Giving Thanks

Nice Rack – One of the joys of being a wildlife-photography hobbyist is capturing a sight like this.

Thanksgiving has passed, along with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday; and now it’s into the 2016 holiday season officially. Season’s greetings are in order.

Don’t you just love hearing all the Christmas music piped into every store one walks into?

I spent a lot of time during the past week, shopping online to grab some of the fantastic deals offered by sites like Amazon and various music stores, to avoid the maddening crowds and listening to those overplayed holiday tunes, which make me feel like Ebeneezer Scrooge when they’re played nonstop in shops until the first of next year.

Items I purchased recently on the Web include boots, shoes, athletic apparel, a guitar case for my dreadnought 6-string acoustic, a large assortment of plectrums in a container, a military-grade compass, a sterling-silver chain to replace the one from a medal that broke, a Cree flashlight, a belt, the new Rolling Stones’ album, pre-ordered, as it is officially being released on December 2nd; slippers, stocking stuffers; and I almost went all out to buy a new guitar, but didn’t find the right deal on the one I want.

Talk about having too much time on my hands, one evening I went through 436 pages of items on Amazon to find something that I needed, yet found nothing else worthwhile for me; although, a few items are on order as Christmas gifts, which does it for this year, thank goodness.

In other news, a decent rain has soaked the Philadelphia region finally with much-needed precipitation, which will help to quell the prevalent drought conditions suffered by the area. It’s been raining steadily for the past couple of days and is expected to continue into tomorrow, Thursday.

Devastating wildfires engulfed Gatlinburg, Tennessee, my old tromping grounds, over the early part of this week. Many residents had to evacuate, losing their homes and businesses due to the inferno. Seven people have been killed so far.

My thoughts go out to the victims’ families and those affected by this horrific event, which is being blamed on a campfire that went out of control in the mountains nearby.

Fortunately the flames are becoming under control due to the heavy rain storms passing through the southern and northeastern part of the country, quenching the drought conditions experienced seemingly everywhere.

Having a lot to be grateful for, I gathered a list of things for which to thank my lucky stars, thinking about those who are less fortunate than I and wish for them respite to ease their worries during this upcoming holiday season, with my contributing to various charities in hope it will help.

Topping the compendium is success in maintaining my health and mobility, as many aren’t as fortunate. Holding onto my sanity is another item to add, although many might question the validity of that.

Having the resources to survive from day to day is a luxury for which I’m thankful. Many don’t have that ability and struggle with obtaining basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter.

A reliable source of transportation is another blessing, as well as hobbies to keep me occupied in my retirement. Music is a big part of that. And as pointed out by a friend in a previous journal posting, it’s a gift that should be treasured. Photography is another.

On a less dramatic front, I’m thankful that the rock which came hurling at me and struck my car’s windshield, having been replaced a few months ago because of a similar incident on the highway, left only a few scratches instead of a ding or crack like the last time. Had it damaged the glass again, I would have lost it.

My muse left me last week, evidently, causing my failure to post an essay, for which I’m thankful it returned with some inspiration, making it on time for the end of another month.

Lastly, I’m thankful for you, your reading my diatribes, and for your continued support.

With being a shut-in the last couple of days because of the inclement weather, I put together another Cover Your Ears, for which I hope you’ll listen to it and enjoy.

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night:

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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