David Freeze — What I am thankful for

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 22, 2018

What I am thankful for:

The freedom to live in the best country in the world and the best state, too, after having seen 48 of them.

People who are great listeners and contribute to a conversation in this valuable way.

Celebrating Thanksgiving, especially with the new ‘Tis the Season Spectacular parade. Thanks to the new group for its work to pull it together in a shorter time than usual.

The safety and peace that prayer provides so often, especially on my various trips and adventures.

Sports and all the fun associated with it. The Yankees will try again next year. Hopefully the Panthers will make the playoffs, while the Davidson Wildcats play hard in hopes of another A-10 conference championship. High school cross country, one of the purest forms of running competition.

Great running races, like the Forum’s Butterball 5K on Thanksgiving morning that has registrants from five states. And the Mayberry Half Marathon that saw at least a dozen local runners this past Saturday reach personal goals.

Speaking of that, those who set goals that challenge themselves. Not always physically challenging but also good for achieving other big dreams before that dream is lost to regret.

Elizabeth Cook, who many years ago asked me to consider writing a fitness column for the Salisbury Post. I’ve learned a lot from her. From that request and her guidance, there has been lots of fun along the way getting to know plenty of local folks and sharing their stories.

Going for a run on a snowy morning or a rainy morning or a perfectly beautiful morning. Or with a friend, which guarantees a longtime personal bond after sweating together. Sweat has that ability. And the conversations that occur along the way.

Cold, rainy and cozy days that are perfect for a good book, like “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah, just finished and one of my favorites of all time. It’s a book about life in Alaska, where I’ll head next summer.

Those days when I meet a new person — better yet, five new people.

“Safe travels,” my favorite long-distance cycling term, for everyone who journeys to see family during this holiday season.

A Dairy Queen pineapple milkshake on a hot day, or any day for that matter.

Those great local charities, Rowan Helping Ministries, Main Street Mission, Salvation Army, United Way and others, that help ease the burden experienced by lots of family, neighbors and friends year around. They touch more lives than most people realize.

Those who provide the aforementioned freedom — all those in uniform who protect us both globally and locally. The feelings of safety and respect when near those men and women in their uniforms.

Two great daughters, their husbands, and the rest of an extended family who provide great value to my daily life. And lessons learned from an ex-wife or two. Maybe all of them.

Another great day to experience life and all the possibilities. And be thankful for all our blessings.

And finally, for all of you, the readers of the Salisbury Post. When we meet at Walmart, the grocery store or a sporting event, I’m especially grateful for the connection that we have through our local newspaper.