Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Thanksgiving does not have to be reserved for the holiday

By Bill Gray

By BILL GRAY

Mt. Pleasant News

It’s never too late to be thankful.

Uh, actually, we’re supposed to be thankful all of the time, like 24-7, you know?

Now that “Black Friday” seems to have overtaken Thanksgiving Day, maybe we’ll all have more time for thanks today and going forward.

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Let’s just get this out of the way before I take it for granted: Thank goodness for the newly redone Washington Street. Was it worth the wait and all of the cone-dodging? I say, Yes!

If you disagree, I suggest (1) you weren’t driving Washington in Mt. Pleasant previous to the project or (2) you have long-term memory problems.

And as a dog-walker, I can tell you the sidewalks are a great improvement as well. Not that it’s any easier to keep my dogs on the sidewalks, but we try!

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I know city infrastructure thankfulness may not hold the passion for you as it does for us who distribute things for a living, but it’s all about getting to and fro in this world in the best way possible, yes?

So we add some thankfulness that – although, yes, more cones and detours ahead – the city as well as the county have plans in place to address things like those amazingly long and deep cracks on Grand Avenue, or the needs for gravel in your neck of the boondocks of Henry County.

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While we’re giving thanks for some things you may not have thought about around the dinner table Thursday, we must be thankful for Thanksgiving itself. The history of the holiday has been tied to the traditions of the Pilgrims, which is likely not how the holiday started – but what a wonderful symbol of togetherness, peace and understanding.

I wonder how the Israelis and Palestinians might get along better if they had an annual day to sit down together and eat at the same table!

Of course, in the United States we need to start getting those Democrats and Republicans to break bread and share turkey legs in a nicer way as well!

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And what a great area this is for sharing Thanksgiving dinners! I’m reminded frequently through the year, and Thursday is one of those times, of the generosity Henry County residents provide of what they have to offer. In great part, that manifests itself in the time they give as volunteers for good causes like community Thanksgiving dinner preparation and presentation.

I’m especially reminded since I was so late signing up to volunteer that I ended up being quite close to the proverbial “fifth wheel.” For what it’s worth, some of you wouldn’t have had a pineapple ring on your thanksgiving ham if it weren’t for me!

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The fact there were community dinners throughout the county makes me so thankful for the strong communities we have. There are places I’ve lived where the term “bedroom community” plays itself out in a city that is not much more than a group of houses with little interplay between the residents – few volunteers, poorly attended local events, even a lack of local events altogether.

In Henry County, we can be thankful that folks are grateful for where they live, for their neighbors and for their hometowns, both large and small.

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Oh, I could go on — but I’m guessing you’re all about to nod off after turkey leftovers!