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Our Views: Times staff offers feast of thankfulness
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As part of a Thanksgiving tradition, the staff of The Times newsroom would like to share with you those things for which we are thankful. We offer thanks for the following:

Whatever rain we can get. It may not refill Lake Lanier all at once, but we have to start somewhere.

A community that shows it cares every holiday season. The work of charitable organizations is fueled by the giving hearts of many individuals who touch all with their generosity.

Spc. Channing Moss of Hall County, his ongoing recovery from his war wounds, and the heartfelt gratitude the community has shown him and his family. And while, we're at it, for all of the service members like Moss who continue to do their duty far from home this holiday in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world. (Note: If you'd like to offer your greetings, drop a comment on our Hello from Home blog and urge your friends and family in the service to do the same).

The amazing friends and family members that we have who remind us every day that we are strong, caring and important people.

Second chances.

That Northeast Georgia had brilliant fall foliage this year, despite the drought.

Physical therapists, whose patience and encouragement help injured and disabled people regain full function.

Google, which saves countless hours of research by providing immediate answers to almost any question.

That we Georgians don't have to waste our time shoveling snow.

National Public Radio, which is like reading the world's most interesting magazine without the eyestrain.

A reliable car that can get 40 miles to the gallon, and I'm glad that there's a company that cares enough to make such vehicles.

The way my dog "smiles" when she's having a good time, and that it takes nothing more than a game of fetch to make her happy.

A wonderful and happy year with my friends and family - especially my husband - and for a new year to come. I love the holidays, but it's really the small moments during the year that I'm thankful for the most.

Great friendships that last years despite distance and busyness.

That The Police finally got back together and decided to go on tour. It was a dream come true to get to see my favorite band of all time in person (despite the cost!). My early Christmas wish: That they will record a new album.

Seat cushions in court and cops who return calls promptly.

Nikki, my black lab who has helped me stay relatively sane after the death of my snake, Princess Machiavelli.

New running shoes that have helped repair my haggard ankles.

Some really good local high school football teams who gave everyone a thrilling ride this fall (which still continues for a few.)

That I don't have to wake up at 7 a.m. to be at a council work session at 9. Also that The Times hired me and that my paycheck will arrive tomorrow.

A patient husband and the cutest, smiley baby you'll ever see.

Receivers who finally started catching the ball, and for the best coach in America who knows how to fire up his team. Likewise, I'm thankful to pull for a team whose colors aren't orange. I look better in red.

To live in the greatest country in the world, where we're allowed to question our leaders and even express opposition to them without fear of reprisal.

Those people who came along before me, who taught me, who mentored me and who showed me that doing a job you love is one of the most important things a person can do.

The love and undying affection of a good dog who never fails to make me smile. And for her even temperament and love of all people, which serves her well as a therapy dog. I'm also thankful she's stopped playing fetch by herself by dropping her tennis ball down the stairs at 2 in the morning.

That my husband now works closer to home which enables him to have dinner waiting for me when I walk in the door.

And as always, for our readers, especially devoted readers who turn these pages every single day. Were it not for them, we would just be writing for our own enjoyment ... a nice idea but it doesn't pay well.

And with that thought serving as our dessert, we wish all of you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day.