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Averyt: Thanks and Giving

11/24/11 7:55AM By Anne Averyt
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(Host) This Thanksgiving season has commentator Anne Averyt thinking about thanks and about giving.

(Averyt) I’m hosting pilgrims from Plymouth this Thanksgiving . Well, actually, in-laws on a pilgrimage from their home near the Massachusetts Rock across the miles to spend the holiday here in Vermont. Also coming over the river and through the woods are children from Maryland and Virginia, and, for her first Thanksgiving feast, a new granddaughter. All of which adds up to a lot to be thankful for this year.

When I think what it is I’m thankful for, I’m thankful for my titanium knees that can hike Camel’s Hump, and I’m thankful for my eyes that after cataract surgery can see clearly the Green Mountains silhouetted in the eastern sky. I’m thankful for the connection of friends and family; I’m thankful for brown-basted turkeys and pies of any kind; and I’m thankful for the little everyday things that we mostly take for granted – those wonderful random acts of kindness that we sometimes forget to count among our blessings.

I’m thankful for the store clerk who smiles as I fumble for the right change, for the neighbor who leaves a Tupperware container by my front door with a generous serving of still-simmering squash soup. I’m thankful for a telephone call from a friend, just saying hello, and for a late night rambling conversation with the young man next door when we meet by the recycle bins.

I’m thankful for the teenage girl who helped load my groceries in the car trunk on a rainy night; and for my garage man, who patiently rescued me when I chewed my front tire to the rim, believing futilely that it would make it whole to his shop.

I’m thankful for all the people who are going to be in churches and local restaurants today dishing up mashed potatoes and serving cranberry sauce; thankful for the people who are handing out warm winter coats and for those who donated them; for people who are taking a little time out of their family day to visit someone alone in a nursing home.

All the special people who do special things not expecting anything special in return, those very special people who are generous in spirit and understand that the word charity really means love.

When generations and blended families gather around our Thanksgiving table this year, you’ll need a genealogy tree to tell who is who and how everyone fits in. But sitting with us all will be a couple from a continent far away, not related to anyone. A couple from Kenya joining our family in a very American tradition of stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie, invited by the hosts, my ex-husband and his partner, who truly understand that giving is what thanks is all about.
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