Writing a Thanksgiving column should be an easy task. I have much for which I am grateful. However, after writing for almost 20 years, I think I am beginning to repeat myself every November. With a humble heart, I will tell you why I am thankful in 2010.
T – Thanksgiving: My favorite holiday. No need to rush around for presents or fancy decorations. All you need is good food and loved ones by your side.
H – Husband: Jim and I have been married almost 29 years. He is my best friend. When life gets hard to bear, he lifts my spirits. He's a helpmate around the house, has a wicked sense of humor, and brings perspective into my world.
A - Activity: Even though we are getting up in years, we still enjoy games and activities that keep us moving and thinking. Jim plays pickle ball; I do water aerobics; we both play shuffleboard and miniature golf. Each morning, we play Scrabble and Yahtzee to start the day. We're also good at crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
N – New development: Our new home is in "On Top of the World" – a 55-and-older community in Ocala, FL. After looking around Florida for more than 20 years, we finally found a place that suits us just fine. OTOW is peaceful, safe, friendly, and beautiful. It also has many opportunities for activity if we so choose. Or, we can just lounge by the pool with a book.
K – Kids: Now that we live only 90 minutes from our daughter, we get to visit our grandkids more often. It's great being able to drive down in the morning, take Conor to school, have lunch with Jen and Colton, visit Jordan in his apartment, watch Kiele play soccer, and have dinner with the whole gang.
S – Supartz: When my orthopedic surgeon told me that he was recommending that I get Supartz shots in my arthritic knee, I wasn't thrilled. However, the pain had become fairly unbearable at times, so I went ahead with the shots. Supartz made the knee pain subside dramatically. Hooray for modern medicine!
G – Geckos: The little critters are plentiful around our home. They pop up here and there and make life interesting. Actually, they almost take the place of a 'real' pet.
I – Information: Can you believe how easy it is to find information nowadays? Going on the Internet is so simple. I just wish I had these opportunities when I was a doctoral student.
V – Vision: My eyes are not perfect, but I can see well enough to do most anything. Some retinal problems will most likely result in future surgeries, but I have confidence that I can again say "Hooray for modern medicine!"
I - Instructors: Where would we be without teachers? Whether it's a first grader learning to read, a pre-med student learning the circulatory system, or a 70-year-old learning how to hook a rug, teachers help us create a life. To me, it is the most important profession.
N - Novels: Finding a good book to read is, to me, as exciting as discovering buried treasure. Books are invaluable companions and give us so much pleasure. Lately, I've been enamored of Stephen White's mysteries.
G - Generosity: Whether it is Bill and Melinda Gates (who give millions to schools) or a neighborhood Handyman (like my husband) who donates time and talent to help others, having an unselfish attitude makes the world a better place.
There is an old French proverb that says, "Gratitude is the memory of the heart." I think that's the perfect way to describe Thanksgiving.
(IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM  OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.)