"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. For your life and strength, give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." - Tecumseh Shawnee
For my best friend, Bob Lee, who opened his home to me for an early Thanksgiving celebration a couple of days ago, who saw the photo at right unfolding spontaneously and decided to make a record of it.
For the friendship and love that Bob and his wonderful family have extended to this odd little traveler over the years.
For Bob's example as a friend and teacher in the military (anybody who "snaps to" for a two-striper, but makes a colonel earn every ounce of deference, has a lot going for him).
For the companionship and loyalty of a good dog. Mark Twain had it right when he observed that if Heaven went by merit, our dogs would go in first.
For the privilege of spending 20 years wearing my country's uniform.
For the gift of liberty which, while currently in disrepute, holds the key to America's past and future glory.
For the insipidly terrible, metaphysically gawd-awful, cosmically stupid rap "music" that is currently destroying the restaurant's speaker system, for it will remain here while I walk to the truck, having gained a new appreciation and reverence for silence. Also, I pray the lead "singer" recovers from his (apparently) strenuous battle with Tourette Syndrome.
For the good fortune of having to work today, when there are so many who are looking for work.
For the privilege of driving a truck that honors all who have worn the nation's uniform and defended the Constitution, the American people, and liberty itself.
For the men and women who today stand watch on freedom's front lines, for their sacrifice and fidelity. May we again become worthy of their sacrifice.
For those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, whose incredible devotion stands as testimony to the price of freedom.
For their families, who observe this and every holiday with an empty place at the table, and an unhealed emptiness in their hearts. May God comfort them, and may we always be grateful for their sacrifice.
For the privilege of being part of a family that truly understands that families look out for each other.
For grandparents, great grandparents, and even great great grandparents whose lives were a graduate course in the virtues of fidelity, patience, steadfastness, sacrifice, love, humor, a wonderful tradition of story-telling, devotion to God and country, and some of the best cooking in the free world.
For parents whose devotion to their children was never in doubt, who taught by word and deed, who would to this day fight hell itself for us, and whose love grows daily.
For my children, Benjamin and Christie, who are such an inspiration as I watch them grow into adulthood. I'm proud beyond words to be their Dad.
For the sun which rises and sets in my little grandson's eyes.
For a good gumbo, a friendly smile, and the delightful humor that bubbles up from my friends in Rayne, Louisiana, every time I visit.
For Peter Robinson and Rob Long, who decided to take a chance on an obscure and quirky little Cajun truck driver.
For the incomparable people of Ricochet. This remnant of liberty loving, strong-hearted people who truly are the "smartest in the room," have become a family to me, and I am thankful beyond measure to be in their number and bask in their warm wisdom.
For the Author of our Freedom and my Redeemer, Who knew me before I was born and yet extended His infinite love and grace to me anyway.
From my home on wheels to your home and family, Happy Thanksgiving.