
And that everyone's best efforts have yet to destroy it.
I'm thankful the election finally is over and we can get back to governing.
I'm thankful that the Hot Stove League makes the failed regular baseball season a distant memory.
And that football has hit the far turn and is headed for home.
I'm thankful that downtown Shelbyville has few vacant storefronts.
And that people such as Eileen Collins, Bob Andriot, Sharon Nichols and Mike Tracy believe in its vitality and possibilities and care about that vision as much as a payday.
I'm thankful that my immediate family is healthy and again nearby.
I'm thankful my parents are getting to know my younger children.
And that my adult children are healthy and living good lives with good people.
I'm happy my wife is learning Kentuckian and liking the experience.
And that people have welcomed her with open arms.
I'm thankful that I got to see an entire fall in Kentucky.
And that I'm actually excited about winter.
I'm thankful that people say "have a blessed day" and actually mean it.
I'm thankful I drive to work up U.S. 60 to work each day into both amazing sunrises and sunsets.
And for the people who spend the money to enhance the scenery that God made indelibly beautiful.
I'm thankful for God and all the wonderful places where people gather to worship Him.
And for those who step forward and lead that process.
I'm thankful for "light-up" events that the community embraces without making them zoos.
And for the eclectic neighborhoods that surround us.
I'm thankful for politicians who shake your hands and don't fleece your pockets.
And for banks where people know your face and not just your name.
I'm thankful that college basketball is beginning and won't end soon.
And that Kentucky and Louisville at least play each season so that one or the other can quiet down a bit.
I'm thankful that there are parents who see that their children would be better off being raised by others.
And that there are families willing to take in those children and love them as their own.
I'm thankful that you don't have to enjoy sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie to savor a Thanksgiving feast.
And that for once you don't have to choose between stuffing and mashed potatoes.
I'm thankful that that I know the answers to most of my son's incessant questions, while realizing that won't last long.
I'm thankful for kindness, generosity, civility and love.
And that so many still believe in their value.
I'm thankful for being able to type these words and thoughts and share them with you.
And I hope you can share yours with loved ones, too.
Steve Doyle can be reached at Sdoyle@sentinelnews.com or by calling 502-633-2526.