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What Im thankful for
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During this holiday season, I’m thankful for: • The nutso NFL fans who sit in sub-zero weather in shirtsleeves (or no shirts at all) to cheer their teams on -- even Philadelphia Eagles fans, so acerbic that one year during a halftime show at a Christmas holidays game they booed Santa Claus and pelted him with snowballs. • Hampton Street, where I finish my run every morning. With overhanging trees, well-maintained houses and friendly people, it’s everything a small-town residential street should be. • The fishermen who head out of town towards Lake Wateree in the pre-dawn stillness, pulling their boats behind their pick-ups. Most of them will return home happy even if they don’t get a single nibble, knowing that a quiet day on the water is a great way to soothe the soul. • Kids on Christmas morning riding their new bikes. • The senior tees, and those occasional days when a low number will still sneak onto the scorecard. • Teenagers who don’t act as if it’s a pain to talk to adults -- and to call them by name. • Cheeseburgers, clam chowder, Kit Kat bars, tiramisu, New York strip steaks, onion rings -- all cardiac no-nos but oh, so tasty. • OK, for you health food fanatics: spinach salad and grilled asparagus. • The early stars of NASCAR -- Junior Johnson, Cale Yarbrough, Speedy Thompson -- who’d just as soon have a good fistfight as a close race. • Full moons, half moons, crescent moons -- any time you can peer into a clear night sky and see that big old orange friend smiling down. • Those people with serious illnesses who face each day with grace, dignity and courage. • The occasional film clip from the glory days of Saturday Night Live, when Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase made us all laugh out loud. • Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision, Let Us Break Bread Together. • Youth league sports coaches -- dads, usually -- who make it fun for the kids and don’t stress victory at all costs. • Opening the mailbox and finding a note from a friend -- the old-fashioned, hand-written kind, which can never be replaced by e-mail, no matter how convenient electronic communication might be. • A finger or two of Jameson Irish whiskey, straight up, on a cold night. • Little country churches with white steeples that reach for the sky. • James Taylor and the dulcet tones of “Carolina In My Mind.”