Author photo

By Mel Makaw
contributing writer 

Always thankful

On the Bright Side


November 25, 2023

Mel Makaw.

Once again in this season of thanksgiving, I find myself struggling a little about what to say about being thankful, as no matter what I say or think, I am painfully aware of all the suffering going on in the world today. I know that in spite of all the mass shootings, ugliness and uncertainty in our country – not to mention the out and out war going on in the world at large – there is always something to be thankful for.

And I am thankful, even as I also know I have much more to be thankful for than so many others do.

So today this is a slightly reworked repeat from a couple of years ago, offered not only as a reminder to you that there is always something to be thankful for, but as a reminder to myself as well:

Every morning when I wake up to a new day, in spite of my numerous aches and pains, I am thankful to be alive, and every morning when I sit at the breakfast table and eat the food before me, I am thankful for the bounty in my refrigerator and cupboards. I am also thankful for the clothes I wear, and the medicines I take, and the computer that brings me news, ideas and oftentimes smiles and belly laughs.

Every morning when I decide what to do with my day (I no longer work regularly), I'm thankful that I have interests and hobbies that keep me going, that give me reasons to live, that make my days feel purposeful and significant.

Every day when I leave the house, I am thankful that I have the means to get myself where I need to go. I'm thankful for the streets I drive, and the trees and flowers and bushes – and people and pets – I see on my way. I'm thankful for other drivers who drive courteously - carefully and aware and not on a cell phone - so that we all may arrive safely at our destinations.

Every day at lunch I am thankful again for the food I eat. I'm also thankful that I am often able to share my lunchtime with people I enjoy talking to and being with, and for the many choices we have of places to eat. And if people aren't available, I'm thankful for the good books I enjoy reading when eating alone.

Every evening when I'm home, I am thankful for my home. I'm thankful for every room and rug and rafter - for the walls that keep the heat in and the cold out; for the furniture that keeps me comfortable and the lights that let me read or craft; for the running water that keeps me healthy and clean; for the ceiling that keeps the rain and the snow off my head.

Every evening when I can spend time with family or friends, I am thankful that we have each other. I am thankful for the time we have to experience things together and the chances we have to learn more about each other; I am thankful for every laugh that gets bigger and more hearty and joyful when shared, and for every sorrow that gets smaller and less consuming when shared.

Every time I can be in my yard – even just sitting in the porch swing, gazing at the scenery and listening to the birds – I am thankful for the flowers that bloom and the leaves that falls and the moisture that brings life to it all; I am thankful for the constant reminders of living things and changing seasons all around me.

Every evening when I watch television or listen to music or read a book, I am thankful for what strangers share - their experiences, opinions, talents, skills and knowledge - for my entertainment or education. I am thankful that there is always something new to learn, new perspectives to ponder, new eyes through which to see this big, magnificent world.

Every night when I go to bed, I am thankful for the day I've had and for the people who touched my life that day; I am also thankful for those whose lives I may have touched.

So in spite of everything that goes wrong or brings hurts, I must remember there is so much to be thankful for every day – not just on one day of the year – and I am grateful that I know enough to be thankful for all of the blessings in my life, both big and small.

© 2023 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer/photographer and author of On the Bright Side, a Collection of Columns (available locally at Tehachapi Arts Center and Healthy Hippie Trading Co.), welcomes your comments at


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