We have come to another Thanksgiving, having been through some pretty tough times over the past 12 months. For some, it can be a little harder to be grateful this year. The price of holiday meals has gone up, the price of a tank of gas is higher than in the past and food, if you can find it on the shelf, is much more expensive than ever, it has become more hard for families to get together. With tight budget and supply chain challenges, what they are; Christmas may not be looking as joyful as it once did.
With everything staring us in the face, I still have so much to be grateful for. Main on this list is that I am grateful that my faith always remains strong. Regardless of what may happen to us, I know that my God is still on the throne.
I had major surgery in March and it left me with so much and so much to be grateful for. Be patient while I list a few:
I am grateful to Drs Patel and Katragunta, my surgeons and to Taylor Grimm, my assistant at Erlanger Neurosurgery. The Erlanger staff on the orthopedic surgery floor are also top notch! I am also grateful to the wonderful people at Siskin Rehabilitation. What an absolute treasure for the Chattanooga area!
I am grateful to the providers at Siskin Outpatient in East Brainerd. Steve Lake and Michael Anderton are the best in the business.
I thank coaches like Mike Connor, Grant Reynolds, Lance Rorex and many others who see their work as much more than building a team, but are more concerned with developing exceptional young men who will become husbands, fathers and even more outstanding Christian leaders. in our community.
I am grateful that Phil Massey found a good candidate at Chattanooga Christian School and for the success of his first Chargers football team.
I am grateful for parents like Patrick and Sherinda Hampton and for the family they have. I am also grateful for their son, Caleb, better known as “Champ”. He’s the real deal – academically, athletically and just a fine young man. I pray that a college coach realizes this and signs it for a national Letter of Intent. It is one of the best Baylor schools he has ever been to.
I continue to be grateful to the great people at Chattanooga VA Clinic. They are some of the most caring and dedicated people you can find.
I am grateful for the group of veterans I served with and stayed in touch with during these 24 years after hanging up my Air Force blues. I am also grateful to all my veterinary colleagues who have defended our country through all wars and in times of peace.
I am grateful for all of our current service members and pray daily for their safety.
I am grateful to UTC Professor Chris Dortch and the great job he is doing in grooming future generations of sports journalists and writers.
I am grateful to my friend Althea Hunt, who faithfully sends me a Veterans Day card every year.
I am grateful for my friend Dave Staley and his ever present smile.
I am grateful for my former colleague, Joseph Dycus, now a sportswriter for the Bay Area News Group in California. I’m so proud of him and I know his future is oh so bright!
I’m grateful for James Beach’s friendship. Beach is a Hall of Fame sportswriter who is absolutely the best colleague anyone could ask for.
Even with all of our current challenges, I am very grateful to live in the United States of America.
I am grateful to Ed Sunder, who provides The Chattanoogan.com with superb technical services.
I am grateful to Daniel McKee of Keller Williams. It was a pleasure to work with him when we sold my mom’s house and moved her into her new townhouse. I highly recommend Daniel, he is a wonderful and talented real estate agent, husband and father of a beautiful family.
I remain grateful for my church family at Silverdale Baptist and our pastor, Tony Walliser.
We recently lost a member of our family, my Uncle Bill. I am grateful for the life he lived and the example he set. There is nothing better than Bill Montgomery.
I’m grateful for my wife’s cooking, maybe a little too grateful!
I am grateful to former Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger for his leadership and hard work in creating a new state-of-the-art stadium for our beloved Lookouts.
I am grateful for the volunteers who unfurled nearly 2,000 American flags in Ringgold each Memorial and Veterans Day to honor our fallen Catoosa County Veterans. It’s so beautiful to see.
Speaking of Ringgold, I’m grateful that Aunt Effie’s restaurant has reopened in its new location on Nashville Street. I love their meat and three.
I’m grateful for a treasure from Chattanooga, Earl Freudenberg. “Hey Earl” brings us great stories about our city’s history.
I am grateful for the success of Tennessee coach Josh Heupel. His brand of football was exactly what we needed on Rocky Top.
On a similar note, I’m grateful to Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker. It’s a tragedy that his career was cut short before the end of the season, but I pray that he recovers and continues a mega-successful career as a pro. He is the type of young man we can all wish our sons would emulate.
I am so grateful for my sons, Jonathan and Ben and for their successful careers and beautiful families.
I am also grateful for my “bonus” sons, Gary and Chris Petty. They are remarkable young men with great families.
I am grateful for my friend Lawson Whitaker and the wonderful photographs he takes.
I am grateful for my friend, Michael Locke. He provides great photos to The Chattanoogan.com.
I am grateful to schools like Silverdale Baptist Academy, Chattanooga Christian, and Grace Baptist for the education and character they instill in their students.
I thank my colleague Jen Gienapp. She is a brilliant writer and the brains behind our annual preparatory football survey.
I’m still very grateful for Chukar’s cherries in Seattle. I discovered Pike Place Market a few years ago and kept ordering their praline pecans and chocolate covered Rainier cherries. Yum !
I am grateful for our seven grandchildren.
I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working and for an employer like The Chattanoogan.com.
I’m so grateful to know that no matter what shape our country takes, God is in control.
I am grateful for people like my good friend Dave Drumm and his lovely wife, Linda. And for our “sister” Lisa Higdon. Friends like them make life even better.
I’m grateful that we still have mom with us.
I am grateful for all the pets I have had the joy of “owning”.
I am grateful for Ennis Kanter Freedom and the example of true patriotism he lives every day of his life.
I am grateful to coaches like Kelli Howard Smith, Curtis Blair, Drew Lyness, Jason Reuter and Mike Wood. And for principals like Brent Eller from East Hamilton, Heidi Moses from Ooltewah Middle School.
I am grateful that Susan Crownover of GPS is enjoying her retirement and her grandchildren.
I am especially grateful for my wife, Gail. She is truly an angel and I love her to the moon and back.
And finally, I am grateful to all of the high school student-athletes who make my job so much fun and to you, our loyal readers. I wish you all a Merry Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.
(Dennis Norwood is the Prep Sports Editor for The Chattanoogan.com; email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter at @noogasportsdude)