I usually write a “thankful” column around Thanksgiving, as do many writers. It's an easy way to give thanks, while also clearing our pockets of all sorts of little notes we save throughout the year. 

Thanksgiving is more than six months away. We truly don't know if we'll be carving turkey and arguing about politics with relatives in person, or if we'll be fighting off the virus again within our own four walls. So, why wait?

I am thankful for truck drivers and other shippers who are so under-appreciated, and yet so essential. Some of us ran out of toilet paper a few weeks ago, conducting a futile search for Sears catalogs. (When did they stop making those, and why didn't someone tell me?) But thanks to our freight haulers, our beloved Charmin soon returned to the shelves. A grateful nation thanks you.

I am thankful I recorded about fifteen episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” that I never got around to watching last year. I may need those guys to make me laugh again next year if this darn virus returns.

I am thankful that my wife is a good cook, and always puts leftovers in the freezer. Some great Sunday dinners from last fall sure have tasted good during the quarantine.

I am thankful for postal workers. The mail carrier is the only “outsider” who has visited my property in more than a month. In my callous youth, I would make fun of the old-timers who looked forward to “the mail” every day. Looks like I've become an old-timer. 

I am thankful for first responders. They signed up for hazardous duty, but they didn't see a pandemic coming. Plus, in my neck of the woods, they have dealt with tornadoes too. If we ever get this economy straightened out, they should be among the first to get a raise.

I am thankful for retail workers who have loyally and patiently stocked shelves and guided customers in and out of the checkout lines. We have taken you for granted for a long time. We should never do that again.

I am thankful for the small business owners who are doing all they can to stay open. Many of them were already struggling, and this has only made it worse. Will they be able to re-open when the time is right? I hope and pray they can.

I am thankful that my children are grown. Yes, this is selfish, but I don't envy those who have been trying to challenge, educate, and entertain their children. All of this, plus having to work from home, or figure out child care. I guess you can understand why I'm thankful my nest is empty. And no, I'm not a grandparent yet, so my payback is surely coming. When it does, feel free to laugh at me.

I am thankful that my insurance company realizes that I'm driving about 90 percent less than usual. They are giving me a 15 percent rebate for April and May. That math doesn't quite match up, but at least it's something.

I would be thankful that gas prices are at rock bottom, but since I haven't needed to buy gas in six weeks, it hasn't affected me at all. I'm all gassed up, with no place to go.

I am thankful that I can work from home, although it might spoil me. I have a feeling that when I return to my workplace, pants and shoes will be required, and pajamas will be frowned upon.

I am thankful there is practically nothing on my calendar for the rest of the year. Sure, I have daily and weekly deadlines for my broadcasting and newspaper gigs, but there are no appointments. Zero. For the first time in my life, my dentist canceled on me. It's usually the other way around. 

I am thankful that with fewer cars on the road, our air quality is better. I'll take a silver lining anywhere I can.

I am thankful that the pandemic has pretty much put robo-callers out of business. Don't let your guard down though. The scammers are coming after your stimulus check.

I am thankful my wife knows how to cut my hair.

Of course, I'm leaving out numerous folks for whom I should give thanks. Just know that if you protect us, patch and build our roads, heal our mind, body and spirit, keep our medical facilities clean, maintain and repair our utilities, help put food on our tables, help keep our land beautiful, work with those who are less fortunate, or volunteer in any way, I am thankful for you too. 

Let's hope and pray this is once in a lifetime. In the very near future, I want to write a column titled, “I am thankful the Braves are back!”


David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com.  You may contact him at radiotv2020@yahoo.com, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.

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