I am thankful that each year on Thanksgiving, we slow our busy lives to humbly reflect on the many blessings we receive throughout the year, like family, friends, and health… and for the reminder that we should give thanks more often.

…Giving Thanks

I am thankful for the precious memories of those we have lost and their impacts on our lives.

I am thankful that each day brings a new beginning of hope, praise, love, and laughter.

I’m thankful for family and friends who stand beside you in a time of need and celebrate with you when things are going well.

I am thankful for our amazing community and all those who keep things moving forward in such a positive direction.

I am thankful for hugs, handshakes, and smiles.

I am thankful that each trip to the grocery store lasts a little longer than just picking up groceries… and for all those I get to see there.

I’m thankful for the Good Book and the words of comfort and for those who bring the words we all need to hear.

I’m thankful to be a member of the grandma club.

I’m thankful for our churches and those who bring the Word to heal, bless, and grace us.

I’m thankful for our locally owned businesses, their owners and employees, and their commitment to our community.

…Every Day Of the Year

I am thankful for all of our first responders and healthcare providers.

I’m thankful for our firefighters from all of our fire departments.

I am thankful for our law enforcement officers.

I am thankful for Sheriff Dan Kilgore and Chief Mike Richardson and Chief Renee Harris.

I’m thankful for emergency medical services, the men and women who respond to 911 calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I am thankful we have such a dedicated and professional ambulance service and for those who worked hard to make it happen.

I’m thankful that the pilgrims didn’t eat chitlins on the first Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for being able to live in a community that is blessed with so many fine preachers, ministers of music, ministers of education, ministers of youth, laywomen, and laymen.

I’m thankful for the House of Care and the Community Thrift Store.

I’m thankful that Thomaston and Upson County residents pull together to take on anything that comes our way.

I’m thankful for the elected officials, and everyone who works for the city, county, Yatesville, and The Rock in our community.

I am thankful for our city and county managers… Russell Thompson and Jason Tinsley.

I am thankful for Sprewell Bluff and the wonderful job Sarah Williams continues to do.

I am thankful for our recreation department management and staff.

I am thankful for GFL, our garbage service folks, who work hard to keep our community clean… and for every time they’ve stopped to talk to my grandson and blown the horn for him… and for not calling the police when we chase them all over the neighborhood.

I am thankful for our local postal carriers and those behind the scenes… everything they continue to do for our community... It’s a hard job, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

...Family and Friends

I am thankful for my wonderful husband Bill and that he hasn’t thrown the towel in yet.

I am thankful for my amazing daughter and son-in-law, Sydney and Matt, and especially my grandson Myles. I am thankful for my precious steps, who I love as my own, Caitlin, Lawton, and Gavin.

I am thankful for my brother Gary, his wife Jodi and my nephews and niece Adam, Cam, and Sarah.

I am thankful for my nieces Adrian, Callie and Laura and my grand-neices, Avery, Mattie, Marlie, Mazie, and Tatum.

I am thankful for the Goldens, our littles, and tinys.

I am thankful for wonderful dads like Barry Lord and for the best stepmom to my daughter, Pam.

I’m thankful for my sisters and brothers God placed in my life.

I am thankful for all of our grands who are all healthy and growing like crazy. They have blessed each one of us.

I’m thankful for parents and grandparents who aren’t really your parents or grands, but treat you like you’re their own.

…VETERANS AND VETERANS DAY

I’m thankful that the 11th day, and the 11th month each year, we pause to observe Veterans Day and pay tribute to our veterans and their families who gave the supreme sacrifice, and to members of our Armed Forces who are heavily engaged in fighting terrorism.

I’m thankful that we honor Veterans Day and Memorial Day, our war dead, disabled veterans, and men and women who have served and are now serving in our Armed Forces.

…Healthcare Providers

I’m thankful for the Hughston Clinic, Sabrina Lancaster’s Thomaston Family Medicine, and every single one of our talented doctors, healthcare providers, and all those in the nursing profession.

…UPSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

I’m thankful for Upson Regional Medical Center, their facilities, their dedicated employees, administrator, hospital authority, their doctors, not only for our community, but also for surrounding counties… They have certainly proved themselves to be heroes.

I’m thankful for the miracles of medicine and the doctors and nurses who are so dedicated to their profession.

I’m thankful for therapists.

I’m thankful for the towns of Yatesville and The Rock, which are indeed caring communities.

I’m thankful for our collision centers, the Good Lord knows we need them.

I’m thankful for all of our auto mechanics.

I’m thankful for the staff at our Archives and all of their great works.

I’m thankful for our water departments and how hard they work to keep our water clean and pipes flowing as they should.

I am thankful for our trash and waste employees who continue to clean up our messes.

I’m thankful for the recreational programs offered in our community, along with the players, coaches, sponsors, parents and officials.

I am thankful that the younger generation, (younger than I) are taking over key roles in our community.

…NURSING HOMES

I’m thankful more than ever for our nursing homes, their dedicated employees and the excellent job they do in caring for their residents.

…Life

I’m thankful that our community is blessed with so many fine civic organizations.

I am thankful for Probate Judge Danielle McRae, Clerk of Superior Court Teresa Meir, tax Commissioner Andy Chastain, Chief Tax Assessor Charles McKeehan and all those who staff the offices.

I’m thankful for our amazing elections and voter registration folks… Pam Releford, Kelly King, Robert Haney, and all those who keep our elections running smoothly.

I’m thankful for the two best IT people in the world… Brent King and Brad Temples.

I’m thankful that Mary Greathouse, Charles Gordy, and Joe White taught me so much about our community and the newspaper business.

I’m thankful for Jim Fowler who has been writing his column for us for more than 30 years and the Thomaston-Upson Sports Hall of Fame. I am also thankful that Jim took care of the stats for our school system for more than 48 years.

I am thankful Gov. Brian Kemp won the election.

...Seasons

I am thankful for Spring and Summer and the first signs of Fall. I am even more thankful that winter is a short season.

I’m thankful that the Georgia High School Association, the Department of Transportation, Upson EMC, and Georgia State Patrol are headquartered here.

I’m thankful for the Gilmore Center, Upson County Health Department, American Heart Association, John Houston DAR, and Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).

I’m thankful that more and more people are now recovering from that dreaded disease, cancer.

…YULETIDE SEASON

I’m thankful that the turning on of Christmas lights means the yuletide season can’t be far behind, and let us all remember the true meaning of Christmas.

I’m thankful that Christmas Lane will be open soon with decorations for everyone to enjoy.

I’m thankful for West Village Retirement Community, their dedicated employees, and the excellent job they do in providing a “Home Away from Home” for their residents.

I’m thankful for the Thomaston Housing Authority for all the good works they do for our community.

I’m thankful for pharmacists, dentists, bankers, CPAs, veterinarians, orthodontics, orthopedics, and optometrists.

I am thankful for Donna Auth and everyone at the Senior Center.

I am thankful for our animal shelter, to its director, Corey Releford, it’s employees, and volunteers.

…Chamber of Commerce

I’m thankful for the Thomaston-Upson Chamber of Commerce, for Madison (Busbee) Ruttinger our new President, Nicole McKinley and the Chamber board and volunteers.

I’m thankful for Jennifer Rogers, who is not just one of my littles, but a true community servant with a heart of gold.

I am thankful for Thomaston’s Main Street Association and its director, Taylor Smith, and for the City of Thomaston for supporting the program.

I am thankful for the many events the folks mentioned above have brought to our community.

I’m thankful for the garden clubs and the work their members do in our community.

I’m thankful that we have professional funeral homes like Bentley’s, Coggins, Fletcher-Day, and Trice.

I am thankful for our local taxi company, Mimb’s Taxi Service.

…Our Industries

I am thankful for TenCate and Bruce Bagwell, and their commitment to our community.

I am thankful for Standard Textile and its “Made in America” program.

I am thankful Interfor has made such a huge investment in our community.

I’m thankful that the late Harry Quadracci came our way and opened Quad/Graphics on Nov. 3, 1989.

