By Jeff Martin

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

I think this has to do with the fact that itís a holiday meant for most everyone and has few, if any, religious undertones. Heavy meaning aside, Thanksgiving is simply a day to take stock of what and who is in your life and be thankful for it.

I just wish that Black Friday, and the retailers who control it, wasnít encroaching on Thanksgiving so much, but thatís another column entirely (perhaps next weekís subject?).

For now, I would like to list some of the things and people and places that Iím thankful for. My apologies if this list reads like someone with attention deficit.

Iím thankful for my health, which at this point appears to be relatively stable and good.

Iím thankful for the earth, which provides air to breathe, water to drink, ground to stand upon ó and wonders to experience and treasure.

Iím thankful for my two sons. While they live far away, Iím thankful I have the means inside me to imagine them close.

Iím thankful for my girlfriend, the person closest to me and who, unfortunately, is the recipient of my worst traits, which I am not thankful for.

Iím thankful to my sister and her husband, both of whom have always been there for me even when I wasnít looking.

Iím thankful for my mother and father, also for reasons cited above.

Iím thankful for books, which provide me with education and escapism.

Iím thankful for my car, which provides me with freedom and escapism.

Iím thankful for my nationís freedom.

Iím thankful to those who fight for our freedom.

Iím thankful for sports, which bring out all that is virtuous in human beings.

Iím thankful for the four seasons, which provoke our perceptions into wakefulness.

Iím thankful for coffee.

Iím thankful for extra, extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Iím thankful for technology, which, among other things, provides me video access to my two sons.

Iím thankful for my legs, which provide me the means to hike and disappear into the surrounding forests.

Iím thankful for my eyes, which see the forest.

Iím thankful for libraries, which provide me access to books and music I could otherwise not afford to own.

Iím thankful for Chinese buffets, which provide me with options in abundance.

Iím thankful for the Ellicottville Times, which allows me to write for print, a practice I engaged in full time for nearly 12 years.

Iím thankful for my editors, both of whom recognize the proper use of a comma.

Iím thankful for my job, for it helps me truly appreciate what I do have.

Lately, Iím thankful for my free nicotine patches, for obvious reasons.

Iím thankful for my weirdness, which makes me unique.

Iím thankful for my budding patience, a condition that requires impatience first before it can grow.

Iím thankful for memory.

Most of the time.