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David Freeze: Much to be thankful for this year

Here are some things I’m thankful for this year:

• Veterans of all our armed services and I’m thankful more every year as I read and listen to accounts of their sacrifices. Let’s be willing to say thank you more often.

• The Daily Mile Program through Healthy Rowan, which encourages elementary kids and staff to walk or run a measured mile each day.

  Salisbury and Spencer’s Tis the Season Spectacular and all the other Christmas parades. My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the afternoon parade in Salisbury or Spencer, with at least one daughter and soon to add my new granddaughter, Monroe James Bishop.

• That the grizzly bear in British Columbia didn’t catch up to my bike and grab me on my way to Alaska.

• Good books, the pure joy of being swept up in our reading and the South Main Book Store.

• The Rowan Public Library and all its branches, including the new West Branch coming to Cleveland in February. I’m thankful, too, for all the imaginative programs offered, usually at no charge.

• Middle and high school sports, which are still genuine, real and pure. They are played by athletes who do so for fun. There’s college sports, too, but all the talk of paying athletes doesn’t excite me at all.

• So many opportunities to volunteer. In my opinion, there’s nothing better that we can do than offering our time to better others. Our time is of a finite amount. Make the best of it.

• The Salisbury Post. I can’t imagine life without this treasure, yet I hear often that someone doesn’t get the paper anymore or seldom reads it online. So much that affects us is happening close by. Be informed! Don’t be among those who say, “I didn’t know anything about it.”

• Staying involved with people of all ages through various programs and activities. I am convinced nothing keeps a person younger and more aware than looking through the eyes of everyone else, young and old.

• The power and peace of prayer. My bike trips are solid proof that nothing is too big or small for prayer. And we don’t have to sit on two wheels to ask, “Lord, ride with me today.”

• The Forum’s Butterball 5K, held this morning at 8:30 a.m., that does big things for the community. Prevent Child Abuse Rowan gets the proceeds while the runners, walkers and volunteers rev up their calorie burning process in a festive atmosphere just ahead of eating too much. It’s another tradition worth doing and open to all.

• The Runner Friendly Community signs, soon to be installed at the major entrances to Salisbury. Designated as one of only 50 cities nationwide, Salisbury has met the criteria with cooperation from city staff and services, local businesses and civic organizations.

• All of our current service members and first responders, including law enforcement and fire personnel.

• An occasional snow. I’m especially thankful that we live in an area where it only happens once a while.

• Where we live. Now with 49 states visited, I still wouldn’t choose anywhere else. But just as I learned on the bike rides, the scenery and climate are important. Though, it’s the people that really matter.

• Blessings. We all have them, no matter if we don’t stop to realize them often enough. Set aside some time today to appreciate your family, friends, traditions, memories and so much more. I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever.

David Freeze lives in Rowan County and is a frequent Salisbury Post contributor.

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