Well, it's that time of the year again -- my favorite holiday -- Thanksgiving. Each year I have written a column for The Fort Scott Tribune about things I am thankful for.
It is the easiest column that I write each year because I have so many things to be thankful for.
Allow me to share with you just a handful. And yes, some are repeats from previous years but as time goes by, I am even more grateful for those events and family and friends that remain in my life and for which I am most grateful.
So before we dive into that plump turkey or carve a slice of a turducken, how about taking a few moments to recount all the events we are thankful for? I suspect the Pilgrims did so when they arrived after a long voyage and landed at Plymouth Rock.
No doubt they were thankful that the Transportation Security Administration did not submit them to a "pat down" or ask them to surrender their muskets.
In any event, here are some things I am most thankful for:
* For the ability to celebrate holidays and birthdays and special events with family and friends.
Having been out of town for high school and some college, I can tell you firsthand that being absent from Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations leaves a sad melancholy feeling in your heart.
As such, whatever we as Americans can do for our men and women in the service during this season would certainly be appreciated by our brave troops. In 1954 crooner Perry Como sang, "There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays," and here in 2012, it is still true.
* For all the Cracker Barrel restaurants and all the Panera Bread Company Cafes that dot the highways as we travel through hill and dale to grandma's house.
A stop at any Cracker Barrel certainly returns us to those carefree days of yesteryear since the stores are stocked with products and candies that were popular in the '50s and '60s. Nothing better than a roll of Necco wafers.
And at Panera the breakfast cinnamon roll along with a piping mug of spiced pumpkin latte will jumpstart your day.
* For the Social Security COLA increase of 1.7 percent set for January 2013 for us senior citizens. And a thanks to all of you who are still working and supporting me with your FICA payments.
* For all the friends I have currently have and for those I've yet to meet.
* For being an American and living in the greatest country in the world. The pilgrims sure knew what they were doing when they landed here.
* For the "caller I.D." on our phone so that I can avoid all those "private caller" interruptions that ultimately are political calls.
* For all episodes of "Seinfeld" which parallels real life experiences. My favorites: "The Puffy Shirt" and "The Jimmy" and "The Marine Biologist."
* For the ability to reverse live television programs so that I have my own personal instant replay functions. Just wish I could have the same ability for real life incidents -- I think all of us at one time or another would want a "do-over" button on some of life's activities.
* For my TomTom GPS and OnStar System both of which have rerouted me when we were lost.
* For our three children, two sons-in-law and daughter-in-law and 11 grandchildren who bring us joy and excitement every day.
* For my wife Mary of 48 years who has supported me and encouraged me and loved me through every moment and every adventure to make sure I never went astray. She is my personal GPS.
So as you gather with family and friends this holiday season, take a couple moments to be thankful for all your blessings.
And if you are a guest at someone's home, chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth, don't cheer too long when your football team scores and do not nap on the bed that contains all the coats.
Other than that, Happy Thanksgiving!
Editor's Note: Bill Kalmar of Lake Orion, Mich., retired from Comerica Bank in 1993 and was then director of the Michigan Quality Council from 1993-2003. The Fort Scott native now writes on a freelance basis.