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A Time to be Thankful By Daniel B. Rundquist

SPECIAL TO THE CALDWELL JOURNAL (November 2, 2018) — “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know how November became one of the busiest months on my planner. National Author’s Day is on November 1st, Marine Corps Birthday on the 10th, we have an election, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, my son’s birthday…on it goes. But rather than use the space here to list all my busy stuff, I thought it better to discuss what I should do with a space on the calendar that is still blank. One blank day is today, and November is the month to recount those things we are thankful for; so, I’m using the time to jot down a few.

I never stop thinking about our American veterans. While we celebrate Veteran’s Day, I have noted before that for me every day is Veteran’s Day. While I’m busy at work doing this or that, there are thousands of men and women at that same moment halfway around the world wearing dog tags and a uniform with an American flag on it. The tasks they perform whether small or not, all add up to make a difference. They make me ever proud to be an American, and ever grateful for the security they deliver to us each day with their service and sacrifice, generation after generation. America could not survive as a sovereign nation without them.

I recall that just over a year ago a series of tornadoes ripped through Caldwell County and just about everywhere else. One particularly nasty specimen on October 23rd, cleared enough trees through southern Caldwell to provide a decade supply of firewood. But who was there to help within minutes of the storm? Well, it might be easier to list who wasn’t because first responders and law enforcement were already on site, assessing safety issues with downed power lines, checking on resident’s door-to door, clearing roads of downed trees, and securing the neighborhoods that were without power. And let’s not forget the army of linemen who worked around the clock to restore power. Behind this was a tidal wave of helpful neighbors ready to assist affected residents with everything from bottled water to tree removal. So, I’m still thankful for these and all the rest.

Among those who ought to be thanked but are often overlooked are the folks at our local service organizations. These provide a wide variety of services to our community’s week after week. One example that immediately comes to mind is Caldwell County Yokefellow in Lenoir. Yokefellow and its affiliate program LEOS, provide emergency food and shelter for the needy, and is funded through donations and a thrift store. In Granite Falls, South Caldwell Christian Ministries performs similar services for the community and there are others, I’m sure. These are important and necessary programs serving Caldwell County. They supported our needy residents all though the recent hard years of economic recession and they continue their work every day. Please remember these in your holiday gift giving.

I would be entirely remiss if I were not appreciative of our educators, specifically the teachers. These folks deserve our appreciation because even if you may not have children in school we have to remember that it is this group of professionals who are responsible for making sure America has people who can do more than just read, write, and do simple math. While it remains the personal responsibility of students to study and learn, the teachers work to ensure that every student has every opportunity to connect with the curriculum. (This article was made possible by the teachers of the Minneapolis Public School system, c.1981.)

And to all our politicians…Oh look… I’m all out of time here.