Here we are again at that time of year when Americans focus more than usual on the concept of being thankful.

But it always makes me wonder why being thankful comes to the forefront only once a year, because I feel like it should be sort of automatic, no matter what. The Bible even says people should “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Obviously, that’s not always easy because bad things happen in life, but the idea is that even those things will eventually result in something good.

Sure, being of a thankful mind might sometimes seem like a waste of time living in a world full of corruption, uncertainty, strife and lying, and enduring times when so many things seem out of sorts and human behavior becomes more vile every day. But as I’ve said before, there are still plenty of things to be thankful for and identifying them doesn’t take a huge amount of effort.

Here’s another relatively short list of some of the things I’m thankful for.

Family and friends.

The chatter of a bald eagle on a cold autumn morning.

That feeling you get when a major project is complete.

The smell of good coffee.

A dog’s unconditional love and unwavering loyalty.

Watching a dog run like crazy for no reason other than joy.

Finding a really cool shell on a beach.

Finding a really cool rock next to a river.

Comfortable shoes.

A great home-cooked meal.

Rain after a long dry spell.

Having opposable thumbs.

Having five senses.

A warm and dry summer evening.

Sleeping in once in a while.

Video clips of baby elephants.

Playing horseshoes or cornhole in perfect weather conditions.

TV documentaries that depict life in a far away place.

The sound of wood burning in a fireplace.

Experienced loggers who can cut fallen trees into firewood with ease.

Great cheeseburgers.

Gulf shrimp.

A smooth day at work.

The cutest animals on Earth: Capybaras.

Receiving good news from a car mechanic.

The smell of freshly-mowed grass in the springtime.

Hearing a guitar played masterfully.

Rediscovering music you loved many years ago.

A good movie that can move almost anyone to tears.

Warm gloves on a cold winter day.

An awesome sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean.

Watching wildlife.

Being amazed by an idea someone comes up with.

Finding that missing sock.

Vivid colors in a rocky bluff.

Good memories.

Learning something new and interesting.

Occasions when common sense prevails.

Realizing that perfection is impossible and being free from expecting it.


Living with the knowledge that fear isn’t necessary because the God is in complete control.

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

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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