BILL SAMPSON: Giving Thanks

I was sitting on my rocker on my porch having my third cup of coffee and thinking about this season of Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s that time of year again. You know, more food to eat than one should ever hope for or deserve. It’s that time to see friends and family and spend time having wonderful conversations with folks you might not see more than once or twice a year.I don’t know what it is about Thanksgiving but it always seems to have a special feeling about it. Perhaps it has to do with the seasons changing, getting colder, leaves turning and falling off the trees. All of this comes at a time when Thanksgiving is really needed.Yes, we have the plethora of food, the friends and family but ... we also have a time when we can seriously stop and give thanks for all the many blessings we have received during this past year. Sitting there on my porch, I started trying to think of all the things I have been blessed with and really, finally lost count.There is a chap by the name of Robert Fulghum who wrote a book entitled, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” In this book, Fulghum enumerates the things he learned. One such point was “Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”Those words hit home when you think about all they can mean. I give thanks for my family who surrounds me with love each and every day. I give thanks for this incredible country we live in. I give thanks for the military men and women who put their lives in harm’s way to protect you and me from our enemies, both here and abroad.It is such men and women who allow me to think some and learn some, etc. I also give thanks for my grandchildren who teach me every day about patience, and kindness, and love in a very personal way. My youngest granddaughter teaches me about unconditional love because she gives it to me each and every time I am around her.I give thanks for my friends. These are those people who know you in a special way. I can call on those friends for anything I might need and they come through for me. It is said you are fortunate indeed if you have two really really good friends in your lifetime. I have been fortunate to have had one such friend. For that I am so thankful!I do hope that each of you will have a terrific Thanksgiving this week. Just remember to pace yourself when it comes to the food. When you go for that second piece of pie, just remember to take it slowly. Savor each bite and give thanks for the food you enjoy. Also remember that in living a balanced life — “learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”I pray that your Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for our many blessings and to remember those that helped you get to this point in your life to be able to enjoy all that life has to offer. ‘Til next time. God bless!Bill Sampson, a retired financial consultant, lives in the Cameron area. E-mail him at