Why we are thankful

Johnson City Press • Nov 22, 2018 at 7:30 AM

As the nation observes its annual day of thanks, we asked some members of the Johnson City Press staff to share why they are thankful.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to live in such a vastly different area where the forest dominates the landscape and seems to never end. I am thankful to have the opportunities to explore these wondrous places either by running, hiking or just venturing out my back door. East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia offer so many great places to visit, like Roan Mountain or the Cumberland Gap. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful my home can be during the right lighting” — Tanner Cook, Sports Writer.

“I am thankful time taught me to be gracious, laughter taught me to breathe, and life teaches me daily to be mindful. I am thankful for music that takes you back to crazy times, smiles of trusted souls, and unconditional love of pets. I am thankful for the bright side of life, savasana and Arbonne Fizz Sticks. I am thankful for good vibes, stouts, red wine and jackfruit tacos. I am thankful for anyone who has made me smile. I am thankful to be alive, have adventures, and to have a safe place to call home. I am thankful for Adam and Tucker who make my world. And let’s not forget Isaiah Rogers, who created indoor plumbing, and Thomas Edison, who created the electric heater. The key to happiness is being thankful everyday, not just on a holiday” — Emily Barnes, Advertising Coordinator.

“There is so much to be thankful for living in the greatest country on Earth with all of our modern conveniences. What I’m most thankful for are my family and friends. In particular, I cherish the time I get to spend with my kids. With them grown now, our time together is even more special” — Jeff Birchfield, Sports Writer.

“I have always been profoundly thankful to be at the top of the food chain, especially in terms of my relationship with that wonderful creature, the turkey. In the film ‘1776,’ Benjamin Franklin cited the wonderful attributes of the bird: ‘The turkey is a truly noble bird. Native American, a source of sustenance to our original settlers …’ It was these attributes that have helped make the turkey, both in its natural and its roasted forms, a powerful icon of Thanksgiving. I love the delicate flavor of turkey and how the spices of the season make it the star of the Thanksgiving feast. In addition to providing a visual centerpiece to the feast, it also provides the odor and flavor that have come to signify Thanksgiving” — John Thompson, Elizabethton Bureau Chief.

“I am thankful for opportunities to grow stronger in my relationship with Jesus, whether it be from learning through failure or wisdom through positive experience. Each day brings new opportunities that can be missed through the distractions of living in this world, so I’m grateful when the fog clears and the vision sharpens by the grace of God. And I am thankful for my family” — Douglas Fritz, Sports Writer.

“I'm thankful to have a strong support network of family members and friends willing to spring to action when things are most dire or when all that's needed is a smile and a few words of encouragement. I'll try to repay and extend those kindnesses whenever and wherever possible” — Nathan Baker, News Editor.

“When thinking about what I am thankful for, I realize how truly fortunate I am. I have a good job, my health, a great partner, a home, generous and kind friends, fur babies, family ... Some of this results from working my butt off, and some of it's luck. There are some small things like our bedroom door that won't latch closed, but in the grand scheme, I've got it pretty good. I'm thankful for that” — Jason Willis, Director of Digital Operations.

"Aside from being thankful for those close to me, I find myself increasingly appreciating the little things in life as I age. In some of my columns and articles, I have often touched on the beauty of our Appalachian ecosystem. While I’m not what many would consider a big “outdoorsy” type, I am thankful to live in the midst of our mountains. I often start my mornings out on my porch with a cup of coffee, sometimes catching a glimpse of some of the blue jays or the cardinals that live near my front door. It was during this morning routine that I recently found myself thinking about how thankful I’ve been to experience another autumn here in Northeast Tennessee” — Brandon Paykamian, Staff Writer.

“I've experienced a lot of loss in the past year with the death of two grandparents, so I'm thankful to be surrounded by love through my parents, supportive coworkers, my close-knit group of friends and a wonderful partner who have stuck by my side through thick and thin. Every day I think about how thankful I am to have such incredible people in my life” — Jessica Fuller, Staff Writer.

“I am grateful for many things, but mostly for having an extended family that comes together in times of adversity. Nothing is more reassuring than knowing your family is close, no matter how far away they are. It’s a trait Joe Sr. instilled in all of us before he passed, and it’s his greatest legacy” — Joe Avento, Sports Director.

“Family. I know it's cliche, but I'm thankful for my family. A family who loved me enough to encourage personal growth and education, and to spur my desire to seek knowledge and understanding. A family that loves openly and unconditionally, and offers a hand when it is needed. A family who allowed me to follow my own path, without judgment or reproach; if there was disapproval, it wasn't addressed outwardly, it was simply accepted that I would learn and adapt. I'm thankful for a wife and daughter who are cut from the same cloth, and who instill a hope in me every morning that we might just be OK. I'm thankful for the people who did, and do, those things — because people like that are awful hard to find these days” — Jared Bentley, Multimedia Reporter.

Happy Thanksgiving from Johnson City Press. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

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