The late Furman Bisher, best known as a sportswriter for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, wrote a traditional column every November listing the many blessings for which he was thankful.

With a grateful nudge toward Mr. Bisher, as I called him, I’d like to do the same, expressing my gratitude as we approach Thanksgiving.

On this particular morning, I’m grateful for a warm house. Temperatures last night dropped into the mid-twenties and it’s nice to wear warm clothing as I face the computer screen.

By the way, I’m thankful for computers, when they work as need be, remembering the trouble of writing newspaper copy on an electric typewriter with a “S” key that sometimes stuck and with the letters on the page sometimes partially obscured with “White-out.”

I’m grateful for no longer having to toss into the garbage a carefully written page because I want to add another sentence to improve it.

I’m thankful for morning coffee in a mug that has my own picture on it, a novelty gift from a friend.

I’m also thankful for that brief time of quiet before my wife awakes, a time for reflection and devotional readings.

I’m grateful for the writings of Oswald Chambers and Thomas a Kempis and C.S. Lewis, who challenge my character and remind me of Christ and His sacrifice that has sustained me through the years.

I’m grateful for the daily dosage of vitamins that supplement my morning egg, fried over medium, and two strips of bacon.

I’m grateful that the broken fourth toe on my left foot is healing nicely. Those who observed carefully would have seen the discolored foot of the King of Siam when we opened the show. I’m also thankful that in real life I would never have to dance the polka in bare feet.

I’m thankful for my wife of more than four decades who has taught me that love sometimes means carrying in her plants from outside when the temperatures are dropping below freezing. I’m grateful that she doesn’t expect me to attend her meetings of the garden club, nor minds it when I take off alone to a football game without her.

I’m thankful that she understands my need to write and participate in the performing arts. I’m grateful for the stories I’ve been privileged to tell and the roles I have been blessed to play.

I’m always grateful when receiving a message that someone from Jefferson has enjoyed a newspaper column or that someone in Michigan or Amsterdam has enjoyed watching their grandson or nephew play football on our streamcasts.

I am gratified when I have helped someone to laugh or to experience a true pleasure. I appreciate it when someone says I’ve helped them see something in a different light.

I’m grateful for the past year of retirement, but also grateful for the years of work which stretched me out into the person I have become.

I’m grateful for the pleasure of watching a granddaughter perform in her first play or making her first trip down a sliding board. I’m blessed to have three children and five grandchildren. I’m thankful that nearly every day, I hear from at least one of them, and that most of their conversations and videos sent our way make me smile.

With a nod to the song made famous by Garth Brooks, I’m also thankful for some of the unanswered prayers, things I thought I wanted when I was young, which might have sent me down a wrong path, but have given way to blessings much more beautiful and profound.

Perhaps, most of all, I am grateful for those things I have said often in the church creed spoken as far back as I can remember -- things like “the forgiveness of sins,” and “the life everlasting.” These beliefs have helped me to review certain events in my life without being overwhelmed by sorrow and regrets.

So, today, I am grateful, thanking God for making it all possible.

And if you’ve read this far, today, I’m thankful for you, and hope you will be reminded to count your own blessings, and in the words of an old hymn, “see what God has done” for you.

G. Richard Hoard is the author of The Missing Boys and other books. You may contact him at

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