Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. My favorite annual holiday comes with a flood of warm fuzzy memories of family, food and fun. It's good to pause to give thanks for the blessings of another year.
In addition to family, I'm especially thankful for supportive friends far and near. Local friends Kate Blum, Sheila Carlin, Jan Caputo, Charlotte Dill, Jan Erntson, Janet Gibson, Peggy Lee, Margaret Walton and Fran Wilson were there when needed. Most of all I'm thankful for Lloyd and Joyce Ludy who have loved and cared for me to a level far beyond what one should expect of friends.
I'm grateful for my doctors, William Flowers, William Mayer and Robert Giuntoli, whose medical skills combined with God's healing grace have kept me through another year. Health when not in jeopardy can be taken for granted. It's great to be alive and well.
The Rev. Robb Long is not to be forgotten on a list of blessings. Not every pastor would get up in the middle of the night to come to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to pray with patient and family before a 5:30 a.m. surgery. I am truly blessed.
Those are personal blessings. We also have community blessings. An abundance of good nourishing food is definitely high on the list of blessings. River Hill Music Boosters are offering fresh citrus. Order navel oranges, grapefruit, tangerines or a variety pack by Dec. 2 for delivery Dec. 17. Go to http://www.riverhillmusic.org for information.
Students at Clarksville Elementary celebrated the Turkey Trot by donating turkeys to The Neighbor Network to share with those in need.
Our community is blessed with many individuals and groups who share talents and skills. Pat Greenwald will present "Decking the Halls with Natural Materials" at the Savage Branch Library Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
The Columbia Pro Cantare continues its tradition of performing the Christmas selections of Handel's "Messiah" Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Theatre, in Columbia. Before the concert, Dr. Barbara Renton will present a free lecture at 6:30 p.m. There will be refreshments served following the concert.
This is usually a sell-out concert. Advance tickets are $23 for adults and $20 for seniors and students. At the door, they will be $25 and $22. Go to http://www.procantare.org or call 301-854-0107 or 410-799-9321 for more information.
Master Gardeners will be sharing their expertise with new and experienced gardeners this spring. Registration is now open. Classes will meet Monday and Wednesday mornings Jan. 25 through March 28. The registration deadline is Dec. 16, but the sooner you register, the better. There is a great deal of preparation required. To learn more call 410-313-2707.
Are you thankful to live in a community where neighbors care and share? Neighbor Ride is celebrating seven years because volunteers have been a "driving force" in making it possible for seniors to maintain independence and stay at home. Additional volunteers are needed to meet sharply growing demand.
In each of the last two months, Neighbor Ride has provided more than 1,200 rides for seniors to medical appointments, shopping, social functions and personal needs. New drivers are urgently needed, the hours are flexible and no set schedule is required. Parents are welcome to bring children along for the ride.
Local dentist Rashmi Parmar is giving thanks for all those who participated in the Treats for Troops event. Dr. Parmar collected 300 pounds of candy and supplies for troops were collected and shipped to Operation Gratitude along with toothbrushes and other dental items and candy with xylitol which prevents cavities.
They were also able to donate toothbrushes and candy to a local engineering firm putting together packages for troops. Special thanks are sent to Pizza Hut for Personal Pan Pizza certificates for each child participating. Subway donated kids meals and there were free tickets to Circus Fusion donated by Dunkin Donuts. Crest donated toothpaste and Safco Dental Supply donated toothbrushes.
Many thanks are sent to Kendall's Hardware for donating a gift certificate for the raffle. Dr. Parmar donated a basket of dental goodies.
Congratulations to the Greenfield family on winning the raffle for Dr. Parmar's dental basket and Sandy Hanson on winning the gift certificate to Kendall's.
A community that comes together to serve and passes on that heritage to its children is blessed. The children made beautiful cards for the troops and everyone had fun.
What are you thankful for as you pause to review the year?