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Thanksgiving deserves its due — just like the people who’ve helped you
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

Elvis once recorded a song called, “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?” My question is why can’t every day be like Thanksgiving?

No, I’m not talking about putting out way too much food on the good dining room table. We should be thankful to someone or for something every day we are on the green side of the grass.

For several years, I worked in the media business and couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving. I had some nice folks invite me into their homes and share the fellowship. They had a way of making you feel right at home. I’m thankful that someone cared enough to do that for me.

When it comes to food, I often think of the things that are left in the refrigerator long enough that when you open them, you want to close them right back up. There is always something that I get at the store and think I’ll need two of them. One of them is now resting at our landfill.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food waste is estimated at 30-40 percent of the food supply. That’s 133 billion pounds valued at approximately $161 billion.

At the same time, there are people who go to bed hungry every night. As I’ve heard it said, we are starving to death while sitting on a ham sandwich.

What would be wrong with fixing a couple of paper plates, wrapping them in foil, and drive through a less fortunate section of town? If you see someone who is alone or sitting on a sidewalk, roll down the window and ask if you might offer them a plate of food. You might end up with one less turkey sandwich, but did you really need it?

Maybe there is somebody at your place of work who has family elsewhere, but will be alone on Thanksgiving. Dust off that folding chair and invite them to join you.

That’s enough about the food.

Is there someone somewhere who helped you along the road of life? Maybe they taught you how to bait a hook, hit a baseball or fix a flat tire. If you know their name, there are all kinds of ways to look people up on the Internet. Call them one day this week and just say thanks again.

I’m a bit selfish about the next one, because I married a teacher. Somewhere a schoolteacher helped the lights come on in your mind. It may have been a math formula, or a series of challenging spelling words. If you know where they live, give them a call and offer that thanks again.

This week, my daughter sent me a picture on my smartphone. It was the two of us when we were both a little younger and I was a little thinner. It was a special time and I thanked her for sending it on that particular day. I really needed it.

I felt the need to pass it on. I sent our daughter and son-in-law a note and told them what great parents they have become. I thanked them for giving me the world’s most perfect grandson.

Sometimes, you don’t have to look very far to find someone who needs a tip of the thankful hat. Don’t wait until the end of this month to do it. As soon as the last piece of pie is served, folks start turning their minds to Christmas. Let’s get this one done first.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.

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