OFF THE CUFF

Even though there is a specific time of year when giving thanks is more in the forefront of many Americans’ minds than usual, I believe being thankful really isn’t something to focus on just once a year – or even once in a while.

I think it ought to be a habit to thank God every day of our short, rather insignificant lives. And when you get right down to it, there are a heck of a lot of things to be thankful for, despite the fact that we live in an increasingly unstable world that becomes more and more vile with each passing moment.

And really, you don’t have to dig deep to find them. Here are a scant few of the things I’m thankful for (in no specific order).

•My wife, our two daughters, and all of our family members.

•Beautiful fall weather.

•Dogs that sleep right next to each other on the couch.

•My wife’s macaroni and cheese.

•Bald eagles that circle majestically above the Big Piney River.

•Weekends – and weekdays.

•Mornings when the moon is still visible after the sun comes up.

•Summer nights when all those frogs and bugs make so much noise that my brother in San Diego can hear them on the phone.

•Possums, spiders and other under-appreciated critters.

•The water that flows in Ozarks rivers, the springs that feed the rivers, and the rain that feeds the springs.

•Awesome cloud formations.

•The way a tree-lined hillside covered with snow looks in the twilight.

•Laughter.

•Big, gooey, hot cinnamon rolls.

•Amazing views.

•Great live music.

•Knowledgeable store clerks and friendly restaurant servers.

•The thaw after a long winter freeze.

•Not having to pay a cent to listen to the radio.

•Fingers and opposable thumbs.

•There are no great white sharks in our neighbor’s pond.

•Evening walks on the dirt road with my wife and our two dogs.

•TV shows that aren’t based on perversion.

•Movies that make you want to watch them again.

•Coffee on a cold morning.

•Gigantic trees that have been alive for centuries, and small trees that sprouted a few months ago.

•Odd little stores that add character to road trips.

•Friends.

•Kayaking on a clear Ozarks river.

•Ocean waves.

•A really good flashlight.

•Finishing a project.

•Conversations with strangers.

•Top-notch pizza.

•People who have a lot of knowledge about something, and enjoy sharing it.

•The smell of freshly cut grass.

•Returning home after being away for an extended period.

•Baby animals.

•Quality hiking boots that last close to a decade.

•A God whose greatness is so far beyond comprehension that He created a universe that is said to have 400 billion galaxies, each containing 400 billion stars, but who is also responsible for my very existence and even knows how many hairs on are on my head (a number that’s getting easier to count every day).

•Lastly, I’m thankful for having the chance to live a short, rather insignificant life and for the ability to be thankful while I’m at it.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.

Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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