The Jackson Herald
November 20, 2002
Of a mind to be thankful
I did not intend to write about Thanksgiving this week.
Then I looked at the calendar.
I am thankful for a mind that can change that quickly. On the other hand, I am thankful for a mind that can change slowly, over time. I am thankful that I dont have a mind that never changes.
Thankful: conscious of benefits received; expressive of thanks; well pleased; glad; grateful.
I am thankful that I live in a country where we can change presidents, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, councilmen and commissioners without shooting up the place.
I am thankful for Secretary of State Cathy Cox and her new electronic touch-screen voting machines. They dampened the urge I have every election to shoot up the polling place.
I am thankful that what some Democrats thought would happen didnt. The world did not come to an end.
I dont know why the saint I have lived next door to for half a century just popped into my mind, but I am thankful that she did. Betty Bailey is a saint if there ever was one. She inspired many of us with her faith, witness and attitude.
I dont know how many First Baptist Church pastors Betty has survived. (OK, so survive is not a very good choice of words.)
Burrell, Virlon, Todd, Bill, Kerry, Larry, Michey and others came and Burrell, Virlon, Todd, Bill, Kerry, Larry, Michey and others left.
Every time a larger congregation called one of the Jefferson pastors to a higher calling, Betty was devastated. Not only was the First Baptist Church of Jefferson doomed, the whole wide world was in ruins.
Each departure of a pastor was followed by deep depression at the church and throughout the community. Betty knew that neither the church nor the community would recover.
The doldrums lasted about a week.
The new pastor arrived, settled in, and preached his first sermon.
The church and community that was on the brink of disaster came alive. Revival broke out everywhere, and Betty knew that First Baptist was on the brink of unprecedented growth, ministry and service, and that the church would be a beacon of peace and goodwill to the world.
The best pastor the First Baptist Church of Jefferson ever had was the old oneuntil the new got there.
What a wonderful world this would be if everybody had Betty Baileys attitude. That would be something to really be thankful for.
And I am thankful for all the sermons Ive heard Hulon Hill preach on attitude.
I am thankful for Hulon and all preachers who arent preachy; translated: pushy.
I am thankful for readers who forgive me for writing columns that are preachy; translated: pushy.
I am thankful for campsite No. 1 at Hesters Ferry, near the confluence of fishing Creek and the Savannah River, where the Clarks Hill Gang meets every full moon in April and October. It is a safe place for me to tell my story and not a place of pretense where we all pretend to be good.
I am thankful for family, friends and fishing buddies who love me unconditionallynot if, not becausebut anyhow.
I am thankful that it always rains after a dry spell.
I am thankful that the sun always shines after a storm.
This was a long time coming, but I realize now that I win far more victories out of my weaknesses than I do out of my strengths. I am thankful for that, for as one grows older, one has more weaknesses than strengths. Some of you understand that sometimes the bad stuff is better for you than the good stuff. Some of you will never understand that, because it doesnt make sense.
Thank God I am not a victim. I cannotI will notblame anyone or anything for the trouble Ive seen or the problems I have. I alone am responsible and accountable.
I am thankful that the best steak I ever had was the last one, and for the belief that the next one will be even better. (See the Betty Bailey influence?) That applies to everything: best vacation, biggest fish, best fire in the fireplace, best visit to the doctor or dentist, best book, best movie, best hug, best kiss, best everything. With an attitude like that, I sure do have a lot to look forward to.
I am thankful that Ive finally learned how to get more of the things I want. Just produce more of the things other people want.
I am thankful that I waked up this morning and for the realization that, had I not waked up, the sun would have come up right on schedule and everything would be all right. God is good.
Finally, I am thankful for calendars that remind me of holidays and birthdays; that record the days, weeks, months and years of our lives; that announce the comings and goings of the seasons; that help me look to the past and to the future; that bring back sad times and happy times; that help me remember deaths and have pleasant memories.
Most of all, I am thankful that the 2002 edition reminded me to be of a mind to be thankful.
Virgil Adams is former editor and owner of The Jackson Herald.
By: Angela Gary
The Jackson Herald
November 20, 2002
What happened toThanksgiving?
Christmas trees are already up in most stores and many homes. Holiday music is blaring from the radios and offices. Some red and green Christmas clothing can even be spotted in the crowds at the mall.
Everywhere I look lately, I see signs of Christmas. I want to know what happened to Thanksgiving. I was dismayed to find a buggy of Thanksgiving decorations pushed to the back of a store TWO weeks ago to make way for the Christmas decorations.
I love Christmas and all that it means more than anyone, but I dont want us to rush the holiday ahead and forget about Thanksgiving in the process.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln had the foresight to set aside the last Thursday in November for us to give thanks to God and for all that we have. This is something we should do every day, but it is wonderful that a special day has been set aside for this.
This Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on the things and people that you are thankful for. For me, the list is long...
Thank you, God, for another year of health and happiness. Thank you for guiding me through difficult times and joyous times.
Thank you, Mama and Daddy, for supporting me and following me around in some of my travels. I know if I cant find anyone else to go on one of my journeys, they are always ready.
This past Friday night, they sat in a stadium of thousands of screaming people in Greenville, S.C., for yet another country music concert. Only two weeks after Dads heart attack and Moms cornea injury, they were still willing to tag along with me. And they still call me girl. Who could ask for more?
Thank you, to my one-year-old nephew, Jake, for making me smile and laugh out loud more in the past year than I have in my entire life. Just a few weeks ago, I was rolling around laughing in the doctors office as we waited for the doctor to come in. Jake was in the corner, shaking his finger at me and gibbering away in a language only he understands. It looked as if he was really fussing at me about something.
Thank you, to my sister and brother-in-law, for sharing Jake with me and being patient for all the photo sessions.
Thank you, to my cat, Quincy, for curling up in my lap, following me around and always being happy to see me.
Thank you, for a job that keeps me busy. So many people are out of work and facing layoffs, more people should be thankful that they have a job instead of complaining about it all the time.
Thank you, to my Mom at work, Sharon Hogan, who I can count on for anything.
While faith, family and health should be at the top of everyones list of things to be thankful for, there are also the little things....thank you for good books, magazines, music and movies...thank you for chocolate...thank you for vacation-time...thank you for sunny days and rainy afternoons...thank you for the ocean and mountains...thank you for true friends...thank you for babies who make you laugh with their smiles and their screams...
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.