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Give thanks for the good things, large and small

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, let us reflect on the things for which we are grateful. Let us give thanks . . .

That Superstorm Sandy didn't do much damage in Maryland — and that we have a federal government to respond to the less fortunate areas where it did.

That utility crews work in ice, rain and mud to fix power lines while we moan about how uncomfortable we are.

That postal carriers got our mail delivered even as Sandy slammed into the mid-Atlantic.

That the presidential candidate who believes climate change is a serious problem won.

Let us give thanks . . .

For what we have, because having lots more doesn't guarantee we'll be happy or respected, loved or successful. (See: Trump, Donald; Romney, Mitt.)

For those who battled voter suppression across the country, and for a nation that still belongs to those who turned out to vote, and not to the Koch brothers.

For beer growlers, and the change in state law that allows Baltimoreans to purchase ales on tap and walk them home.

For Josh Charles, because he's a fine actor and a cool guy from our town.

For the final fall of Lance Armstrong — if only because it reminds us who the real heroes are: firefighters and teachers and cops, those who volunteer to serve in the military, those who fight every day for justice and equality.

Let us be grateful . . .

For Tocheterman's, the venerable tackle store on Eastern Avenue, with everything needed for fishing with bait, heavy-metal or fly, and the funkiest window displays south of Hampden.

For mile-high lemon meringue pie. I've sampled several at diners and bake shops in the Baltimore area over the last year and haven't had a bad one yet.

For the decadent indulgence of a Berger cookie during the occasional late-night run to Royal Farms.

For breakfast among loud friends at Jimmy's in Fells Point.

For the live music in the Lexington Market arcade.

For the amazing scene in the produce section at H Mart in Catonsville.

That this country is still attractive to immigrants who want to work hard and build a better life for their children and grandchildren.

That the increased number of immigrants to the Baltimore region means an abundance of all kinds of foods and products that used to be hard to get.

Let us bow our heads and give thanks that . . .

The biggest-spending teams in Major League Baseball are not always the winningest teams.

You didn't turn in your Orioles season tickets last winter, when your buddy said, "That team isn't going anywhere."

Your conscience tells you to stay home with family on Thanksgiving night and not surrender to Walmart's 8 p.m. opening.

You're not the reporter for Baltimore's Fox station who was sent out to conduct man-on-the-street interviews about a ridiculous campaign to have Maryland secede from the union because of President Obama's re-election.

Being a caterer or florist, you supported the effort to make same-sex marriage legal — because it was the right thing to do, and because it's going to be good for business.

You're Morgan Cox and few people know that you play for the Baltimore Ravens. When you're a long snapper, it's best that way. It means you're not messin' up, which is the only time the TV announcers drop your name.

You passed on a blind date and the date turned out to be Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.

Be thankful that . . .

You're not a 50-something or 60-something lifer in a Maryland prison. No matter that you've been granted parole, the governor puts his political ambitions over your redemption and freedom.

You've gone another year without having to hire that Baltimore lawyer from those strange television commercials. It means you're not among "the urinated upon."

The Baltimore Sun can devote six months to researching how speed cameras work or don't work.

The civic spirit lives on, and many men and women still are willing to volunteer for everything from helping the homeless to augmenting the staffs at hospitals, schools and charities.

Be thankful . . .

For the excellent education you received — public, private, parochial — and the chance to attend a college or university, and the lifetime of fulfilling employment that grew from that.

That a majority of Marylanders saw the value of education for the Dream Act kids and voted for Question 4.

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