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David Freeze: What I am thankful for

There is an old hymn that includes the verse, “Count your many blessings, sing them one by one.” I am overwhelmed daily by all my blessings and it is often comforting to list them. A few years back, I was fortunate to share some of them with you on this wonderful day and as the tradition continues, here are those near the top of my list for this wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

The chance to freely offer prayers for a long list of concerns. I marvel at the amount of countries who don’t have this and the many other freedoms that we too often take for granted.

The Chicago Cubs and their amazing run to the best record in baseball and the World Series Championship.

Living in a state that has seasons. I experienced several states this past summer that only have different levels of warm all the way up to extremely hot. After all this travel, I still can’t find a state that is preferable to North Carolina.

A year without blood clots and for that matter, kidney stones too. The year isn’t quite over, but it is close. Drinking enough water in the Mojave Desert was good for both.

Salisbury the Magazine. Give me a few hours on the right day and I will absorb it and “Our State” and learn plenty of new things.

Baseball players who still catch a fly ball two-handed. For that matter, the ones that don’t leave their feet to make a catch just to make it look harder than it is. And one more thing — basketball players who can hit free throws. It ought to be a rule to spend as much time shooting free throws as practicing dunks or three pointers.

A spirit of adventure. I am currently writing a piece about Ethan Horne, a young man who completed a long cycling journey around the perimeter of the U.S. in 2015. On a yard sale bike! Now he is headed for three years in the Peace Corps, serving in Africa.

Our men and women in uniform. I can never say it enough and won’t wonder if I am. We should thank them at every opportunity.

Large trash bags, my favorites are 35-gallon size, that help reduce some of the clutter of daily struggle. Moving up from 30- to 35-gallon size should have happened years ago.

Another interesting season of Dancing with the Stars. Yes, I am hooked on this show and can’t dance at all. I would make Rick Perry look good. It’s easy to imagine dancing since they make it all look so easy. When given a choice, we should all “Dance”!

A year of travel with Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, taking our older veterans for free rides in a 1940 Stearman biplane. There should be a book on this subject in late spring of 2017. www.agelessaviationdreams.org

Speaking of plenty of travel, I’m thankful for not running into an ex-wife yet on one of my adventures. There were a couple of near-misses.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with all the big balloons. I promise you I’m going to be there in person one of these years.

People who always greet others with a smile and a positive word or thought.

The Salisbury Post for plenty of good local news and the willingness to print differing public opinion.

Great friends, the kind who can come back after some time away and never miss a beat.

Salisbury’s fit and active community with plenty of events benefitting local charities.

Great books and the Rowan Public Library. When you can’t be on your own adventure, you can lose yourself in someone else’s. My current book is “Boys in the Boat,” about the 1936 Olympic rowing competition in Hitler’s Germany. It might be as good as “Unbroken.”

The South Main Bookstore and the rest of Salisbury’s downtown.

Sunrises, sunsets and tailwinds! Never waste a one.

And finally, my two daughters, Ashley and Amber, holiday gatherings and family traditions, and just appreciating our fellow man on this wonderful day. Have the most amazing Thanksgiving ever!

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