Matt Dickerson: Seventy reasons to be thankful

Vermont’s cold, snowy January days. Vermont’s warm summer evenings.
Vermont’s warm winter afternoons. Vermont’s cool summer evenings.
Big Thanksgiving meals with relatives (especially the pies). Leftovers (especially the pies). The lunch about nine days after Thanksgiving when I don’t have to eat the leftovers again.
2004, 2007 and 2013. (Especially 2013, sandwiched as it was between 2012 and 2014. And even more especially 2004.) Dave Roberts and the fact that distance from first base to second base is 90 feet and not 90 feet, 6 inches.
2001, 2003 and (once again) 2004. And one more year getting to watch Tom Brady throw to Rob Gronkowski.
The end of each semester that offers a break from work and a chance to breathe. The start of each semester and the chance to be back doing a job I enjoy.
My wife (who loves me). My parents (who love me). My sons (whom I can love. And they are all different, so they count as three.) My brothers (also three).
The fact that when my older brother lost one job as an architect due to the recession and the collapse of the housing market, he was able to find another job. The fact that the “other” job was in Alaska and I get to visit him there. The Internet and telephones, which enable me to stay in touch with my brothers who now live in Budapest and California as well as Alaska.
Salmonids — especially brook trout and steelhead.
Otter Creek and Lewis Creek and the New Haven River and the Middlebury River (and all their tributaries, but I won’t count the tributaries separately). Autumn afternoons canoeing on Lake Dunmore surrounded by Vermont’s famous foliage. February afternoons cross-country skiing at Rikert through snow-covered evergreens. July afternoons doing nothing at all.
Vermont’s state parks (one collective thanks).
Every night the chance to go to sleep. The fact that I woke up this morning.
Growing older (which brings all sorts of problems, but is still — as the old saying goes — better than the alternative).
Music and all the people who write it, perform it and record it (another single collective thanks).
The freedom to vote. The freedom to speak. The freedom to worship.
Sentence fragments (like this one — and, in fact, my entire column this week).
Some great old friends. Some great new friends.
My house. My garden. Apples. Peaches. Mangos. Fresh corn (and the local farmers who grow it). Peas in a pod. The fact that my wife really likes Brussels sprouts and lima beans and is usually willing to eat the ones that (for various strange reasons) appear on my plate from time to time.
Monument Farms chocolate milk and Cabot Cheddar cheese and LuLu’s ice cream and maple syrup (of all grades).
My church and all the folks who belong to that community.
Rain and wind and snow and blue skies and clouds. Sunrises. Sunsets. Afternoon naps (especially on Sunday.)
The One who made it all and gave me the eyes to see, ears to year, hands to feel, tongue to taste and words to express these thanks. 

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