It’s sad when it’s difficult to recall what you are thankful for.

Yes, I have my children and their significant others, my family and friends, good health, a roof over my head and food on the table. These are absolutely things I am thankful for.

People who share ordinary moments of my life are what I am thankful for. Dee Menear/Franklin Journal

But, I wanted to share thankfulness for something profound and meaningful. I was reaching for something more than cliche and ordinary.

The thought lingered in my head for days. I mulled over fleeting ideas but nothing seemed to stick.

In hopes of drawing inspiration, I called, texted, and emailed a handful of friends and asked, “What are you thankful for?”.

The responses were nearly identical. In some form or fashion, everyone was thankful for people … kids, family, friends, students, their pastor and those in their community.

I realized that everything I should be thankful for boiled down to the exact same thing. People.

Just hours before I sent out that plea for inspiration, I ran into a friend at the local store. We hadn’t seen each other in quite some time.  We held up the line while we quickly caught up and shared a few laughs. No one else seemed to be inconvenienced by our chatter and laughter. It’s like they knew this friendship needed a few moments.

It was a typical chance encounter that added to my day … and one I am still smiling over.

As I reflected on other such encounters, I was reminded that meaningful moments can be found in everyday interactions with those that share my space in this world.

An unexpected phone call from one of my kids, a moment of laughter shared with a colleague, a quick wave from a friend who recognized my car as I drove into town, an invite to a holiday gathering, and a “Love ya” ending to a conversation in the grocery store parking lot.

There are people who have jumped in to help when times were tough and those who walked beside me through a major health crisis. Almost daily there are encounters with people who encourage, push, advise or console.

There are those who share my passions. Some share my love for exploration, adventure, live music, coffee or cooking. Some are fishing or hunting buddies, some are hiking partners.

There are friends who are more like family than they need to be.

A few fill in for all the above.

This Thanksgiving, I will feast with some of these people.  As I plan and prepare for the holiday, I am thankful to be reminded of the profound impact “ordinary” people have made in my life.

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