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I’m Thankful

I’m  Thankful I’m  Thankful

I’m thankful that there is another Thanksgiving season to be thankful for. I continue to be thankful for the memory of Furman Bisher, whose Thanksgiving Day column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought reflective pause to so many readers over the years on this wonderful day.

I’m most thankful for good health, a loving family and happy grandchildren who are healthy and happy — from Phoenix to Dallas to Charlotte.

I’m thankful for the memory of the music of the Kingston Trio and bygone music which didn’t sound like it was being made with a chain saw and a steel drum. I’m thankful for the music of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Eddy Arnold.

I’m thankful for the blooms of April, the jonquils, azaleas, and the dogwoods. I will be eternally thankful that I have had the good fortune to have seen those azaleas and dogwoods at peak at the Augusta National Golf Club for over 50 years.

I’m thankful for the many engaging places in the state of Georgia, the people, and the memories of having set foot in every one of the 159 counties within its borders — from Dillard to Doerun to Race Pond to Sasser to Cohutta. This is a beautiful state with hospitable and enterprising people.

I’m thankful for seedless grapes and Ruby Red Navel oranges. For sizzling bacon, especially during the holidays, eggs, grits and toast and marmalade jelly. For boiled peanuts and peach cobbler, the best before and after treat there is. For a Pimms at Trafalgar Square, a Heavenly Tillie at the Athens Country Club, a mint julep at Churchill Downs and a Black Bush on the rocks where it is distilled in Bushmills, Northern Ireland.

I’m thankful that Sidney Lanier left us with “The Marshes of Glynn” and “The Song of the Chattahoochee.” I am thankful that I have caught a rainbow on the Chattahoochee and have also caught a rainbow in the Marshes of Glenn.

Recalling those wonderful times makes me thankful for all the good times I have had in our state, fishing, andquailhunting. I’mthankfulforthequailhuntswhich begin early in the morning when anxious birddogs commence to bark, taking on the rooster’s role as the wake-up announcer.

I’m thankful for a walk in the brush and the woods where the broom sage waves peacefully and gentle breezes speak softly. Suddenly there is a birddog rigidly on point. You walk measuredly in the direction of the quivering birddog; your heart begins to race until you are a few paces from where outdoor drama is about to ensue. Suddenly, a covey of quail, without warning, bursts upward with fluttering alacrity. Shots ring out, supper’s on the ground.

I’m thankful for trout and quail which have been roasted on a grill and paired with vegetables, pinot noir and love and laughter. I’m thankful for a Bubba Burger from that same grill on the 4th of July when the Braves are in contention in the National League East as the crops are maturing, green and growing. Ah, such agricultural majesty.

I’m thankful for gospel music with lyrics with no offensive innuendo and insult, just humble preachments that embrace modesty and faith, hope and charity.

I’m thankful for the backroads which meander through the countryside where grass feeding cows never lift their heads, churches, with solitary steeples which point to the heavens where many expect to go when their earthly journey is over, and graveyards which remind us that life is fleeting.

Again, I’m thankful for a generous breakfast — Chobani yogurt, a double fistful of blueberries and packet of almonds; followed by a main course. You look out to your patio and await your favorite cardinal in his red cloak to appear. I’m thankful that Stan Musial does not fly south for the winter.

I’m thankful for your time.

Loran Smith

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