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From the Lefthand Corner: Thanksgiving is all year, not just one day

We have so much to be thankful for in life.

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We have so much to be thankful for that a one-day holiday of Thanksgiving is simply not enough.

Thanks for family tops the list, then friends and neighbors, and all the friendly people we encounter in this community throughout our days, every day.

In all of our country we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We have mostly free education, and most of us have outstanding medical care.

We have freedom of movement from place to place, and here in Echoland, we have the additional luxury of space. We can be thankful just for being here. What better place to live in the whole wide world?

We have relative peace and quiet as each of us wants; and we are blessed with quite good security of person and possession.

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We live in a livable climate with means to handle what cold extremes we do experience.

Some have moved here by choice; some grew up here and stayed; and others of us left and have now returned.

The harsh winters have become much easier and safer with weather warnings and communications, and with insulated underwear, insulated housing and well-heated four-wheel drive vehicles.

I give thanks every day for living in a warm house full of food and sleeping in a warm bed.

For the last three years I’ve been very thankful for our heated garage, a luxury neither of us ever had before. For most years, it was no garage. You shoveled your way to the car and hoped it would start when you got there.

I remember soaking an insulation-wrapped stick in gasoline, lighting it and sliding it under the pan to heat the oil to get my 1936 Chevy to start and run without damaging rods and pistons.

How many of you remember hand cranking, which was the only tried and true way of starting my first Model A Ford on the coldest winter days.

As this old duffer keeps getting older and more temperature sensitive, I’m thankful for all our warm clothing with all the hoods and snaps and zippers that are easy to climb into and out of.

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I grew up in hand-me-downs and wore last year’s overshoes for barn chores., but always remember the poorer neighbor kids with their thin coats, holes in shoes and mitts, pants held up by a piece of rope, walking a full mile to get to the school bus.

I find myself saying, “Thank you God” a dozen times a day - just for the many little things that make the day go better.

That day does get better, and I think or say, “Thanks,” whenever I find the misplaced car keys, or trip over something but catch myself from falling, or slip but don’t fall on uneven ground. I say, “Thanks,“ when the coffee cup drops but doesn’t shatter, or spills on the tile and not the carpet.

I’m thankful when the traffic collision is narrowly avoided, whether the fault factor is mine, or the other guy’s, or both.

There is time for thanks when the deer decides to change course and run away from danger, instead of into a front fender.

Countless waking moments present a potential for a good “Thanks“ or “Thank you." In sum, we can’t think it or say it or do it just one day a year.

We have so much to be thankful for!

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Don Bye, columnist

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