Enjoy these Front Porch Moments from Bill and share your favorites with your family and friends. He'd love to meet you at Front Porch ice cream events. Oh, and by the way, his favorite flavor is Nana’s Banana Pudding.

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Having a day designated for giving thanks requires us to stop just a little while in November before we get caught up in the Christmas shopping frenzy.

Of course, we have the big things like all the freedoms we have as Americans. We just got through a vitriolic political campaign, one that made us want to shout “Enough!” We might forget to be thankful that we are free to shout, to disagree, and to vote for whom we want.

But beyond the big concepts are the small things we see, hear, and touch everyday; things we take for granted because they are so familiar or because they only exist now in our memories.

I’m thankful for detour signs that take me down roads I’ve never been and through towns I’ve never seen.

I’m thankful for gasoline stations that stay open all night when I’m driving back home on darkened highways.

I’m thankful for the smell of rain on a dusty field, the fragrance of burning leaves on a fall afternoon.

I’m thankful for hummingbirds that flicker on the feeder outside my kitchen window and for hawks that soar over autumn fields turned a seasonal tan.

I’m thankful for old wooden porches turned a weathered gray, the boards sagging with the weight of time and old men leaning back on straight-back chairs telling stories more-or-less true.

I’m thankful for dusty roads lined with pine trees, the fallen needles covering the ground like an auburn winter coat, the ruts in the road leading only to similar roads that lead to other similar roads.

I’m thankful for the cycle of thunderstorms. Even as the skies darken and lightning splits the darkness, as rain and wind sweep around me, I know that the sunshine will follow.

I’m thankful for the smell of baby powder and disposable diapers. It’s been a long time since I was around either one but, ah, I remember it well.

I’m thankful for the laughter of children playing in the school yard just down the road. I envy their innocence as well as the fantastic, challenging opportunities that will chase that innocence away.

I’m thankful for all the people who have been a part of my life. I learned about life from their example, some by good example and some by bad. I learned from both.

I’m thankful for the doctors who tend to my heath needs even when the most frequent diagnosis is “That’s just a part of the aging process.”

Gratitude should be more than an annual exercise. We should be grateful that we have so much to be thankful for that we can’t recite it all in one day.

And, oh yeah. I’m thankful for ice cream all year round.

About Bill Thompson

For over 40 years, Bill Thompson has traveled the Carolinas delighting folks with his commentary on Southern staples: food, farming, music, family and neighbors. He's been the master of ceremonies for hundreds of events celebrating the things that make the South special - from the Hollering Contest in Spivey's Corner to the Wolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, the Grits Festival in South Carolina, and he's even judged a sweet tea contest in Georgia. In the process, he's had the chance to meet some fine Southerners and hear their own stories. He's authored three books, one named, "Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken and Lazy Dogs: A Reflection of North Carolina Life."