50 things I AM thankful for -or- The 2009 Thanksgiving Note, Part 2 - Original to Facebook 11/26/2009

After the fun ( and liberating experience ) of my “NOT Thankful list”, I figured I should at least show I’m not a total putz, and make a real list of things that I am thankful for everyday. They start of kind of serious, I must admit, but then quickly run to the silly shit I usually write, and I figured that if I could find 15 things for the first list, I should be able to find ten fold as many for the second. I did 50, and it got kind of long, so I stopped. Gotta leave something for next year, right? So go get a drink and a snack - this is going to be a long one.


1. My family as a whole. I have a wonderful family, in each area of description, and will mention them individually, but I am thankful overall for the fact that I have such a large and complete family that can get along, and enjoy each other.

2. My wife, my sweetums, my best friend, my honey bunch, my Beth. We stuck it out when folks said it would never work, we fought it out when we had to, we have managed to keep it all held together, and I love her dearly. You cannot choose your parents; your kids, your cousins, - anyone – except your mate, and I love mine wholly, unconditionally, totally and forever. I am nothing if not for the love, encouragement, warmth and support of my sweetums. Love you honey!

3. My sons, all three. Each a perfect example of the blending of their mother and me, yet each totally individual. I am so thankful for their intelligence, their health, their manners (which need work, like I said, they are MY kids too), but I cherish them every single day. Mitchell, Phillip, Collin – I love you all dearly.

4. My Parents. My parents have been married my entire life. That may sound funny to some folks, but that means a lot to me – they are committed to one another, and they have served to be great examples to me on how to make a marriage work. They treat me like a man, but remind me I am their son, often when it is of a silly nature, but more so by rushing in to help me when I need it, trying to do their best to keep me and my family on the right path and in good sound shape. Happy Thanksgiving Mom and Dad – I love you guys!

5. My sister. I am so thankful for her, and even more thankful that she never killed me. I am sure she wanted to. Not that I think I am some major Cult of Personality, but I know I could not have been an easy “big brother” to follow thorough the earlier years. She’s all grown up now, has 3 girls to match my 3 boys, is married to a man that is devoted to her, and has a nice life. I love her and her family very much.

6. My Job. I admit I do not speak of it in depth on facebook, but that’s because you shouldn’t. I will say that I know I am fortunate to have to job I do, and to work with the people I do. I do enjoy the work, and any time you can get paid to do something that gives you satisfaction you win twice.

7. My reconnection with friends on facebook. I’ve written a whole note on this alone, so go find it if you want to.

8. Martha Harmon and Jeffery Davis. Two better friends could not be found. You know how you know you have a great friend? You can go weeks, months, years and no speak, and when you do, it’s like it was yesterday and you pick up where you left off. Cliche? Perhaps. But most cliche are true – that’s what makes the cliche’, non? Hope you guys have a great holiday season, and love you much.

9. Chocolate.

10. My buddy Alan Dezso. You know in cartoons, the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other? Alan is that angel, who keeps me out of trouble. He’s also one hell of a camping partner.

11. Living in America. Yes, I am thankful for this, and I do understand the value and strength of such a statement. We do not have to like everything, not support everything, or the same candidate, or go to the same church, or any church at all- we are FREE. And people have paid for the freedom in some real hard ways. So remember, be thankful you’re here. Never blame the soldier for the commands of the leadership, and respect those that have fallen.

12. My chickens. I know – silly. But really, they keep me balanced, and happy. I recently sold out for the year to reduce feed costs, and I was miserable. As much as I had told myself that they were not pets, it was not true – I kind of missed the little soft “cluck cluck cluck” sounds out in the yard while I work. So I got me 20 yesterday to carry over the winter.

13. Lessons learned the hard way. Yeah. Look, I never went to more than a few classes at a community college. I made choices that took the options of higher learning away – I do not regret them one bit. But the lessons I have learned the hard way, the scrapped knuckle, sweat in your eyes, the laying in bed unable to sleep with worry variety, the humbling asking for help when you’d rather die type – it has taught me a lot, and I doubt any of those lessons were offered on the local campuses anyway.

14. Mountain Dew.

15. Beer.

16. Water. I am a firm believer that God created water so that one day, man armed with knowledge and experience could invent Mountain Dew and Beer.

17. NASCAR. Oh come on you say – NASCAR? Yep, I am thankful for it believe it or not – I’m still a kid a heart, and every race I watch there is the little kid in me wishing dream and hoping he could grow up to be one of those modern day daredevils. I love it.

18. My lawnmower. Zero turn is the only way to go.

19. I am thankful for the ass whooping I got from my dad at fifteen after doing something really stupid. That singular moment probably straightened me out for the better, for life. I deserved it, and now as a parent I know how much it had to have angered, hurt and wrecked him. He done right by me, and I am thankful for it to this day.

20. I am thankful for sardines, spaghetti o’s, and potted meat. Without it, I’d get mighty damn hungry out on the road sometimes.

21. Panty hose. Every male, from a little boy to an old man, loves the feel of slick smooth panty hose on a woman, just for different reasons at different ages. Wowza!

22. Satellite TV.

23. My passion for reading. I do not know who should get the credit – my folks were avid readers, and certainly had awesome teachers in the early years who encouraged reading. A cheap used book is a poor mans golden diploma – you can learn something from anything you pick up and read.

