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el by rail, which, unfortunately is not very often, I am always wishing there were more rail systems to complement our Interstate highways which are overcrowded and always seem to be under repair.

I’m thankful for Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, still singing at the Grand Ole Opry, still writing songs, still enjoying life, and still treating people right. I am thankful for his sense of humor and his “don’t take yourself serious” personality — laughing about the elderly couple he met recently who gushed about being long-time fans and saying, “We remember you when you were popular.”

I’m thankful for cheese straws from Beryl Dixon of Rutledge. She has a special touch with her recipe.

I’m thankful for the smell of bacon frying in a pan on the stove on Saturday mornings when the house awakens slowly and without fuss, with guests coming into the kitchen with smiles on their faces and engaging in conversation that is cheerful and garnished with good thoughts.

I’m thankful for Dubliner cheese, my favorite cheese, which reminds me of the pleasant scenes and enrapturing ballads that make the Emerald Isle so enchanting.

I’m thankful for the Marshes of Glynn and cannot wait to return to the Georgia coast and enjoy one of the most blissful landscapes on earth.

I’m thankful that red barns still exist and dot the countryside in several states across the country. I’m thankful for organ music at a baseball game and for strawberry ice cream pie at the Georgia Center but regret the loss of its vegetable soup of yesteryear. That soup was the best.

I’m thankful for the smell of a fresh rain shower on a hot summer’s day when dry conditions are ameliorated by one of nature’s rich blessings.

I’m thankful for Silver Queen corn. I’m thankful for purple hull crowder peas, and I’m thankful for shade trees in summer, especially a giant oak with an encompassing canopy that is so restful when the thermometer approaches 95 degrees.

I am thankful for the “Field of Dreams” stadium in Iowa and the nostalgia it stimulates by hosting a big-league game with DeKalb hybrid corn growing right up to the playing field. Americana at its best.

I’m thankful for the three military academies and appreciate my good fortunate to have visited all three campuses where patriotism is in abundant supply.

I’m thankful when the cursor on my computer comes out of hiding and thankful, too, for Cameron Forshee, who can cure a disabled computer with fluid alacrity.

Lastly, I’m thankful that Katherine Bates was moved to write “America the Beautiful” after visiting Pike’s Peak (she got there on a mule).

“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, “For purple majesty mountain majesties, above the fruited plain, “America, America, God shed his grace on thee; And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”

Those humbling lyrics should be taken to heart by every American, not only on Thanksgiving but every day.

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