Thank­ful for life that keeps on giv­ing

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - OPINION - JOHN W. FOUN­TAIN au­[email protected]­wfoun­ | @John­WFoun­tain

Iam thank­ful for Har­ley mo­tor­cy­cles and blue jeans, for coun­try mu­sic and cin­na­mon jelly­beans. For mild cigars on an evening breeze. For God’s green Earth and tall shade trees.

I am thank­ful. For two eyes to see and two ears to hear. For a mind to think and ice-cold beer.

I am thank­ful to arise each morn­ing, in my dearly de­parted grand­mother’s words, “with a reeeaz-na-ble por­tion of my health and strength.” Thank­ful for God’s green Earth and the taste of mint.

I am so very thank­ful that midterm elec­tion cam­paign com­mer­cials have now bit the dust. Thank­ful for French vanilla ice cream and thick baked sweet potato piecrust.

For a roof over my head. For the abil­ity to keep my fam­ily fed. For the ac­tiv­ity of my limbs and for clothes on my back. Thank­ful that the Democrats have taken the House back.

I am thank­ful to be able to in­hale the scent of sweet per­fume. To be able to in­gest the aroma of tur­key and all the trim­mings fill­ing ev­ery room. Thank­ful for a few dol­lars in my pocket. For tall cups of dark roast cof­fee. For the sen­sa­tion of cool rain­drops fall­ing upon me.

Thank­ful for ice­mak­ers and mi­crowaves. Thank­ful for other peo­ple’s chil­dren who are well be­haved. I am thank­ful for hot sauce and col­lard greens. For Home Run Inn pizza. And for ev­ery­thing the Good Lord has given me.

I am thank­ful that noth­ing lasts for­ever — not pain, not mourn­ing, not strain. Not an Illi­nois Fight­ing Illini foot­ball game.

Thank­ful that although I have missed my de­parted mother ev­ery sin­gle day over the last four years, time and heal­ing have helped to dry my tears. I am thank­ful. For golden sun­rises above rip­pling blue waves. For cher­ished mo­ments of soli­tude on still quiet days. For coun­try mu­sic, jazz and the Mis­sis­sippi Delta blues. For Spo­tify and iTunes.

And yet, I am still thank­ful for my col­lec­tion of trea­sured vinyl — my clas­sic LPs and stacks of 45s: my Aretha Franklins, Heat­wave, Is­ley Broth­ers and my 1977 “Com­modores Live.”

I am thank­ful for the snap, crackle and pop of the turntable’s nee­dle. For time­less un­blem­ished al­bum cov­ers that make me mind­ful to re­deem the time. Thank­ful for the will to live. And for peace of mind.

Thank­ful that Pres­i­dent Trump even­tu­ally has to sleep. For it seems the only way to stop his crazy tweets.

I am thank­ful for my or­tho­don­tists — Doc­tors Eric and Ash­ley Barnes — who over the last two years have re­stored my smile. Thank­ful that we still have months be­fore we have new taxes to file.

Thank­ful for win­ter, spring, sum­mer and fall. Thank­ful for LeBron James and L.A. Lak­ers bas­ket­ball.

Thank­ful for re­mote car en­gine starters on frigid days. For oys­ter dress­ing and honey ham glaze. I am thank­ful.

For one-but­ton phone di­al­ing. For grand­daugh­ters who make my heart dance and sing. For Google Maps nav­i­ga­tion and all the lit­tle things.

I am thank­ful for rose bushes — red, or yel­low and col­or­ful sprays. Thank­ful for a ticket to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play (Thank you, Ly­dia Rypcin­ski!).

I am thank­ful for a rare spot of fine bour­bon whiskey.

And I am thank­ful for the tread­mill and for the chance to work off all of this Thanks­giv­ing food that I have put into my mouth. Thank­ful for broth­ers like Kevin Cal­la­han and Butch Staten. Thank­ful for life, which grows more and more amaz­ing.

For my wife and kids, I am thank­ful. For fam­ily and friends, thank­ful. And for fi­nally reach­ing this col­umn’s end.

I am thank­ful for not hav­ing to try to rhyme again.


A Har­ley-David­son mo­tor­cy­cle.

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