24. Led Zeppelin. I am thankful for them – they are and will always be the rock group I measure any and all others against.

25. Quentin Tarintino. I am thankful for him showing that dialogue, real, gritty, spoken word that sounds just like what you would here waling through the room of any house, bar or warehouse can carry a movie. Forget special effects – get the relationships right – that is where the story lies. Happy Turkey Day Motherfucker!

26. The District Attorney’s Office of Harnett County, for seeing the right in a situation, and dropping the charges against me earlier this year. Again, where’s a whole note on this one, so you can go read about it in depth elsewhere.

27. My new facebook friends – Dave, Nick, Ashley, Gabriele, John, Molly, and more and more – Happy Thanksgiving guys!

28. The ability to make someone laugh I am thankful for this probably more so that any other “skill” I have. I love to see a smile on someone’s face, period.

29. Learning to play the guitar at an older age. I still suck, but I enjoy it. It is by no fault to my instructor, Guy Unger, who is super duper nice, and I recommend to any and everyone. He's on my friend list if you need to contact him.

30. Chris Jefferies posting the National Novel Writing Month info. I did my part – and wrote the minimum requirement of 50,000 in just under 11 days! I have finished my story, and am now revising, rewriting and such. It was the push I needed to get off my ass and do a project , and see it through the end.

31. Jim Beam.

32. Salma Hyeck. Damn.

33. Smokey and the Bandit. Awesome movie and a wonderful memory of a guy busking in Bole’s (sp?) Pizza in Greeneville knowing “Eastbound and Down”. Cannot hear the song or see the movie without thinking of that guy, or the fun I had that night with my cousin David . Love you dude.

34. While on the subject of cousins, I am thankful Michael survived his apartment fir years back. I hate hospitals, but as soon as I found out I had o go check on the little guy ( who is not too damn little anymore – he’s a MAN – and he was OK. Love you kid.

35. My Aunt Nell – you were the “young” aunt – close enough in age that I tried to relate to you
growing up – far enough away that you were “an adult” not to be trusted (joke). You were (and are) the cool inspiration, though I don’t think you knew how much. Love you, and love your family. Your Husband is probably one of the nicest folks I have ever met, and your daughters are beautiful. Hope your holiday weekend is fun and relaxing.

36. My Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Alex – the adventurers. These guys had the house right in the edge of Chapel Hill, always were going on cool trips and hosting great over the weekend sleep over’s for our family. Jessica and Mallory always were beautiful and a blast to play with when younger. Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

37. Aunt Diana and Uncle Leon. The elegant and refined home, the warm welcome that meets you at the door, you guys are lovely. I remember dropping in on Aunt Diana at her classroom one day – that surprised smile was awesome. Here’s a toast to you guys, and hope that your holiday is warm and special.

38. Elizabeth. She who is silly and cute. A living baby doll. Love you. Happy Turkey day, you turkey!

39. Mitch Henely, Brian Steen, Tim Shaw, Connley Parker, Nathan Norris – all previous bosses who taught me lessons in life.

40. Randy Newsome. I miss you. A lot. I love you. If you were here, it’s Thanksgiving; we’d get together today, probably drink a beer, and have a good ole bullshit session. You’re heavy on my mind right now. Ten years and it hurts like yesterday. But I am thankful for the time we had. My second son has your name, and you’d like him, I know. (He’s kind of quire about things sometimes – just like you were)

41. I am thankful that things hurt. ( I’m crying right now ) It tells me that I am still a decent person, that I can love, lose, miss, value and want people.

42. I am thankful that I get to cook the turkey today.

43. I am thankful for the men and women who will leave their families today and respond to heart attacks, fire calls, wrecks, all manner of emergencies. I have never had a single desire to be a paramedic or a firefighter, nor a policeman, but I respect all that they do in order to help the average person in crisis. God bless you all, and I hope you get some time with your family today.

44. Did I mention Salma Hyeck? Damn!

45. I am thankful for all the McGarity family I have met on facebook, and the connections that we have made. If possible I would meet every one of you in person, just to shake you hands and say thank you. The only McGaritys I had met n my life till a few years ago were the ones that lived in my hose, and my grandparents. It’s just cool knowing that you are not the only ones.

46. I am thankful for my dad teaching me the simple skills and tasks that seem to elude so many of my contemporary friends – cutting, welding, chain sawing, carpentry, basic farm electrical, general automotive maintenance.

47. I am thankful that I was allowed to grow up and be what I am – and that my thirst for adventure, diversity, experimentation and sometimes even self destructiveness were allowed to me, to make me what I am today.

48. I am thankful that I have some really great employees that work with me, and want them to understand that It is hard to be the boss; they make it easy more often than not though, and I am thankful for that.

49. I am thankful for Bert Pritchford, Bobby Tyson and Ken Dalton, all men of their religious vocations, that talked TO me, not AT me, and even if I did not decide to walk step in step with their lectures, were respectful enough of this creation of God to accept me for what I was and to continue to treat me kindly and with patience. Bless you three, and comfort Mr. Tyson’s family in their recent loss.

50. And on my last expanded one of the list I am thankful for you, for your taking the time to read my little notes, and hope you get something from them. They are therapy for me- I let out what is pent up and move on. They help keep me from grabbing a rifle and looking for a water tower to shoot from.


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