So I am sitting in comfort at my parents’ home on Thanksgiving morning thinking about what to write about and out of nowhere, a light shines: Itemize the things that I have to be thankful for.
But in advance of that, I will point out what probably every single person reading this shares and should be grateful for: You were born and live in this country, which despite her faults, remains the world’s best when it comes to freedom, wealth and opportunity – and that applies to everyone, although in different doses depending on other cards you have been dealt and how you play them. This is why people are backed up trying to get into this country, not trying to leave it.
There are 195 countries, and you hit life’s lottery when you are born and live in the United States. Looked at another way, there are about 7.7 billion people on Earth, and 330 million of them live in this country, putting the odds of such good fortune at about one in 24.
But it gets better: You were born and live during the best time to be alive, when technology pretty much brings everything within reach of your fingertips with the help of Alexa or Siri and you can access all that in the comfort of a climate-controlled environment. For perspective, watch “Gunsmoke,” which was set only a bit more than a century or so ago, and notice how dusty it was, and that everyone is hot and sweaty, in need of a shower, and always dodging bullets and arrows. Glad I missed that era.
So we are all pretty dang lucky.
Some other things that I am thankful for:
That my 87-year-old parents are alive and well and that I have their genes. Hit the lottery again.
YouTube TV: Switched to it a year ago, and save about $170 a month and the only inconvenience is when my Tar Heels play on RSN.
Good health, and the cow whose tissue has kept my heart beating.
The Hardees monster biscuit.
Free golf that is a perk of my job.
Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Mack Brown. They have given me plenty of joy through the years, but also have made me proud of how they went about the task of winning.
Golf technology. At 64 years, I hit a golf ball just as far and much straighter than I did as a 28-year-old. I am not so deceived to believe that it’s me, so thanks to Titleist for making the Pro V1, and TaylorMade for the CGB irons and the M2 driver.
Boots. He will read this, so I’ve got to include him.
Social Security, which I like a lot more on the fourth Wednesday of each month now than I did on payday during those 46 years of hard labor.
Medicare, which I am not on, but will if I can live nine more months.
$2.60 a gallon gas. If my memory serves.
N.C. 211 and U.S. 15-501, which get me to Chapel Hill without having to deal with interstates 95 and 40.
My Friday afternoon lunch crowd. (This is a trick, to see who among them reads this column.)
Happenings on Elm.
Retirement, which has replaced weekends, vacations and holidays on this list.
A Smart TV. It helps me remember what I like to watch.
Forty-six NCAA titles.
Fall and spring.
The stock market.
Daylight Savings Time, which corrects the error of moving the clocks back, and also allows me to correct an error of confusing DST and Standard Time from two weeks back.
The Robesonian, which continues the good fight. Trust me, you would miss it if it goes the way of so many community newspapers.
Law enforcement, first-responders, veterans.
Those who take the time to read my weekly musings, because without you, I would have to make another budget cut.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Count your blessings.
Donnie Douglas is the former executive editor of The Robesonian.