I am thankful for Chief Manufacturing, Crown Technology, Golden Star, Inc., Thomaston Mills, Dart Container, and Criterion Technology, Inc. I am thankful that Ranews is in Thomaston.

I’m thankful for beauticians, barbers, florists, carpenters, plumbers, painters, electricians, mechanics, and pest controllers.

I’m thankful that the annual Chitlin’ Hoedown in Yatesville came back this year and was a huge hit.

…SCHOOLS

I’m thankful for the schools, administrators, teachers, lunchroom personnel, and bus drivers, and Dr. Larry Derico, and the board of education.

I am thankful for the quality Christian schools who service our area.

…SUPPORT

I’m thankful that SUPPORT, Upson’s local cancer fund, is able to help so many people who have cancer.

I’m thankful for all of our charities and civic organizations who give back to our community.

I’m thankful for Southern Ford and how much they give back to our community every year.

I’m thankful that we have so many quiet givers. They never want recognition, they just want to help... you know who you are.

I’m thankful for our Superior Court judges, especially our locals, Ben Coker and Ben Miller and our district attorney Marie Broder, assistant DAs, Ashton Jordan, Michael Rogers, and all those who work so hard in the Griffin Judicial Circuit.

I’m thankful for Trice Funeral Home and their Thanksgiving meals.

I’m thankful for RUSH Ministries, Upson County Sheriff’s Office and everyone else who gave out hundreds of food boxes this year.

…Event Centers

I’m thankful for our amazing event centers, Bickley’s Lake, The Barn at Harper Pines, Xchelon Events and Catering, and Oak Hill Farms.

I’m thankful for the Thomaston-Upson Arts Council (TUAC) and the performers and exhibits they bring to our community throughout the year.

I’m thankful for Big Chic, Piggie Park, Slices, Pool Room Cafe, Peachtree Cafe, Mac’s, Justin’s Place, Aviano’s, Tasty Shoppe, LaFiesta, Country Cupboard, Norris’s, Southside Wings, and Chick-fil-A.

I am oh so very thankful for Northside Superette, wonderful meat and even more important, they are wonderful people.

I am thankful for Gen5 and the Greenes.

I’m thankful for Morning Star Lodge No. 27 and their many community projects every year.

…Scouts

I’m thankful for our Boy Scouts where dozens of scouts have attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

I am thankful for our Girl Scouts and their cookies.

I am thankful for Armstrong School of Dance.

I am thankful for insurance agents, realtors, butchers, dry cleaners, UPS, and FedEx employees.

I’m thankful more than ever for farmers who are responsible for food on our tables and dairy farmers who put milk and butter on our tables when the news around the world is so bleak. I am thankful for the Farmer’s Market.

I’m thankful for the employees at Upson EMC, City of Thomaston Electrical Department, Southern Rivers and Georgia Power Co., especially when they are called out in stormy weather to restore electricity.

I’m thankful for Southern Crescent Technical College, their dedicated staff, and modern facilities.

I’m thankful for the development authority, its board, for Director Kyle Fletcher, and Kyle’s righthand Susan Hill.

I’m thankful for the Upson Historical Society and the many programs they have that keep our history alive.

I’m thankful if you make a mistake, you get a second chance.

I’m thankful they haven’t moved the Christmas shopping season back to Labor Day and for the many stores who will not be open Thanksgiving Day.

…And finally

Bridge and I are beyond thankful for our readers and advertisers.

I am thankful for all of the Beacon employees and contributors, past and present. I am thankful to be co-owner with Bridge Turner and that we have a hometown paper. I’m thankful for the Beacon celebrating its 14th year in business and for all the support from our community we’ve received over the years. Our employees and contributors make the Beacon what it is... They are all amazing. Our office and delivery family, Jean, Linda, Luke, Allie, Roger, Andrew, Della Jo, and Liz are equally amazing. We couldn’t do it without any of them... we are blessed.

I am thankful that I get to keep Mr. Charles Gordy’s memory alive by being able to write this column once again.

And as always… I am thankful for all of you and my community. We are all so very blessed to live in such an amazing place.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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