ImageThanksgiving Day is reserved for formal acknowledgement of our personal and national blessings. Each year, we gather around the dining room table in pursuit of a Norman Rockwell holiday, toast one another, and offer good wishes for prosperity and happiness. This year, however, many will raise the perennial glass-half-empty, and understandably lament what has been lost. These are tough times; prosperity has been overshadowed by restriction, optimism replaced by worry. It's a rare individual who can express sincere thanksgiving in times of financial turbulence and personal instability. How then, I asked myself, do I write a timely, appropriate Thanksgiving column? I decided to follow my kids' example, and seek assistance on the internet.      

Here, courtesy of, is Thanksgiving food for thought:

Things for Which to be Thankful

Trains, cars, airplanes, horses and buggies that allow us to travel great distances to share Thanksgiving with our loved ones.

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The spouse who complains when dinner is not on time, because she/he is home with me, not with someone else.

The teenager who is complaining about doing dishes, because that means she is at home & not on the streets.

The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

 The taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed.

 The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

 My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

The space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

My huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

The piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm alive.

Getting too much email bogs me down but at least I know I have friends who are thinking of me.

Author Unknown

On that note I invite you to fill your own glass-half-empty with "Thanksgiving food for thought" of your own. Happy Turkey Day, friends.

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Avatar of Anne Mikolay

Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...