We often find it easy to criticize others, the way things are done or why things are the way they are. Sometimes we offer solutions; most times we don't. And I'll be the first to admit I'm guilty. You've no doubt read some of my selfish rants right here in this space. Which brings me to the flip side of this mentality. While we're quick to find fault, we aren't always so quick to praise and - of course, at this time of the year - be thankful. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at all the reasons we have to give thanks as we sit down to a meal with family and friends this week: I'm thankful for my wife, children and grandchild; my mom, brothers and their families; my in-laws and friends; co-workers who do their jobs by reflecting their gratefulness for the employment they have; my boss and business owners and employees around the community who make my life so much easier. I'm thankful for the freedom to attend and worship as I choose; my Lord and Savior, without whom my life on this earth would be worth little; my church family who I look forward to greeting on the street during the work week and seeing each Sunday morning; our new pastor and his wife; all pastors who faithfully shepherd their respective flocks. I'm thankful for health and that the aches and pains that come with age are, so far, very minor; the health to be able to work out, although I don't do it as often as I need to; the opportunity to exercise by playing golf, which also allows me to enjoy God's handiwork with a brisk walk around the course. I'm thankful for food and drink after a workout or a round of golf; a roof over our heads that keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer; and, yes, a snowblower that eases the work after a winter storm. I'm thankful for leisure activities, such as announcing a baseball game, keeping scorebook at a basketball game, or reading an autobiography of a sports legend, or maybe even a novel. I'm thankful for the people who venture out on roadways to clear snow, making our holiday travels to see family and friends easier - especially this week. I'm thankful for the many nurses and caregivers in our hospitals, nursing homes, adult residential facilities and other health care institutions who care for the many individuals who are home- or facility-bound. Those essential employees may have to give up part or all of their Thanksgiving to provide a vital service to our communities. Thank you. Likewise, I'm thankful for others who will be missing get-togethers with their families to be on the job, including police and sheriff's department personnel and local EMTs, as well as volunteer fire fighters, although hopefully their services are not needed during the holiday. I'm thankful for our schools, teachers and administrators. Together, they provide our students not only the essential and diverse education they need in today's technologically advanced world, but also an ear that listens to their emotional and psychological needs. I know there are people and things that I've probably missed - I tend to be too good at that. But those that I've missed, I've left for you to think about and include in your Thanksgiving prayer this holiday weekend. Lastly, I'm thankful for each one of you who take the time each week to read these jottings. Without our readers, our words mean little. Thank you for reading each week. And with that, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!