Thanksgiving time approaches and it is time to take stock of all the wonderful things life has to offer each of us. First and foremost, I’m thankful and grateful to have enough of life’s necessities. I have a very nice roof over my head with a nice looking, comfortable house underneath it. I have a wonderful family who I don’t see nearly as often as I’d like to. My daughter is now visiting me and weeding my front yard as I work here at the dining room table. Wears me out watching her. I have delicious, nourishing food in my kitchen. I have excellent health insurance and access to excellent care, which at age 90 is used often though my basic health is good. My monthly income is enough to meet my basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

My thankfulness extends way beyond having my basic needs met. I’m thankful to live in Pullman. It is a great place that meets all my basic needs. We have access to good health care, libraries and learning opportunities, great outdoor recreational opportunities, which sadly I’m no longer physically able to take advantage of, and access to all kinds of artistic opportunities like concerts, art displays and the like. I’m thankful for television which brings the world back into my life. I’m no longer physically able to travel, but I can visit all corners of the world via TV travel show programming. I can stay current with the latest news, often as it is happening. I’m thankful for the right to speak my mind freely and express my opinions, without penalty. This freedom we enjoy was hard won and we need to treasure and protect it diligently. In recent months,ww we have experienced a vivid example of just how easily that right could be lost. We live in a wonderful country with a healthy majority of wonderful citizens. Sadly, there still exist way too many “bad apples” in positions of power who disrupt the desired order of things.

I’m thankful for all the delightful, generous friends and strangers who have recently bailed me out of several sticky situations I managed to work myself into, like the friend who came and got me after I managed to get my car off the drive and into a planting bed at my doctor’s office. He took me home to get a phonebook and call the towing service to get my car loose. He waited long enough to make sure it ran properly. Then there was the day my landline went out of service and I was stranded without access to my life alert for most of a day until I could flag down a new neighbor, whom I had yet to meet, when she returned home, and she came over and managed to contact the phone company and get my service restored.

I am grateful for good friends with whom I can socialize, such as going out to lunch together like we did this past week. COVID-19 interrupted that for a while, but we were finally able to arrange to go out to lunch together and exchange the long-overdue birthday cards which the pandemic had delayed.

Finally, I’m thankful for this big wonderful world and especially the country we live in. There are other nice places to live with good governments with kind people and beautiful scenery and natural resources but, to my mind, none are quite like the one I live in. The opportunities and amenities it offers for raising, adequately providing for, and educating a family are so wonderful. The opportunities for being true to oneself, for being all you can be, are so great.

Just thinking about them brings out all the superlatives. The bottom line is that I have a lot to be thankful for. What more could I ask for?

Harding lives in Pullman and is a longtime League of Women Voters member. She also has served on the Gladish Community and Cultural Center board. Reach her at lj1105harding@gmail.com.

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