So many blessings
Iím facing a bit of a dilemma as I start this column. I need to write, again, about Gov. Asa Hutchinsonís inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I gave the governor a pass last week when I instead wrote about the improvement of the University of Arkansas football team.
At the time, I figured not much would change in Hutchinsonís handling of the pandemic so I could always write about his failings another time.
I was correct ó the governor steadfastly refuses to take any significant new action to curb the effects of this deadly virus in the state.
But, itís Thanksgiving week, and although itís been a stressful, sometimes chaotic year, thereís still a great deal to be thankful for. So, Asa gets a reprieve for one more week.
My blessings are too many for me to count, but of course they start with my family ó my sons Ronnie and Ryan, their wives Christi and Harlie and my grandsons Hayden and Liam. Regular readers know how much I like to brag on them, and Iím going to do it again. Somehow, my sons manage to reflect the best parts of me but without the numerous flaws. I see myself in them but I also see that they have grown up to be their own men. If I could have imagined years ago the kind of sons Iíd like to have, Iím sure my imagination would have fallen short. Christi and Harlie have been wonderful additions to our family, as well, and I just canít express in words the way I feel about my grandsons. Iím so grateful for them and so blessed by the opportunity to watch them grow.
At some point this week, Iíll take some time to reflect on the folks who arenít with us to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and Iíll remember holidays from years past. What I wouldnít give to have just one more bite of my momís dressing or watch my dad, who rarely laughed, giggle uncontrollably at an old Laurel and Hardy movie. Theyíre gone now, in one sense, but as long as I have those memories theyíll always be with me. Iím thankful for the time I shared with them.
Iím incredibly grateful, too, for the opportunity to work at Carroll County Newspapers. Iíve been here about six and a half years now and just about every day I reflect on what a change this job has made in my life. Before I came here in 2014, I was burned out by 20-plus years of working nights, weekends and holidays, putting in 60- and 70-hour weeks at a failing newspaper in a dying town. Now, I live in a beautiful, vibrant community and I am able to have some work-life balance while still doing a job that I love surrounded by an incredible team that is about to get even stronger (stay tuned on that front). I truly believe Iím doing what I was born to do in the place where I was meant to do it.
Iím grateful for a comfortable home and a sense of security after some long, hard years of just scraping by. Iím thankful for good friends and even for my critics, who inspire me to keep doing what I know is right.
Iím thankful for each of you who read this column and those of you who read and support this newspaper and all of our other publications. This newspaper belongs to the people of Carroll County, and serving you is our top priority.
Itís been a tough year but itís still a good life. I hope all of you will remember that as you count your blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!