Giving thanks

As is required by federal columnist law, the following is my annual list of things I am thankful for. This year has been one of enormous change for my family, as I took a new job and moved to a new city. My family has had to adjust to the biggest change we have ever undertaken, with a new home and new schools and generally new everything in their lives. And we have done this was amazing support from friends and family who helped us take this leap of faith that has turned out pretty darn well for us.

So obviously I am thankful for all of that stuff — friends, family, support, etc. But you really should be thankful for that kind of stuff year-round, not just when you need to write your annual Thanksgiving column.

So I decided to reflect on some of the other smaller things I am thankful for. Some of the smaller things make a big difference in your life, and I certainly have had the chance over the last few months to reflect on the things really make life fantastic.

I am thankful for:

  • Living in the South, where you are never more than two phone calls away from borrowing a truck if you need one. This is especially true when you are trying to move an entire house and need to take roughly ⅓ of the contents to be donated.
  • The spray hose thingee that comes standard with every single kitchen sink except for the house I now live in. If you have one in your home, go and tell it thanks for being awesome and that you appreciate the hard work it does for you.
  • The fact that my kids are both old enough and tall enough to go see superhero movies and ride roller coasters, and that they love both them.
  • Dogs that are lazy. My dogs are perfectly content curling up and sleeping for 30-40 hours per day.
  • That I have found a hiding place that only I can reach where I can store a pair of earbuds for my use only.
  • Ponds. Living very close to one, it’s really nice that, given the option of walking around the pond or playing a video game, my son will go to the pond every time. And I’m thankful that on his frequent nature walks, he will bring home his finds. While some may not appreciate his finds, I think it’s fantastic that he may come home with a fish skull or a bird feather or a dead mole.
  • A wife who is OK with said dead mole being brought in, and even helps get it situated in the freezer. Just a hunch that when she was a little girl, this was not part of her fairy tale.
  • The sound of music. My daughter sings. Constantly. Although I do sometimes find myself saying, “Allie, seriously. You just have to knock it off for a minute.” For example, when she’s in the dentist chair.
  • Canister vacuums. Not only are they less nasty than vacuum bags, it’s really cool to watch your cleaning progress build up in the vacuum. And to occasionally wonder how so much stuff materialized on your carpet.
  • Food. When my family moved to Charleston we knew we were moving to one of the food meccas of the country. And it’s awesome that my kids will try most anything at least once. And we have established that, for my daughter, one raw oyster is the max.
  • Dinosaurs. Why dinosaurs? Because they’re awesome. And because another Jurassic Park movie is coming out. And that’s enough for me.
  • A really good dryer. For years I thought our dryer was simply terrible. When we moved, our mover pointed out that the tube from the dryer to the wall was roughly 40 feet longer than it needed to be, which apparently is not good. He shortened the tube for us, and our dryer now actually dries clothes in a single cycle, rather than the previous four or so it took to dry a single pair of socks.
  • My life in general. I’m a lucky guy, and I should remind myself of that every morning when I wake up. Even if I don’t have one of spray hose thingees any more.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C., and now lives in Charleston. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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